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Carpintarias de São Lázaro opened as a Cultural Center in 2017.

The original industrial carpentry, opened at the beginning of the 20th century and was forced to close after a fire. It has reopened its doors to the public as a Cultural Center on February 18th, 2017 with two new exhibitions in Portugal: “Show Room ” by the Cuban artist duo Los Carpinteros and “Shadows ” by the Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar. Both exhibitions were included in the Lisbon cultural program 2017 CIAC (Ibero-American Capital of Culture).

With the presentation of these exhibitions, the Cultural and Recreational Association Carpintarias de São Lázaro, reaffirmed the intention to convert this space into a multidisciplinary cultural center and then began the necessary adaptation works.


CIAC - Ibero-American Capital of Culture 2017
Curators: Alda Galasterer & Verónica de Mello

OPENING:  17.02.2017
EXHIBITION: 18.02. — 01.05.2017

The art-deco façade building that housed an industrial workspace for creating wooden furniture until the 1990s and was forced to close after a fire, reopens now as a space for artistic creation, reinventing itself as Lisbon's new cultural centre.

Starting from this idea of ​​genesis at first, or even as the biblical name indicates, resuscitation, Alda Galsterer and Verónica de Mello, curators of this exhibition, invited the Cuban artistic duo Los Carpinteros to present an installation - Show Room - which would in turn, be the first exhibition in Portugal of these renowned artists.

This exhibition also coincides with the inauguration of the Cultural Centre - Carpintarias de São Lázaro - which aims to become as a dynamo of artistic energy in this area of ​​Lisbon.

The concept developed by the curators for this exhibition is based on the idea that the work done with wood has a strong symbolic character in Western culture. The image of the carpenter is explored as a builder, as an object producer, and as such of a creator.

Associated with this concept, the question of time, of beginning, of genesis is an important point in this exhibition, analyzed here by the installation that crystallizes the first second after an explosion suspended in the air from wooden pieces of various furniture, which in this case inhabited in Lisbon houses for decades and who knows, if they have not now returned to their place of origin, to the place of their creation. An exhibition that deals with and explores the concepts of time, creation and genesis.


This exhibition is part of the Ibero-American Capital of Culture, Lisbon 2017 program, it is a unique opportunity to see in the Portuguese capital, the work of the most international duo of Cuba.


Co-production REDE art agency and Carpintarias de São Lázaro - Cultural Centre.


LOS CARPINTEROS are a pair of Cuban artists from Havana, Cuba, composed by Marco Castillo Valdes (Camagüey, 1971) and Dagoberto Rodriguez Sánchez (Caibarién, 1969) both graduated by the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), in Havana.

Marco Antonio Castillo and Dagoberto Rodriguez Sánchez live and work between Havana and Madrid, develop a poetic, critical and humorous work with a strong impact on contemporary culture.

Recent exhibitions to highlight are: Objeto Vital, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo (2016); Artist Room: Los Carpinteros, Museum Folkwang Essen, Germany (2016), El pueblo se equivoca, Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo (2015), Brazil Globeno Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2015); Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas (2015); Los Carpinteros, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, MARCO, Mexico (2015); Pellejo, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto (2014); Bazaar. Ivorypress, Madrid, Spain (2014); Heterotopias, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong (2013); Bola de Pelo. Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich (2013); Irreversible, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York (2013); Güiro, Bar-arte, instalation of Los Carpinteros and Absolut, Art Basel Miami, December (2012); Cartografias Contemporâneas, Desenhando o Pensamento, Caixa Forum Barcelona and Madrid (2012); 150 pessoas, Art Parcours, Art Basel, Switzerland (2012); Los Carpinteros, Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires (2012); Sala de Juntas, Stand El País, ARCO Madrid (2011).

They are represented in public and private collections, such as Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporáneo (Mexico), Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga (Spain), Cincinatti Museum of Contemporary Art (Ohio, USA), Cisneros Foundation (Miami, USA); ARCO Foundation; Fundação Helga de Alvear; MEIAC - Extremaduran and Latin American Museum of Contemporary Art, Badajoz; Galician Contemporary Art Centre, Santiago de Compostela; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (Spain), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington; Microsoft Art Collection; MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (USA), National Museum of Fine Arts (Cuba), Tate Modern, London (UK), among many others.

CIAC - Ibero-American Capital of Culture 2017

OPENING:  24.05.2017
EXHIBITION: 25.05. — 03.09.2017

Shadows is the second work in a trilogy of works dedicated to a single image. The first work of this trilogy, The Sound of Silence was, according to the French philosopher Jacques Rancière, a "theater built for a single image".


In this case, the image was taken by South African photographer Kevin Carter and was taken in South Sudan, which earned him the Pulitzer Prize shortly before he committed suicide. The Sound of Silence has been shown 27 times in the past 15 years, in 18 countries and in eight languages.

The second work in the trilogy, Shadows , is based on an extraordinary image by Dutch photographer Koen Wessing (1942-2011). Collected in Estelí, Nicaragua, during the last days of the Somoza Regime in 1978, the photograph captures the absolute pain of two young women who have just learned of their father's death at that moment.

Alfredo Jaar's work is based on a previous one by Koen Wessing, in which the photographer witnesses the military coup in Santiago de Chile and documents the consequences in a book composed only of images, entitled “CHILE SEPTEMBER 1973”. This work displays the horror of September 11, 1973 without using a single word.

In Shadows , the artist uses a similar structure. With an extreme economy of means, Jaar creates a mise en scène in which he uses seven of Wessing's photographs: three images preceding the main image and three other showing the aftermath of the tragedy.


The artist, architect and filmmaker, was born in 1956 and raised in Santiago de Chile. Nowadays, he lives and works in New York, USA.

Alfredo Jaar challenges the widespread conventions between art and politics. The artist merges aesthetics and ethics in order to focus on injustices around the world - poverty, exploitation, genocide. His images are usually presented in complex installations and replacement of found objects: posters, projected images, mirrored surfaces and photo-text parts; the works show the tangible effects of international economic and political reality on the lives of individuals.

Alfredo Jaar's work has been exhibited extensively around the world. He took part in several Biennales: Venice (1986; 2007; 2009; 2013), São Paulo (1985; 1987; 2010), Sydney (1990), Istanbul (1995) and Johannesburg (1997), as well as in Kassel's documenta (1987, 2002). Of the individual exhibitions, the following stand out: the New York Museum of Contemporary Art (1992), The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (1992), the Modern Art Museum in Stockholm (1997), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (2005), as well as the Musée des Beaux Arts in Lausanne (2007). The latest retrospectives were organized in Berlin, 2012 by the Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst; in 2014 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki; and in 2015 at the Contemporary Art Museum, Marseille.

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