ARRECHEA Alexandre


Alexandre ARRECHEA

Mississippi Bucket, 2008

44 1/2 x 78 1/2 in. (113.03 x 199.39 cm)


Alexandre Arrechea studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havana (1994). Together with Marco Antonio Castillo and Dagoberto Rodriguez, he founded Los Carpinteros in Havana, in 1992. In 2003 he left Los Carpinteros and began to develop his own work exploring themes such as surveillance in contemporary society, the loss of privacy, and the sources of power. His first individual project was The Garden of Mistrust (2003-2005), an installation that featured a whitewashed aluminum tree with branches equipped with video surveillance cameras that recorded the viewers and transmitted the images to the internet.

Interested in reviving “dead” zones within urban settings, Arrechea produced works that sought to re-engage the public’s participation while at the same time provoked contradictory emotions in the spectator. In Sweat (2004), a basketball backboard built as a projection screen, the public was able to see a game that had been previously played and filmed on the court. While watching it, the Alexandre Arrecheas work comprises large-scale installations, sculptures, watercolor drawings, and videos that debate such issues as history, memory, politics, and the power relations of the urban space. Arrecheas mode of working site specifically makes him explore the ideological and philosophical legacy of the surrounding context to create a more engaging interaction with the audience. His exploration of space contemplates cultural resonances implicit in architecture, from design to social value, and how these condition its multiple readings. This approach to dissecting architectural anatomies and spaces through drawings and installations explores the possibility of multiple conflicts embedded in architeture as result of the many decisions hidden in their structures. He is internationally renowned as one of the founding members of the Cuban collective, Los Carpinteros [The Carpenters], active between 1991 and 2003. Embarking on his solo career in the same year, Arrechea is widely recognized for Nolimits (2013), a monumental project composed of ten sculptures inspired by iconic buildings in New York City and erected along Park Avenue, and Katrina Chairs (2016), erected at the Coachella Music Festival, Palm Springs, California, USA. Last December, he created Dreaming with Lions, an immersive rotunda resembling an enormous forum-cum-library installed at Faena Miami Beach.

He currently lives and works in New York and Miami, United States.

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