STARTUP 5 - Page 27

Juan Esteban Sandoval ¿Quien Construye la Ciudad?

Who builds the city? is the question triggering the project started in Medellín and rethought for Barcelona, two cities sharing an extremely fast and extended urban development, for which the population has paid a price.

how much is the “new city” project close to the lives of people inhabiting it?.

Juan Esteban Sandoval’s artistic practice has its roots and is fed by the contexts it is conceived for. At the centre is the public space, intended as a series of social relations and socio-political balances the artist has been looking into for years, often involving the community in the creative process. Sandoval is interested in the relationship human beings establish with the environment and in particular in the exploitation of raw material and human labour in the urban context. This leads him to facing important social issues such as the gap among people with different buying power of resources, who manages their traffic and who provides the labour to transform them. This fundamental element of contemporary capitalism has in fact ancient origins, specifically in the so-called “discovery” of the Americas, whose natural and human resources have been forcefully expropriated. These are constant references in the work of the Colombian artist, even if they are often not made explicit.

¿Quien Construye la Ciudad? Who builds the city? is the question triggering the project started in Medellín and rethought for Barcelona, two cities sharing an extremely fast and extended urban development, for which the population has paid a price. The exhibition reasons about the question through photographic works, analysing in particular the relationship between urban development and human labour: how much is the “new city” project close to the lives of people inhabiting it?

by

Giulia Crisci

Juan Sandoval. Series Cargueros. (Barcelona - Pablo). Photography, digital print on cotton paper. 90 x 60 cm 2017