Fernando Sanchez Castillo: Divertimento / Galeria Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid

The exhibition Divertimeno – Notes for the esthetical education of the masses at Galeria Juana de Aizpuru in Madrid, Spain, by Spanish artist Fernando Sanchez Castillo revolves around one project: a ballet with (anti-riot) water gun vehicles.

Fernando Sánchez Castillo utilizes different media to investigate power and counter power: Bronze sculpture, still life photography, and painting. Their motiv: barricades and the primitive weapons used in riots: tires, Molotov cocktails, stones, nails, megaphones.

And then there’s a video documentation of the project around which the whole exhibition is organized: Pegasus Dance, coreografí­a para camions antidisturbios (Pegasus Dance, a choreography for watergun-vehicles), a ballet realized in collaboration with the dutch police in Rotterdam.

Fernando Sánchez Castillo: Divertimeno – Notes for the esthetical education of the masses. Galeria Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid. February 13, 2009.

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Fernando Sánchez Castillo:

The project around which the exhibition is organized is Pegasus Dance, coreografí­a para camions antidisturbios (Pegasus Dance, a choreography for water gun-vehicles) a ballet realized in collaboration with the Dutch police in Rotterdam.

After many years, and endless bureaucratic efforts with the Spanish, Belgium and German institutions, I finally was able to set up cooperation with the Dutch authorities for the realization of this video, a divertimento-performance along the banks of the mouth of the Rhine.

The divertimentos, the classical musicals, were initially conceived to entertain the spectators in the breaks of the grand operas and ballets with a more serious approach.

I used the formally and dramatically banal structure of the divertimentos, to create the chaos, the “whim” and the romantic pomposity within a traditional institution, which is entirely dedicated to maintain the established order. Those water gun-vehicles, by definition “unpopular”, here “manifest” themselves with all their power as “pro of art and culture” while performing choreography, dedicated to nothing more than a divertimento conceived through the orders of an artist. As a matter of fact, the key argument to convince the institutions to collaborate in this video was the cause of their desire to get involved in the democratic society, through “thigh culture”.

This hypothesis is reinforced by the other elements of the exhibitions: barricades, which are completely made of bronze, staging as a scenery of counter power. They present themselves as self-dedicated and institutionalized, cynical monuments of the social and intellectual changes of our times, as well as tires, cocktails, bottle rockets, stones, wood, megaphones… have been introduced as ready-mades into the classical art-discourse as parts of what popular knowledge considers images that represent the essence of a conflict.


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