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Alexandre Arrechea made his name thanks to the art collective Los Carpinteros, composed of Marco Antonio Castillo Valdés and Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez. The three artists began working behind their collective moniker back in 1994, and they became rapidly successful. The New-York Museum of Modern Art acquired several of their drawings for the museum’s permanent collection. Alexandre Arrechea decided to leave Los Carpinteros in July 2003, to begin a solo career. His fist individual project was El Jardin de la Desconfianza (The Garden of Mistrust), an epic installation in Los Angeles that required two years of work (2003-2005). The central piece of the work was a whitewashed aluminum tree whose branches were outfitted with video cameras which recorded spectators and broadcasted them on the Internet. His public art often involves concepts of power and its network of hierarchies, surveillance, control, prohibitions and subjection. The spectator’s participation in the work adds to its contemplation.
For the 10th Havana Biennial (March 27 – April 30, 2009), Alexandre Arrechea worked on a project named La habitación de todos (The Room of All), which is a sculpture of a house that expands or contracts according to, respectively, the rise or fall of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Today, he works on a public art project in New-York, involving video projections on buildings.
Their work was at Zaha's Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati a few years ago and I got to see it when I took a bunch of students for a tour. Fascinating, beguiling, and seductive work. I hated to leave.
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