introduction by Beatrice Merz
with a short story by Leonardo Padura
curatorial text by Claudia Gioia
The catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition Carlos Garaicoa. El Palacio de las Tres Historias held at Fondazione Merz from 30th October 2017 to 4th February 2018.
“El Pensamiento as logos and affection, word and intention, memory and distance, history and attention, metaphor and irony; this is the common thread that Carlos Garaicoa has for years spun with his art. Critical space and enchantment are the prerequisites while the multitudes and the metropolis constitute the adventure from which to draw nourishment […] El Palacio de las Tres Historias focuses on this form of seduction and consensus emanated by architecture. Turin is an emblematic city for concatenations and historical events. Tied to a double tour of industry, he learned about the development and acceleration to slump and decommissioning of industry in the twentieth century and on to the current transformation. Changes in social structure and attitude have changed but history has not passed without trace, leaving tangible signs that identify memories and strains that are in many cases still open-ended. The architecture of the city is like a catalogue index and at the same time a summary of the themes to be developed. As already in Havana, Garaicoa begins to travel around Turin, following suggestions and gathering information and taking note of encounters, photographing abandoned factories and buildings from the rationalist period, finding himself by chance in working-class neighborhoods, where he observes the symbols, enters spaces intended for reuse, listens to stories. What is already known to him serves to establish coordinates but the real compass guiding him is what he does not yet know.
The idea of the Palace takes shape from this collection of astonished moments, interrupted journeys, ambitions reduced, bets won and then reimbursed. The need to bring together the distant and the present pushes towards the creation of a new display containing all the information, where it is possible to go back to look at what seems all too well-known and note all the ‘ifs’, ‘buts’ and ‘thens’ of history that have survived to the present day. So what is needed is a building where it is possible to gain access to everyone, where information is available without the need for precise objectives, where one can stop, read, observe, listen, comment, enter and exit but above all walk to follow in the footsteps of Carlos Garaicoa’s adventure. A non-rhetorical building to talk about the constructive rhetoric on which modernity has been founded. The Palace therefore started to shudder. A suspended waltz of stairs, glass, steel to bite at the heaviness, vapourise matter and open to the immense reserve of questions and desires. It has become a square, an open space, an agora, a theatre; in short, a city.” (Claudia Gioia)
The catalogue reproduces the photographic documentation of the exhibition at the Fondazione Merz and a selection of Garaicoa‘s works from the 1994 to 2017. A text by the exhibition curator Claudia Gioia enlightens the dialogue between art and architecture, exploring the site specific installation at the Fondazione Merz.
The book also includes a specially commissioned text by acclaimed Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura.