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07 Mar 2012

Carlos Garaicoa and Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet at Kunstverein Braunschweig

Carlos Garaicoa, A City View From the Table of My House (La ciudad vista desde la mesa de mi casa), 2001, 50 x 60 cm, Color photograph, Ilfordflex paper, Courtesy the artist

Carlos Garaicoa / Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet
Kunstverein Braunschweig


Opening: March 9, 7 pm
Artist Talk Hervé & Maillet:
May 10, 7 pm
Lecture 'Pythagoras and the Monsters':
April 19, 7 pm
Opening hours:
Tue - Sun 11 am - 5 pm, Thu 11 am - 8 pm

Nina Mende

Kunstverein Braunschweig
Lessingplatz 12
38100 Braunschweig

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March 10–May 20, 2012
Opening: Friday, March 9, 7 p.m.

In his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, Carlos Garaicoa (*1967 in Havana, lives in Havana and Madrid) combines older with very recent works. Garaicoa's works examine architecture and urbanism as an image and mirror of political reality and social development. The artist draws attention to the crisis and history of urban space in photographs, drawings, sculptures, installations, and films.

Since the 1990s, he has time and again taken his hometown as the point of departure for his works. Its Neoclassicist ruins reflect the lost splendor of the Spanish colonial era, and the often incomplete socialist structures hauntingly demonstrate the aftermath of the decline of modern ideology.

Garaicoa challenges what already exists by adding to it his own utopia. For example, he supplements the ruined parts of dilapidated buildings in black-and-white photographs with fine, colored filaments; or he completes imaginary buildings whose construction was in reality never brought to a close. What lies behind this is an extensive criticism of both the government and institutions, which since the 1959 revolution have not prevented the decay of the city, as well as of 20th-century ideologies in general.

Many of his works are as fragile as the hope in crisis-ridden times or the memory of what long since belongs to the past: The Old and the New (2010) is the title of a twelve-part series of works on paper in which filigree lithographs of historical façades carefully rear up, extended and aesthetically broken by seemingly utopian silhouettes made of black cardboard.

Garaicoa's view of the city time and again detaches itself from concrete sites of reality and allows artistic urban visions to develop. The installation A City View from the Table of My House (1998) depicts a ficti-tious city that moreover examines the theme of private and public space: apparently antiquated everyday objects, such as crystal vases, lamps, and glass flasks, combine to form a kind of model that allows its owner to randomly shift buildings and squares. At the same time, the objects themselves tell a story of personal memories and in doing so shape the character of this singular city. In contrast, Bend City (Red) (2008) at first glance resembles a collection of minimalist paper sculptures. Upon closer examination, however, by means of fine cuts and folds, bridges, buildings, and monuments rise up out of the ninety-six sheets of folded, red paper. The individually fashioned structures create the poetic, repressive utopia of a uniform socialist city.

Carlos Garaicoa has participated in numerous international exhibitions, for instance documenta XI (2002), the Venice Biennale (2005/2009), and the Havana Biennale (2009). His works have been shown in extensive solo exhibitions, including at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Philadelphia (2007), or the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2010).


March 10–May 20, 2012
Opening: Friday, March 9, 7 p.m.

In their first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, the French artist duo Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet (both *1981) convert the Kunstverein's Remise into a site of teaching and research. The installation, a blend of conference room, archive, and library, becomes a stage for discussions and scholarly elaborations revolving around the myth of Pythagoras. Their film Pythagoras and the Monsters, produced specifically for the exhibition in Braunschweig, will be presented for the first time.

Lecture Series Pythagoras and the Monsters:
Friday, March 9, 2012, 8:30 p.m.: Prof. Dr. Thomas Sonar (mathematics historian, TU Braunschweig)
Thursday, April 19, 2012, 7:00 p.m.: Prof. Dr. Dr. Claus-Artur Scheier (philosophy, TU Braunschweig)
Thursday, May 10, 2012, 7:00 p.m.: Prof. Dr. Harald Löwe (geometry, TU Braunschweig)