Circular Art Festival, Madrid 2019

The ‘Madrid Street Art Project’ invited seven national and international artists to Madrid between 7th to 19th October 2019, for the first edition of Circular, a festival of artistic interventions in public space, created with recycled and found materials, in the area of San Cristóbal de los Ángeles, Villaverde, in the south of Madrid.

By taking Circular to this area, we wanted to contribute to cultural decentralization and democratization of art in Madrid city, taking art to all kinds of audiences. Madrid Street Art Project

Artists invited were Aïda Gómez, Brad Downey, Clemens Behr, Elbi Elem, Marina Fernández, Octavi Serra and Sue975.

Circular is an art festival which will produce artistic interventions in the public space, created with recycled and found materials; these interventions are easily associated to street-art but at the same time want to stay way from how street-art is mainly conceived nowadays, where big murals have a dominant role. Circular aims to help to revert the process which has taken street-art far from human scale and somehow take it back there. Besides, by promoting the use of found materials for the interventions, we launch the debate about a second life for objects, responsible consumption and leveraging of resources, focusing on sustainability, recycling and the role of people in our cities. Madrid Street Art Project

Aïda Gómez created ‘Ping Pong Pang tables’ and are conceived from the design of old models of video game controllers. The new shapes and lines of the tables make it essential to invent new rules for the game. The result introduces the necessary material to move us to a digital game among strangers, in a totally analog and in-person game. In addition, it is also an invitation to reflection: What do we do with all our digital scrap? Where are obsolete game console models stored? Can anything else be done with them?

Brad Downey made an installation with a modified Spanish flag and a scarf with a message found inside a neighbourhood bar for Circular. This was intended to address among other current issues the project of controlled extermination of the Argentine parrots in Madrid or the convictions of Catalan politicians, news both emerged during the celebration of the festival. However, the intervention was initially withdrawn because it was not in its final location, and then not reinstalled.

The four sculptures of Clemens Behr were made with techniques close to DIY from found and donated wood and recycled materials. All of them were integrated into space and revolved around the principle of collage and its spatial unfolding through assembly. The wheels installed at the bottom of 3 of them allowed anyone to modify their location and interact with it directly.

Elbi Elem sculpture ‘Mercar‘ is a suspended sculpture made with mostly recycled materials and found in the San Cristóbal neighbourhood and the Marconi polygon. The final design was improvised, and inspired by the materials found. They are generally expressive works that evoke dynamism; In this case and because of the chosen location, the piece is inspired by urban life, and specifically in the San Cristóbal market.

This intervention by Marina Fernández shows the planted or planted land where various initiatives of community gardens in Villaverde are located: Huerto Ladis, Huerto El Cruce, Huerto Dehesa del Boyal, Huerto Urbano El Butarque, Huerto Felipe Reyero of the Health Centre. It is a hand-woven flowerbed which displays a map of the district from which plants emerge in the areas where the localised community gardens are located.

Smile by Octavi Serra is made from plastic waste found in the streets of San Cristobal. It is the clueless smile, the one that knows the problem but looks away to avoid facing him and being able to continue living peacefully in self-deception. A beautiful smile made with one of the most dangerous materials on the planet.

Wild Style by SUE975 is a specific intervention created with boxes of fruit collected in shops and mobile stalls in the San Cristóbal neighbourhood. It intends from its conceptualisation, creation and materialisation process, to value the importance of the sustainable use of the materials and waste we generate. The piece is also an allegory in the wild style that for years has proliferated in all graffiti in the world, extolling its incisive forms and its tangled structure.

Circular is a project by Madrid Street Art Project whose first edition has been possible thanks to the support of a subsidy granted by the Area of ​​Culture and Sports of the Madrid City Council.

Photo/ artist description Madrid Street Art Project

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