Flota – Centro Cultural Ambulante, 2023

Gabriel Chaile, Flota – Centro Cultural Ambulante, 2023; Painted steel, aluminum, rubber, clay, brick, wood, plates, cutlery, cups, fabric, megaphones, bluetooth speaker; Circa: 171 × 140 × 100 cm

This sculpture is part of the series Flota – Centro Cultural Ambulante. It is a clay oven-like sculpture shaped as a traditional communal bread furnace. Bearing humanoid features, the sculpture integrates Pre-Columbian religious and cultural motifs.

Developed from a project originally conceived for the Kunsthalle Lissabon, the sculpture is part of a series made for his first solo exhibition in Portugal since he relocated from Argentina.

As the work’s title suggests, the project stems from the idea of an itinerant cultural center that travels through public spaces and gathers popular knowledge of different communities, serving as an active laboratory for the production of art and music. Many of the artist’s projects are developed with the participation of his community of friends. Their different personal stories, music, and culinary traditions unify in this project to reflect the experiences of migration. If remembering our traditions seems to be what defines us, spreading and merging them with others is what allows traditions to survive over time. Gabriel Chaile has deeply understood the power of heritage and the importance of sharing it, not only to carry out an act of conservation but above all to build new communities of friends, colleagues, and families all united by what they hold most dear: the feelings of hospitality, generosity, and sociability.