Solo exhibition, Galeria Elba Benítez, 2023, Madrid
Curated by George Stolz
Escola Clandestina centers around a series of sculptures that incorporate rubble from buildings demolished in Lisbon during the city’s current wave of construction and voracious real estate speculation; for Fragateiro, the traces of historical memory the rubble contains highlight the rupture, often violent, between past ideologies and present realities. Retrieved and repurposed within autonomous works of sculpture (among other compositional elements, some found, others newly fabricated), the functionless rubble can “assert” itself in ways it could not while functional, expressing its formal and material qualities as well as the social, political and economic themes it encapsulates. Moreover, the works’ rough-edged yet delicate geometrical abstractions overtly recall architecture plans — indeed, some of the compositions are based directly on floor plans by the German-Dutch architect Lotte Stam-Beese, one of the first women to study architecture at the Bauhaus and later a significant figure in the post-WWII urban development in Rotterdam — furthering the cycles of historical linkage and conceptual layering.
Photos: Luis Asin