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Portrait of Los Carpinteros, Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York © Los Carpinteros

Los Carpinteros

Dagoberto Rodríguez, artist, and Michelle Bird, curatorial assistant, department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art. The Havana-based collective Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters) has created some of the most important work to emerge from Cuba in the past decade. Formed in 1991 by Marco Castillo, Dagoberto Rodríguez, and Alexandre Arrechea (who departed in June 2003), the group adopted its current name in 1994, deciding to renounce the notion of individual authorship and refer back to an older guild tradition of artisans and skilled laborers. Interested in the intersection of art and society, the group merges architecture, design, and sculpture in unexpected and often humorous ways. For Los Carpinteros, drawing has played an integral role as a mock technical draft of a blueprint that suggests not only a process of artistic elaboration but also a form of architectural or carpentry plans. In this conversation, which took place on February 8, 2011 as part of the Works in Progress series at the National Gallery of Art, Dagoberto Rodríguez discusses the practice and upcoming projects of Los Carpinteros with Michelle Bird.