Developed in collaboration with: Catherine Sicot (curator, Canada-France).
Produced in collaboration with engineer Andrés Victores and architect Esther Suarez.
Production Assistant/Translator: Danay Gil
MAC/SAN, site-specific to San Agustín (western suburb of Havana), addresses the practice of art in the public realm - its form(s) and its relevance from local and international points of views. The project was developed through a collective creative approach resulting from a series of residencies at LASA-laboratorio artistico de san agustín.
MAC/SAN is a hybrid: an artwork and a framework. Rooted in a conceptual approach, MAC/SAN is also contextual and proteiform ; a project that is bothsite-specific and mutable. Amongst its forms are contexts for the design and presentation of other artworks and programmes.Stimulating dialogue on the status of material and immaterial artworks, MAC/SAN also acts as a catalyst for participation, generating a broad approach to contemporary art aesthetic and politics. Combining diverse art practices, MAC/SAN will interconnect discussions often occurring in isolated silos. Hence, for its launch during the 2012 Biennial of Havana, MAC/SAN invites artists, curators, architects, journalists and scholars coming from several European, North and South American countries to contribute to its shaping and its activation.
A prototype for an institution: MAC/SAN is a museum without walls with a cross-bred nature. Currently, there is no contemporary art museum in Cuba. We propose MAC/SAN as a adaptable prototype, for contemporary art practices that explore the public realm within Cuban territory. MAC/SAN deconstructs Western museum traditions by positioning itself as a museum; by building on the economic, political and cultural context of San Agustín; and by interconnecting various artistic traditions. MAC/SAN aims to be a “one of a kind”, enriched by a mix of local and international influences.
A mandate: MAC/SAN’s vision is shaped along the exploration of the following questions:
What can a contemporary art museum be in the 21st century? What can it be for San Agustín? Can it be conceived of as a sculpture or a public monument?
What is the function of a sculpture in public space?
What can art bring to a territory?
Can artists propose relevant ways to examine and contribute to building heritage?
What new perspectives can they bring to sustainable environmental urban planning?
Can art and a new museum be an experimental and participatory platform to envision and build the future?
A vision: MAC/SAN will weave together and explore art, territory, heritage, urbanism and environment.
Protei-formalism: MAC/SAN’s vision will be implemented through the experimentation of different art forms including:
- MAC/SAN Building is the skeletonof an unfinished building appropriated by the artists - a 60 x 25 x 8 meter concrete structure - located in the heart of San Agustín. It is a sculpture; an architectural structure that embodies one of MAC/SAN’s numerous forms. Its architecture ironically reminds of the traditional white cube that hosts many modern and contemporary museums.
- MAC/SAN - sign for a 21st century institution, dedicated to contemporary art practices in the public domain in Cuba. Six giant illuminated letters – MAC/SAN –will be installed on the top of MAC/SAN Building. Referring to stereotypical contemporary and modern art museum logos, the sign performs and marks the museum entrance, suggesting the function of the architectural space. The sign cements the overall project, a necessary landmark for the project to make itself manifest.
- MAC/SAN takes on the form and space of other art projects,some of them being hosted in MAC/SAN Building, others in the streets of San Agustín, in domestic spaces, on USB sticks and on the web. Inviting artists to think about the broader concept of MAC/SANas a context for their own artwork further encourages the critical examination of its assumed functions, also introducing its potential as a framing device to examine the surrounding neighbourhood. This activity, when installed or performed in MAC/SAN Building, transforms the concrete structure de facto into a museum.