• What do we use as a common basis in our conversations with others? How and from where do we draw on our shared knowledge and which experiences do we share? This determines, in effect, how we live together.
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Terreno Común I Common Ground provides a joint workspace to artists from Latin America and Europe. There they can shift or confront contrasting perspectives and develop new ideas. Drawing on our interwoven understanding of culture, the project focuses on finding common ground.

Artistic research in a transcultural space

If the special thing about art is its ability to help us uncover what we do not know and what we do not understand, then opportunities for interaction are essential – particularly in cross-cultural space. Art provides a testing ground where different perceptions, discourses and social structures can converge and new knowledge emerge. For this reason, Siemens Stiftung has worked with Naves Matadero – International Living Arts Centre in Madrid and other partners on an initiative that creates a professional “maker space” for artistic research and development. It includes artist-in-residence programs, urban interventions and exchanges with local artists. As the year passes, these encounters will evolve into a series of collaborative projects that are developed together by artists from Latin America and Europe.

Project ideas and new works

Sign “Do we dare to do what we say?” at the Palacio Real in Madrid.
Residents of Madrid asked themselves “Do we dare to do what we say?” at the Palacio Real.

Urban space becomes action space

From July 11 to 22, 2018, the interdisciplinary Chilean collective Mil M2 is working with the Spanish artist Javier Cruz in public spaces in Madrid. In eight districts of the city, the urban intervention project “Proyecto Pregunta” (“Question Project”) creates opportunities for encounters – the artists ask residents about the social bonds in the city and create a public forum for their questions. The project is being carried out in cooperation with Veranos de la Villa and is generating a debate about coexistence.

A rebellious city district changes continents

The Cuban writer and theater maker Laura Liz Gil Echenique is working with the Spanish collective Los Bárbaros at the Matadero Madrid. The starting point of this joint project is the history of the Madrid district Cerro Belmonte in 1990. The residents of this district had had enough of the political situation in Spain. They declared the district’s independence from Spain and sought asylum in Cuba. In August, the artists will develop the piece further in Cuba. It will premiere on November 30, 2018, at the Naves de Matadero in Madrid

The Cuban writer and theater maker Laura Liz Gil Echenique is working with the Spanish collective Los Bárbaros at the Matadero Madrid. The starting point of this joint project is the history of the Madrid district Cerro Belmonte in 1990. The residents of this district had had enough of the political situation in Spain. They declared the district’s independence from Spain and sought asylum in Cuba. In August, the artists will develop the piece further in Cuba. It will premiere on November 30, 2018, at the Naves de Matadero in Madrid

Fictional island group between cultures
The musician Julián Mayorga and the Colombian artist Andrés Gualdrón are asking themselves how we can overcome descriptions of “others.”

To what extent are we talking about ourselves when we describe others? Julián Mayorga, a musician who lives in Spain, and the Colombian artist Andrés Gualdrón, are currently working on this question at the Centro Etopia de Zaragoza, before they return to Colombia. The narrative axis of their joint project “Islas Atlánticas” (“Atlantic Islands”) is the creation of a new archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. In this parallel world between the continents, the artists explore questions about migration, settlement and cultural integration. The project is planning a book, a CD production and a concert, whose first performances are scheduled for February 15 and 16, 2019, at the Matadero in Madrid.

The musician Julián Mayorga and the Colombian artist Andrés Gualdrón are asking themselves how we can overcome descriptions of “others.”

To what extent are we talking about ourselves when we describe others? Julián Mayorga, a musician who lives in Spain, and the Colombian artist Andrés Gualdrón, are currently working on this question at the Centro Etopia de Zaragoza, before they return to Colombia. The narrative axis of their joint project “Islas Atlánticas” (“Atlantic Islands”) is the creation of a new archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. In this parallel world between the continents, the artists explore questions about migration, settlement and cultural integration. The project is planning a book, a CD production and a concert, whose first performances are scheduled for February 15 and 16, 2019, at the Matadero in Madrid.

