Flatiron, 2013. Aluminium, 18 x 6.5 x .75 ft.

Contradiction is My Love, A Conversation with Alexandre Arrechea

Alexandre Arrechea, who was born in Cuba, worked as part of the well-known collaborative Los Carpinteros before embarking on a solo career in 2003. Now, he navigates between living in Spain and exhibiting in biennials from Venice to Taipei and in museums from New York to Honolulu. “The Map and The Fact,” his recent show at Magnan Metz Gallery in Chelsea, closed last month. Last year, in addition to several gallery exhibitions, he installed “No Limits,” a collection of 10 steel models of New York skyscrapers, along the Park Avenue Mall. Though recognizable, these icons came with a twist, reconfigured into unexpected new forms—a flag on a pole, a striking serpent, a pentagon, spinning tops, and an ouroboros (the snake eating its own tail). It took me a while to understand this subversive imagery. Why turn the Seagram building into an up-jutting fire hose? Why tilt a Courthouse tower to resemble a traffic barrier? As Lowery Stokes Sims explains, Arrechea “destabilizes these power symbols, thus preventing them from successfully assuming whatever political philosophy that might seek to co-opt them.” Earlier this year, No Limits, a film exploring power and architecture and featuring Arrechea’s Park Avenue works, was shown at the Rome Independent Film Festival.…see the entire article in the print version of November’s Sculpture magazine.