In 2014, renowned Cuban artistic duo Los Carpinteros created the spectacular spatial installation Helm/Helmet/Yelmo for Museum Folkwang. In an adjoining space further works by the artists are currently on display. The three architectural prototypes of reading rooms and three watercolours highlight the duo’s artistic approach. Time and again they create what are known as heterotopias – in the form of architecture, models, or drawings. According to Michel Foucault, heterotopias are self-contained places, where a new form of behaviour that counters social conventions is possible, but which is strictly regimented. Jeremy Bentham’s famous Panopticon, to which Los Carpinteros clearly allude with the steel reading rooms, is a heterotopic place. This is a circular prison building that enables all the inmates to be observed at all times. One was built in 1928 on Cuba and remained in service there until 1967.
The organic building in the watercolour Celosía Poliédrica Posada (Polyhedral Latticed Window House), on the other hand, may well be referred to as a “house”, but it seems claustrophobic, dark, uninhabitable, and ultimately is likewise reminiscent of a prison building. The works presented relate directly to the installation Helm/Helmet/Yelmo on permanent display, and put the work, which alternates between sculpture, exhibition furniture, and architecture in a new context.
The works exhibited are on loan from the Olbricht Collection.