Karlos Gil and his "museum" in a "museum"

Interview with artist Karlos Gil, winner of "DKV Seguros-Álvarez Margaride” artistic production grant.

Published: May 22, 2013

We had the opportunity to speak to Toledo-born artist Karlos Gil, winner of the “DKV Seguros-Álvarez Margaride” grant. The artistic production grant is aimed at paying homage to the deceased businessman from Gijón, José Luis Álvarez Margaride, president of DKV Health Insurance. The

Moon Museum was the proposal which led to the jury’s selection of Karlos Gil, who is developing his proposal in a two-month residency at Plataforma 0 at LABoral in preparation for its opening on 22 June.

Karlos Gil bases his artistic project on the supposed project with the same name carried out by NASA in the 1960s. I say ‘supposed’ because the project was unknown until Forrest Myers revealed it in The New York Times. Nevertheless, we cannot be absolutely sure that this took place since nobody returned to the moon to prove it.

The Moon Museum was considered to be the first work of Art Space in history. This work consisted of a ceramic piece (1.9 x 1.3 cm) whose surface was engraved with works made expressly for it by artists such as John Chamberlain, Forrest Myers, David Novros, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol.

The work by Karlos Gil will be formed by an installation where we see in part the story of its origin, purpose and the current state of this secret museum on the moon.

He defines his installation as “a museum within another museum”, something of a paradox given that LABoral describes itself as a “Centre of Art and Industrial Creation” and the project by NASA interprets the concept of museum in an unconventional way.

We are looking forward to seeing the result, and in the meantime we are going to find out about certain aspects of Karlos as an artist through his words in this interview.

When did you decide that your future was in art?

A decision is a subjective concept, a mental objective. It therefore can be both an opinion and a rule. The expression "to be in art" needs to be revised as that of speaking of the future from the past.

What role does technology play in your artistic production? Which artistic technique are you most comfortable with?

I am interested in image technologies, codes, knowledge systems, its storage, information processes and technological language. They may be concepts which belong to technological or information discourse in the collective imaginary, but I prefer to treat them from multiple angles. This is the reason why I could not decide on one specific technique.

What was your first work or most important project?

I always tend to speak of Taking/Giving Information. Every lasting idea has been made from an unverifiable but verifiable story in 2011. This piece, displayed at LABoral in the exhibition Estación experimental [Experimental Station], narrates the transformation of an egg that passes its expiry date on the same day as Marty McFly travels to the future in Back to the Future II (1989)

How are you experiencing the artistic production grant? At what stage are you in the development of your work?

The project is coming along very well. For me it is an unfamiliar way of working and therefore very positive. I am fortunate in being able to work with a team such as the one at LABoral.

Who are your artistic or literary influences?

I never usually highlight anybody out of respect for the rest. I could say many names and forget so many others.

Do you think art should be in connection with society?

It has never been separated from society; it is one of the plateaus from which knowledge is produced and therefore they are always connected. What role do social networks play for you? I am interested in data visualisation, behaviour roles, the legitimacy of a post, even images of a weekend drunken spree.

Which current exhibitions do you recommend visiting?

I recommend the WERKER exhibition at García | Galería, Madrid, and the latest event curated by Belén Zahera at Salon Flux, London, which I was fortunate to take part in as an artist. Highly recommended!

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