Impressive and surprising, those are the words that best define the new Art Center of the Labor University, in Gijón. A cultural space of futuristic dyes, with diaphanous architecture, bulky spaces and technological contents that attract the public like a magnet and wrap it in an artistic atmosphere, at the same time industrial, media or cyber.
A domotic museum and live, renewed with continuous applications that arise from chat and blogs on the internet, webcams, email, which seeks analogies in video games, which is projected on walls or broadcast by plasma plants, and all with a deeply interactive vocation, which adds a functional component lacking in the large art galleries.
A huge space, with a total of 14.400 square meters of surface, more than 4.000 destined to exhibition halls, some 700 for workshops and laboratories and more than a thousand for LabCafé, a multipurpose place that, in addition to cafeteria and restaurant, hosts concerts and performances.
Its dimensions bring it closer to the great museums, but at the bottom of so many square meters it beats a different essence, with proposals that are not found in other centers of contemporary art, as it seeks experimentation around new concepts and artistic languages. To this end, it trains new talent, grants artistic scholarships, itinerant tour programs in Asturian towns to hunt new audiences, promotes festivals and seminars, awards prizes and publishes publications.
Everything with a pragmatic perspective, when understanding creativity as the most important thing to boost scientific growth. At the bottom of its philosophy, the Centro de Arte de la Laboral aims to discover new creative processes for the good of society, and that is why it is clearly presented as a "laboratory." The "Labor" brand itself, with "Lab" underlined, indicates the will to be.
To begin, and with international character, Gijón has brought together the most prestigious curators in the field of new media art. Resulting in a first exhibition that already indicates the essentially innovative approach of La Laboral, with an emphasis on new media and new technologies. In fact the managers of the center want to ride four major annual exhibitions in the field of visual arts and another four in the field of industrial creation. There will also be projects in the rooms called "platforms" (rooms that unite the two main ones) and whose protagonists will be chosen by juries from both thematic contexts.
The equipment comes from old workshops of the Campus of the Laboral, reconverted and expanded to meet the needs of the new center, and is already the flagship of a larger project: the City of Culture, which will try to take full advantage of the space of the old University. A mammoth building as a whole, two and a half times greater than El Escorial, built during the dictatorship by the architect Luis Moya Blanco and considered the most important architectural work of Asturias in the twentieth century. Conceived in principle as an independent, closed and self-sufficient city, in line with the autarkism of the Franco regime, the Labor now faces the challenge of giving a new use to its colossal interior space. The imminent City of Culture will be opening little by little to new concerns and groups, and the Higher Center for Dramatic Art, a Theater and a Conservatory, among other facilities, is already underway.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com
Information of interestAddress / Location:
The Meadows, 121
Telephone: 985 185 577
· From Wednesday to Friday from 10 to 19 hours
· Saturdays from 12 to 19 hours.
· Sundays, Monday and Tuesday closed.
Free guided tours without prior reservation. From Wednesday to Saturday, at 12.30 and 16.30 hours. More information: La Laboral Art Center