Yamandú Canosa (Montevideo 1954)

Has been chosen along with curators David Armengol and Patricia Betancur to represent Uruguay at the Venice Biennale in May 2019, with the exhibition: La Casa Empática.


36 Trafalgar Street, Barcelona.
19.30 to 22.00 h.


Revisiting HOTEL NADA


In the nineties, Yamandú Canosa began working on the project entitled Hotel Nada (1991-1993), which he presented in different exhibitions at the galleries Benet Costa and Ciento in Barcelona, the Centre de Lectura in Reus, and the gallery Rian Van Rijsbergen in Rotterdam. The entire project was shown at Arts Santa Mónica (CASM) in Barcelona and also at the art centers La Regenta and La Granja in the Canary Islands. Revisiting Hotel Nada recovers a series of important works from this project, placing them alongside other pieces that form part of its conceptual framework such as Incidente Aleph (1996).   


Hotel Nada is the precursor to operations occurring within the “landscape of language” situated at the center of the retrospective El árbol de los frutos diferentes (The Tree of Different Fruits) in 2011, at Fundació Suñol in Barcelona. In a recent interview, Yamandú Canosa reflected on this period:* “In a way, in 1988, I established the conceptual foundation of all my future work. It was liberating. An entire world appeared that I could wander through and begin to engage in dialogue with the contemporaneity. Ideas emerged that I have been expanding, refining and articulating ever since. Concepts that qualify the representational plane materialized: the plane as cartography, the plane as skin, the plane as concave space and the duration of the gaze. In Hotel Nada (1991-1993), cartography emerged as subject, based on, of course, the mythic drawing that Torres García made in Montevideo in 1935.** I discovered the narrative capacity of cartography. The genesis of Hotel Nada, however, was another journey to the limits suggested by my reading of Edie, the excellent biography of Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol’s muse. The book describes the atmosphere at the Chelsea Hotel in New York in the mid sixties, where dozens of people lived on the edge of experience, at its limit, along which they walked like clumsy tightrope walkers. While the titles of the works from Hotel Nada were room numbers, its subject was the construction of meaning. Images and words combined, disrupting metaphoric chains, saturating the representational plane with combinations that conveyed misleading signals about the very possibility of constructing meaning. The word “Nada” (“Nothing”) referred to the unnamed, to what existed outside the landscape of language or at its limit. I thought of myself as a linguistic “fifth columnist” boycotting the possibility of meaning. In a way, the intention of Hotel Nada was a formal reversal of the minimalist project, though with the same utopian urge to suspend meaning. Of course, I failed in the attempt. However, it was a passionate experience that left the trace of dozens of works and held out the possibility of abounding in the opening up of formal and conceptual resources.”