Folkestone Triennial 2 September – 5 November 2017
Womad Festival 25 – 30 July 2017
Named after Rubén Blades’ song and taking after the Latino tradition of giving proper names to houses, Sol Calero presented Casa Anacaona as a traveling installation, journeying from the Womad Festival to thevFolkestone Triennial in the UK. Casa Anacaona evolves abstract ideas of the coast and sea through a 100 square metre walk-in installation of gates, screens, doors, walls, windows, bespoke furniture, paintings and cut-out fittings alluding to aquatic ephemera. Painted in the color palette and patterns that are recurrent in Calero’s practice, the pavilion’s interior is decorated with elements created by participants in the workshops that were organized during the piece’s stay at Womad, and the space hosted a series of activities open to the public during the Triennial, such as salsa lessons, painting workshops or cooking classes. Casa Anacaona is a site-specific installation, consisting of the design of a structure and a furniture set, created in collaboration with local artists and in response to the requirements of the environment. The structure functioned as a platform for social interaction, as well as a bridge of collaboration between a pre-existing local network, and as a stage for events to take place. In Casa Anacaona, the aesthetic conception of the structure continued along the lines of Sol Calero’s previous work, in which the appropriation of a pictorial language that often breaches the frame of painting entails the insidious homogenization of diverse cultures into an abstract lexicon of signs. This layer of recognizable appearance makes the work both accessible and allows for an implied approach on the complexity of identity construction. The activation of the structures and spaces created under this aesthetic is essential to Sol Calero’s practice, and in this occasion it translated into a long process of working with a diverse range of collectives and groups from the area, taking part in the construction, painting, furniture-making, and conceptualization of the use of the platform. Casa Anacaona was the first in an upcoming series of outdoor architectures of analogous format. This structure and the way it operates represent a concept to be applied to many contexts as an open frame for activities, cooperation and synergies. It is projected from the understanding that each new context brings new specificities such as the necessities of the local community, the activities that are going to take place within it, and the physical space where it is located.