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EXHIBITIONS

PISTA DE BAILE (2020)

PISTA DE BAILE

MADRID
ESPACIO MATADERO
NOV 08 2020 - JUN 30 2021

On a transformative mission the Spanish architect and designer Guillermo Santomà converted Intermediae's industrial warehouse into an architectural dance floor. The architect’s idea was to bring a new object to city, to create an architectural layer open and available for the masses to experience.

Inside the vast and severe warehouse, Santomá deployed a cocreate mesh, creating a roof like structure which held onto the structural columns, so it was suspended in the air without any contact with the ground. The sculptured ceiling therefore gave the impression of being heavy, yet it was floating, thanks to a boast of balances and counterweights. Santomà's floating nest transformed the old factory into a new construction, he created new space within the original walls, creating a construction within a construction.

To enter the dance floor, the curation guided you along the concreate metal structure, so the view was slowly becoming aware of the intervention, becoming aware of what they were about enter and where they were heading to. And then when you finally enter, your sensation changes, you are underneath and inside the tent, with a hard curved ceiling swelling above you. A colossal ball of light stuns as one enters, changing colour as you dance in its tracks reflecting from the walls and floor. This giant sun creates a new light, in the new space, defining the difference between the new space and the original, transforming the warehouse.

Santomà's floating nest transformed the old factory into a new construction, he created new space within the original walls, creating a construction within a construction.


When propositioned with the project Santomà naturally wanted to create a public space, a place where people could contemplate, observe and experience new sensations. Afterall he says, “architecture is much more transparent than one thinks, the use of architecture is to give something to the people, a hospital, a school, a bridge”. This project was born to enhance and encourage social interaction, whether the people were dancing or not, “it’s like a bridge” he says, “built for cars to pass over, but it can also be seen or used in other ways”.


"Pista de Baile" A text by Chus Martinez

From time to time, artistic practice puts an emphasis on the needs of society as a whole, not because they are following a trend, but because artists internalize a desire to communicate what they do to the world. Currently we are in a phase where nature and sustainability are prevalent. The artists propose to shape the eloquence of all kinds of creatures, or they engage in the research of developing organic materials to avoid plastics and non-degradable waste.

Guillermo's Santomà’s proposal for the Intermediae warehouse and Ciudad Bailar program is in this sense, paradoxical. A large mesh contains a concrete mantle in the form of a roof and a large powerful ball of light provides us with a little warmth, like a new sun. At first glance, there does not seem to be much nature in the idea, but maybe there is. Guillermo Santomà’s cave, more than resonating playful architecture or a forest…portrays a material that seems more real, that crude solid for which our coast is destroyed, and our hotels are build. That same material with which we have built those houses of which there are millions, as well as our roads and highways. That cement that shows a society on the lookout for a bargain.

It seems logical that we shelter in that cement cave, to make things easy for ourselves and create an extension capable of facilitating the community, being naturally in a place of great beauty but that you recognize and is hard, like us. A cave where you can imagine listening to loud music or any form of transaction that has little to do with art except for the will of art and artists to be there. That ceiling and that light by Guillermo Santoma only say that: I want to be there, with you. Entering and exiting a cave seems like the right proposition.

All Santoma's work denotes an interest in the systematic transformation of the ways of objectifying, organizing, analyzing and, therefore, of transmitting. To do this, he uses relatively simple mechanisms, altering familiar objects, or, in this case, creating a redundancy between a pre-existing industrial warehouse and his own industrial cave. Altering a space or an object while at the same time preserving its defining features, in order for it to still be recognized, can have a much greater ergonomic effect on our habits than engaging in totally new ones. The abstract industrial cave, so to speak, this orientation, originates new ritual processes between the individuals who gather in it.