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Mateo Maté

Personal Universe

March 13 - June 27, 2012
Abadía del Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos (Burgos)

Mateo Maté (Madrid, 1964) uses ordinary objects from daily life, in many cases even objects linked to his own domestic routine, to explore how in late modernity the spaces we inhabit are racked with tension and violence, where what is private and social, political and existential, individual and collective mix together and become blurred. Interested in the potential symbolic value of the cartographic metaphor, Maté creates sculptural and performative spaces which, although they seem familiar to us, are also profoundly unsettling, as if they were plagued with latent dangers, perturbing enigmas. In his work, the Madrid-born artist suggests that in a context such as this one, in which our most immediate surroundings have become undecipherable geographies, full of threats and uncertainties, we must rethink and reinvent the notion of living, we must be capable of surpassing our gaze and concretising once again the spaces and objects around us.

Often recurring to irony, while seeking the critical involvement of spectators and also a certain randomness, Mateo Maté's installations – in which we can find anything from a sculpture made with piles of newspapers to furniture in the shape of a country, and including unmade beds and tables with leftover food that are visited by toy trains and planes equipped with small cameras – explore issues such as the construction of identity, the increasing militarisation of the domestic sphere, the experience of uprootedness, the relationship between art and life, the emergence of video-surveillance as a new narrative of contemporaneity and the internalisation and naturalization of power mechanisms.

Personal universe is an installation developed by Mateo Maté specifically for the Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos (in the province of Burgos), a Romanesque abbey still inhabited by a small community of Benedictine monks who, although they do not reject certain conveniences and advantages of the modern world (such as computers and medical progress), still organise their daily life according to the strict timetable established by the founders of the order. In the installation, different ordinary objects – some shoes, a pair of glasses, a book of prayers, a desk lamp – form a strange floating constellation that has a spherical wrapping. A small camera moves through the room and its mechanical gaze, fragmented and in black and white, is projected in real time on the wall of the room through which visitors gain access to the installation. Thus, by exploring the dialectic between the spiritual and the material that ecclesiastics use to build their world, Maté creates a space that is, at the same time, spectral and concrete, phantasmagoric and tangible, and that invites us to reflect on the process by which we build our own mental universe.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Mateo Maté


Current exhibitions

  • Bruce Conner. SPIDER LADY HOUSE, 1959. Wood, nylon, ice skate, doll parts, rope, jewelry, feathers, animal hair, corks, wallpaper and paper on wood. Oakland Museum of California Collection. Donation from the Collectors Gallery and the National Endowment for the Arts ©Bruce Conner, VEGAP, Madrid, 2016
    February 22 - May 22, 2017

    Bruce Conner

    It’s All True

  • Ramses Younan. Untitled, 1939. Oil on canvas
    February 14 - May 28, 2017

    Art et Liberté

    Rupture, War and Surrealism in Egypt (1938–1948)

  • Lothar Baumgarten. Photography. The ship is going under, the ice is breaking through, 2001
    November 3, 2016 - April 16, 2017

    Lothar Baumgarten

    The ship is going under, the ice is breaking through

  • Daniel Buren, Les Écrits (1965-1990), Bourdeaux: CAPC musée d’art contemporain, 1991. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Photo: Centre for Artists’ Publications, Weserburg, Bremen. © DB – VEGAP, Madrid, 2016
    September 21, 2016 – May 22, 2017
    Program: Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación
    Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación