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Absolut Art Bureau at Art Basel Miami Beach-Güiro: An art bar installation by Los Carpinteros
Rendering of Güiro (2011), an art bar installation by Los Carpinteros in collaboration with Absolut Art Bureau©Los Carpinteros/Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery.

MIAMI, FL.- Absolut Art Bureau, the unit responsible for Absolut’s art initiatives, is delighted to continue its ongoing collaboration with Art Basel as an Associate Sponsor of Art Basel Miami Beach, the most prestigious art show in the Americas, and announce the launch of a new site-specificart bar installation by artist duo Los Carpinteros for South Beach’s vibrant Oceanfront.

For the 11th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach (6 – 9 December 2012), Absolut Art Bureau will continue Absolut’s nearly 30-year commitment to the arts as a fi rst-year Associate Sponsor of Art Basel. Holding discourse and the sharing of ideas as central to its mission, Absolut Art Bureau is the Presenting Partner of Art Basel Conversations as one of its many involvements in Miami during Art Basel’s prestigious show. Art Basel Conversations is a lively forum with programming ranging from artists sharing insight into their creative practices, to global art world opinion leaders including museum directors, curators, collectors, gallery directors and critics gathering to discuss some of today’s most important issues in the global art market and wider art community. In addition to championing a physical platform for debate during Art Basel Miami Beach, Absolut Art Bureau will make these world-class discussions accessible through an enhanced digital platform.

“Absolut Art Bureau is a great partner for Art Basel. Their support for Art Basel Conversations helps us share artworld ideas to a wider global audience. And we’re really looking forward to seeing their Güiro by Los Carpinteros on the Oceanfront.” Marc Spiegler, Director, Art Basel

Continuing the conversation outdoors, Absolut Art Bureau will present Güiro. Following the success of Jeremy Shaw’s bar The Kirlian at Art Basel in Basel last June, Absolut Art Bureau will collaborate this year with the Cuban-born, Madrid-based Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodriguez, the artist collective known as Los Carpinteros, to present an art bar installation conceived as Gesamtkunstwerk. Güiro will be located on the Oceanfront, home to art-related activities programmed by Art Basel for the past 10 years, and fl anked by Art Basel Miami Beach’s Art Public featuring outdoor works and performances in Collins Park.

Los Carpinteros’s large-scale construction draws on the concept of an open-air art bar inspired by the güiro, the ubiquitous Cuban percussion instrument made from a dried hard-shell, tropical fruit, invented by the pre-Colombian Taíno inhabitants of Cuba. It is also the word used in Cuban slang to connote a party. Oval in shape, the slatted structure will be lit from within to emphasize its gridded design. Its rectangular openings will function as seating for visitors, while the center will be occupied by a round bar complete with Absolut cocktails. The shelves will store a selection of books, bottles, and random objects selected by the artists. Güiro will be accompanied by a curated program of live music, performances and activities for an immersive experience of all senses. Distinguished Mallorcan composer Joan Valent has conceived a special program of music highlighting the sounds of the güiro instrument to give visitors a sense of the inspiration behind the visual artists’ creation on all fronts.

In addition to its utilitarian function and musical references, Güiro expands on a body of recent work by Los Carpinteros which fashion civic spaces from the architectural language of panopticon prisons. The distinct circular configuration of the panopticon prison was developed in the 18th century by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham and allowed a centrally placed guard to watch numerous prisoners placed along the perimeter. The most recent example of this series by Los Carpinteros was Sala de Lectura Ovalada (2011) – a ten-foot high reading room devoid of books – on view at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York in the spring of 2011.

The Havana-based collective Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters) has created some of the most important work to emerge from Cuba in the past decade. Formed in 1991, Los Carpinteros (consisting of Marco Castillo, Dagoberto Rodríguez, and, until his departure in June 2003, Alexandre Arrechea) adopted their name in 1994, deciding to renounce the notion of individual authorship and refer back to an older guild tradition of artisans and skilled laborers. Interested in the intersection between art and society, the group merges architecture, design, and sculpture in unexpected and often humorous ways. They create installations and drawings that negotiate the space between the functional and the non-functional. The group’s elegant and mordantly humorous sculptures, drawings, and installations draw their inspiration from the physical world—particularly that of furniture. Their carefully crafted works use humor to exploit a visual syntax that sets up contradictions among object and function as well as practicality and uselessness.

Los Carpinteros’ works are part of the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and The Tate Modern, London, among others. Free Basket, a site-specific work commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2010, is permanently installed in the 100 Acres Park on the museum’s grounds. They are the subject of a major monograph, Los Carpinteros: Handwork Constructing the World, published by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary and Walther König in 2011.

Absolut Art Bureau | Art Basel | Art Basel Miami Beach | Marc Spiegler |

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