My name is Luz Broto. I am an artist from Barcelona.
I work with space, with what is only here. I look carefully at the architecture; why don't these walls reach the ceiling? To urban surroundings. Why is this plot closed after so many years in the middle of this crowded neighbourhood? To a physical position within a territory. How can I arrive here on foot with all these motorways around? To the infrastructure. Why is this dam taking so much water from the river? How do we walk at night without public lighting? To the organizational structure. Can students be at school one day without teachers? Or the regulations; why are the gallery's pillars covered by fireproof plasterboard columns? Or the protocols, Why the museum this month is closing 1 minute before time? Or the changing uses, How was the sun coming into the exhibition space when it was a church? And finally, to all the stories that have happened here.
I propose minimal operations that can change everything. "This is impossible," you say. "Let's try to make it possible," I say.
I have done site-specific projects in commissions, grants, exhibitions, or residencies in collaboration with many institutions in different countries for fifteen years. For example, we drilled a hole in MACBA's wall, so the museum was opened to the street (Open a permanent hole, 2015). We cancelled the regulations of keeping silence inside the Koldo Mitxelena library (Abrogate the rules of use relating to silence, 2016). In 'Three times a day, Secession', I used the heating or cooling system to adjust the temperature inside its central exhibition hall to Vienna's temperature (Adjust to the external temperature, 2011). Or I connected my studio to a neighbouring family house's bedroom three streets away in Bogotá while doing a FLORA residency (Tighten a line between two parallel interiors, 2018).
Some of these works are part of public collections, such as MACBA, MUSAC, MAMBO, and other private ones.
I also engage with my local art context, teaching at the University of Barcelona, being a jury and tutor at BCN Producció grant, and co-running GRAF, a communication platform for contemporary art.
Visit my website luzbroto.net to find out the propositions and stories we have done so far. Let me know if you imagine the next one.
"Tighten a line between two parallel interiors" (2018) came about from looking through my studio's window in FLORA residency in Bogotá and seeing that, three streets away in this dense neighbourhood, a stranger's window was facing mine.
I connected the two interior spaces with a 150 meter-long cable for three days. It was a non-conductive power cable, a white 3 mm thick nylon wire used for heavy fishing covered with a black heat shrink tube. I used a drone to run the cable over the rooftops. To resist the tension, I built iron structures to tie the wire ends and anchored them to the ceiling and floor in the studio and the bedroom's door frame inside the flat. The cable entered both our private spaces while the windows remained open over this time.
Looking from the street, the black cable became indistinguishable from the many power lines hanging over Bogotá's roads and neighbourhoods and going in different directions.
The proposal consisted of taking this concrete spatial coincidence to establish a new relationship between two different spaces, which were unknown to each other. The action took place during the Open Studios at FLORA, when the studios open to visitors and the neighbourhood's residents.
This work moved two distant realities closer and made us aware of our surroundings. It also underlines the word "open" and the verb "to open."
On the last day, the family came to the studio and saw their home from a distance. Some days later, they invited me over. They had moved away from initial feelings of distrust and fear to those of affection.
The documentation piece consists of the preparatory drawings, the cable, photographs of the installation, and a document where Jose and Joan, the director of Flora and the family residence's father, certified what happened during those days.