Luciano Matus, Museo Nacional de San Carlos, Mexico
Luciano Matus (México, 1971) received his Bachelor in Architecture from the Ibero-American University in 1995. He has performed interventions in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Spain, Italy, U.S.A. and India. After our meeting at La Triennale di Milano during the exhibition 999 A Collection of Question about Contemporary Living, the work of Matus seemed immediately to me as a metaphorical bridge between Italy and Mexico.
Luciano Matus, Chancellery Museum, Mexico
Annalisa Scandroglio: Zona Maco is on! One of the main art fairs of Latin America. I had the pleasure of meeting you during the exhibition 999 A Collection of Question about Contemporary Living at the Triennale di Milano. What project are you preparing for Zona Maco? Can you tell us more?
Luciano Matus: The Project I am about to show will be inaugurated on February, 8th in the Chancellery Museum in the Historical Centre of Mexico City, and it will coincide with the art fair. I am presenting the exhibit Passages (Pasajes), which is an exercise of integration of distinctive moments and elements of my work. In that show, I exhibit sculpture, installation and a series of mock-ups. The whole forms a cabinet or memory container that allows an insight of the universe of the last 30 years of my production, with emphasis in the interventions I realized on Mexico City.
Luciano Matus, Intervention of The Stone of the Sun (13th August 2010), Museo Nacional de Antropologia de Historia, Mexico
A.S. I have been impressed by one project in particular: The Stone of the Sun, the 1790’s famous discovery, the pre-columbian object comes from the Aztec and linked to the Mexican culture. What is the connection with the contemporary world?
L.M. The intervention of The Stone of the Sun (13th August 2010) had to do with an important historical coordinate for Mexico. It occurs the year the country celebrated 100 years since the Revolution (1810) and 200 years of Independence (1910). The intervention invited to commemorate the day of the fall of Tenochtitlan. It was a reminder to turn back the glance to a past in which many voids exist. It could be understood as an archeology of seeing, that which in our contemporary society can be considered as vehicle for the historical understanding.
Luciano Matus, Tempietto del Bramante, Rome, Italy
A.S. The light as a basic element and your work in Italy. What is your vision of this combination as an architect and an artist? Which one of the place you’ve visited best suits with your poetics?
L.M. The Light, The Pantheon. The main axis of my investigation in Italy has been the Pantheon of Agrippa. From there, I have been developing a study of light and perspective in representation. From the study of the Pantheon also derives the intervention of Bramante’s Tempietto.
A.S. What are the differences between Milan and Mexico as big cities, and where your work is best understood?
One has to understand the context of the collective show in Milan and the way I work with historical buildings or natural environment. It was interesting torealize an exercise within the structure of a scaffold as opposed to intervene an architectonic structure of World Wide architecture with its historical charge, its changes in use, etc… I found myself at a crossroad and I understood how essential is the dialogue that I establish with a structure when I get close to it.
For this exhibit in Milan, I proposed to create the abstraction of a nest. Thus, the initial functions of a scaffold (constructing, holding, and restoring) were turned into a temporary residency. It results very interesting to note the difference of perception between Italy and Mexico. One of the points that I would underline would be that in Italy we have one of the cradle of western culture, while Mexico is a receptor of this art which
assimilated it and generated a new way of seeing and understanding.
A.S. What kind of relationship do you have with your country and your origin?
Mexico is my life, my home, a space of possibility, of effervescence; it is a country with characteristics and problems that permit to activate our immense creativity. On the other hand, I feel that all the process of investigation and realization of the interventions in the Historical Centre of Mexico City has been a way of integrating and understanding the so complex history of Mexico since its foundation.