RAIZVANGUARDA welcomes the new architect/artist, Roberto Uribe Castro. He is currently working collaboratively with our other artist in residence, Wie-yi T. Lauw on a project, which includes the burnt forests around Góis. If you’d like to know more about Castro’s project, read his interview below.
Tell us about yourself, what do you do?
I am an architect who lives and works in Berlin.
In which field of art do you work, what topics are important for you as an artist?
Through my work, I intend to relate space, history and the politics that shape them. I am interested mainly in the urban spaces such as squares, streets, markets and in general what is considered public space, but lately, I am also very interested in the rural landscapes and the relation between them and the urban areas. For me, there is always a tension between center and periphery, not only in the physical part, also in the social and in the political and how does that reflect on our surroundings.
What are you passionate about?
I am very passionate about architecture and art. To me, such a distinctive separation between the two of them isn’t that clear. I guess that idea reflects in my work. At least I do intend in my work to erase that line. In my work, history, philosophy, and poetry play a key role, therefore I read as much as I can about topics that interest me, it helps me to clarify my visions and thoughts.
Where are you from?
I was born in Bogotá, Colombia.
What is your educational background?
I studied architecture in Bogotá and Dublin. Right after I graduated I started to work in the studio of Doris Salcedo, that together with my experience in urban research have shaped pretty much my artistic and architectural practice. I also did some photography in Madrid for a year. Later, I did a Masters in Space Strategies in Berlin which helped me to clarify my path as an artist.
What attracted you to come to RV as residents?
In the past, I have worked mainly in urban environments and I had the feeling, by working in big cities, that there was a part of the picture I was missing. Traveling through the countryside of Spain, I realized how empty and abandoned some areas in Southern Europe are. I know the phenomena is pretty widespread all over the world so I wanted to find a place where I could work and experience this.
What project are you working on?
I usually work on various projects in parallel. At the moment I am very interested in places, towns, and cities that are slowly being abandoned. For different reasons, people (especially young ones) are leaving small villages for the big metropolis. From traditions to languages, there is a large part of the culture that gets lost because of this. In Europe, that has become a problem at many levels. An example is how everything that happens in rural areas seems to be less important or have a minor relevance from the perspective of politicians. In my opinion, what happens anywhere is to some extent affecting us directly in a larger or minor way. My residency at RAIZVANGUARDA is for many reasons crucial at this point in my research and production phase for different projects. The fires that happened in 2017 in Portugal have enormous relevance and importance, but in the eyes of many people living in the capitals and big cities, it doesn’t seem so significant. The case of the fires in this area is a perfect example. In the news, the fires seem abstract and the people who died in them get lost when all you see are numbers. The fact that so many people died last year (over 100) and that this week already 4 have perished shows the lack of politics to prevent such tragedies. It is in many ways similar to what happens with the refugees who drown at sea.
What is your favorite part of RV?
From the view you have sitting in the studio to the time spend and share with other artists there is a long list of things I like of RV.
You can also watch the video
Castro did with Wie-yi T. Lauw about their project.