Translation of texts in motion

The Chilean director and actress María Siebald is delving into the process of translation. In an initial research phase performed in June and July 2018, she is working with communities of the hearing impaired in Madrid on an interpretation of texts written by contemporary Spanish writers in sign language. She will build on this work in a second phase and join forces with the dancers of the National Dance Company (Compañía Nacional de Danza) for a translation and embodiment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Chilean director and actress María Siebald is delving into the process of translation. In an initial research phase performed in June and July 2018, she is working with communities of the hearing impaired in Madrid on an interpretation of texts written by contemporary Spanish writers in sign language. She will build on this work in a second phase and join forces with the dancers of the National Dance Company (Compañía Nacional de Danza) for a translation and embodiment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

What do continents share?

Geography, names or climate? In Chile, the Spanish artistic couple Rosa Casado and Mike Brookes are literally exploring common ground – the touch points between continents. With the help of Chilean researchers, they are viewing life on Earth as a bio-climatic landscape and not as a mosaic of nations – like the air that we share. The Spanish choreographer Maria Jerez will work with artists at the NAVE cultural center in Santiago de Chile to develop a room of shared knowledge in which objects of different natures coexist and will shift our perspective. The resulting productions will be seen on both continents.

Geography, names or climate? In Chile, the Spanish artistic couple Rosa Casado and Mike Brookes are literally exploring common ground – the touch points between continents. With the help of Chilean researchers, they are viewing life on Earth as a bio-climatic landscape and not as a mosaic of nations – like the air that we share. The Spanish choreographer Maria Jerez will work with artists at the NAVE cultural center in Santiago de Chile to develop a room of shared knowledge in which objects of different natures coexist and will shift our perspective. The resulting productions will be seen on both continents.

Migration from objects
For the “Correspondencia” project, an artists collective writes letters to unknown recipients - stories of everyday observation, political commentary, and societal themes.

“Colectivo Traficantes” organized the first professional “maker space” from June 25 through July 24, 2017, in Madrid. The group of artists from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Uruguay initially came together during the Experimenta Sur 2016 in Bogotá. As a multi-disciplinary collective, the group develops its artistic works using communication tools such as Skype, handwritten letters or mailed objects. Every day, countless objects move in some way around the globe – as traded goods, on computer screens or among the personal belongings of migrants. By tracking the movement of these objects, there is a lot to learn about the adaptability of societies. During a research project, the group investigated this complex interplay of personal and political realities and developed a program called “Correspondencia”, a series of activities in which the group gave new meaning to trade and communication. The results were displayed in an open project space with an exhibition, discussion and performance elements from July 18 to 21, 2017, in the Matadero Cultural Center. Afterward, the project was continued as a work-in-progress in Buenos Aires.

Colectivo Traficantes:

-        Mercedes Halfon (Argentina)

-        Laura Liz Gil Echenique (Cuba)

-        Adriana Bermúdez Fernández (Colombia)

-        Diego Alejandro Garzón (Colombia)

-        Jorge Tadeo Baldeón (Perú)

-        Leonor Courtoisie (Uruguay)

For the “Correspondencia” project, an artists collective writes letters to unknown recipients - stories of everyday observation, political commentary, and societal themes.

“Colectivo Traficantes” organized the first professional “maker space” from June 25 through July 24, 2017, in Madrid. The group of artists from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Uruguay initially came together during the Experimenta Sur 2016 in Bogotá. As a multi-disciplinary collective, the group develops its artistic works using communication tools such as Skype, handwritten letters or mailed objects. Every day, countless objects move in some way around the globe – as traded goods, on computer screens or among the personal belongings of migrants. By tracking the movement of these objects, there is a lot to learn about the adaptability of societies. During a research project, the group investigated this complex interplay of personal and political realities and developed a program called “Correspondencia”, a series of activities in which the group gave new meaning to trade and communication. The results were displayed in an open project space with an exhibition, discussion and performance elements from July 18 to 21, 2017, in the Matadero Cultural Center. Afterward, the project was continued as a work-in-progress in Buenos Aires.

Colectivo Traficantes:

-        Mercedes Halfon (Argentina)

-        Laura Liz Gil Echenique (Cuba)

-        Adriana Bermúdez Fernández (Colombia)

-        Diego Alejandro Garzón (Colombia)

-        Jorge Tadeo Baldeón (Perú)

-        Leonor Courtoisie (Uruguay)