Yesterday evening saw the opening of Ocho cuestiones espacialmente extraordinarias/Eight Spatially Extraordinary Questions at Tabacalera featuring two artist thats Matadero Madrid has previously hosted. Guillermo Mora and Hisae Ikenaga created work for two of Matadero’s unique exhibition spaces in 2012 and 2011 respectively. Mora used his El Ranchito residency to explore the importance of artistic failure in artistic success. He drew influence from the many canvasses in an artists’ studio that never make it to the exhibition hall to create a structure of creative ‘waste’ that towered in Nave 16. Ikenaga took influence from the current habit of describing space in terms of sports fields and other colloquialisms to reimagine Matadero’s Abierto x Obras. Through a smoke machine, a football pitch and a tower of furniture Hisae Ikenaga reinterpreted our conception of space and dimension.
Whilst the works are different, there is a similar interaction between this individual space and the artists’ works within Tabacalera. Tabacalera is a space with no parallel, its brown-tiled floors, dusty window ledges and peeling, textured pillars provide a relaxed and interesting atmosphere in which to engage with the artists’ work.
In this building Hisae Ikenaga presents a broken, brick structure held in wooden boxes, similar to those used in transportation. These fragments of frameworks spill from one box onto a table where they rest on, and then become covered in, tin foil. Next to this work is another of bails of paper on top of which are redundant and unstable filing cabinets. These works communicate with the room around it, calling on the flaking beige, flaking paint to develop a dialoague.
Mora’s contribution interacts with the larger hall space in a different way. His neon dust covered sheeting is in stark contrast with the darkness lurking in the corners of this hall, the spotlights, and the shadows this creates as visitors pass by, highlight the break from the Tabacalera’s architecture. And the shapes, as fluid as pools of water, that the neon rests on conflict with the ruled straight lines of the rectangular plinths either side of them.
The other artists in the exhibition also used the space cleverly, from Jaime de la Jara’s seemingly transient ink landscapes or portraits on plasterboard and projected continually changing forms, eventually fading back to a blank canvas to Nuria Fuster’s delicate netting which divided the corridor so starkly. Each of the works by Jacobo Castellano, Miren Doiz, Fernando García, y Miguel Ángel Tornero similarly engaging with the extraordinary space of Tabacalera.
Ocho cuestiones espacialmente extraordinarias is an exhibition that engages directly with the space in which it is displayed, using unconventional materials to create dialogue with the rugged Tabacalera. As Guillermo Mora and Hisae Ikenaga continue to use the spaces in which their work is displayed so effectively, thought goes to our current El Ranchito Exhibition, showing in Nave 16 until 30 March, and Cristina Lucas’s Es Capital in Abierto x Obras until 11 May.