Karlos Gil

Artist selected by Armengol, David at 2011
More artist content updated at 2016

Reality is now translated by art through signs and has been revealed as just another sign. Science fiction combines two apparently opposing ways of understanding reality – science and fantasy. Both terms have expanded their field of meaning to the extent that fiction appears as reality and vice versa. Everything that apparently happens in an impossible fashion is totally coherent within this symbiosis.


My work explores the conflict between real and fictitious and the different ways in which art reprogrammes the contemporary world through codes of representation in film.



1. What made you choose art as a profession?
I’ve never really had to make this choice; it slowly happened over time. Now art is another part of my creative activity, although I put more energy and time into it with every passing day.


2. How would you define your work?
I simply like to play a part in the conflict between reality and fiction, between credibility and credulity. I try to raise questions about the possibility of being.


3. What subjects are you interested in?
Fantasy, science fiction, information, fear of the future, hope, language, humour, terror, science, pseudoscience, the absurd, the worst films ever, utopia, technology, where I come from, where I’m going, stories never told, space Westerns… practically everything, including home shopping!


4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
Any materialised or dematerialised form that helps me shape the discourse of the work in question, although I’m interested in archives, film, false documentaries, collage, models, computer hypertexts and spaces for sending messages from political programmes.


5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
It’s definitely a love/hate relationship. Reality is simply an agreement struck by humans in order to talk. Reality is now translated by art through signs and has been revealed as just another sign (signifier and signified). I like to travel from the real to the fictitious and vice versa, although the most exciting thing is to create other possible realities and place them in the same plane of meaning.


6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
For me art is a medium that usually works as a privileged image. What comes to mind is that scene from Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus (1950) where the characters cross over into another reality through a mirror. As to its point, besides many others, I image that art offers a very specific and particular way to read and interpret certain taxonomies. It’s also the perfect excuse to explore limits.


7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
I don’t really see myself as a relational artist, i.e. I prefer the public to decide what kind of relationship they want with my work, although ideally they’d feel the same things I feel with work by other artists. I’m aiming at anyone and everyone with the slightest interest.


8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I graduated in fine art, a time from which I only value the contact I now have with friends and some teachers. Afterwards I had two grants, an Erasmus in Lisbon and a Leonardo in Berlin. That was where I really started to develop a learning and research methodology in keeping with my work, thanks largely to the close contact with artists, gallery directors and thinkers I was lucky enough to share the long winters with. This year I started to work on my PhD thesis project, where my relationship with my tutor is key. Sometimes it’s not about what you achieve, but everything you find until to reach it – that’s true knowledge.


9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
Right now I spend entire days shut up in my studio, working, producing and researching the different projects I’m involved with. In the future I hope to continue making contact with people or groups following a similar or different line of work to my artistic interests and continue to design research projects or specific subjects. At a professional level, my future intention is to continue the good work dynamics from last year and play an active role in the national and international art context.


10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
It’s tricky. Being a ‘young’ or ‘up-and-coming’ artist meaning working for free most of the time, although sometimes you can manage to get some of the budget for producing pieces. I’ve always thought there are lots of possibilities. Obviously money is important for living, but it doesn’t really have a bearing on the content of the work. It might affect Jeff Koons, but not me.


11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
So far I’ve been very lucky. There’s been a perfect symbiosis with almost all the agents I’ve worked with. For me there has to be close contact with curators to work on projects together and think horizontally on shared ideas on art and curating. If you follow this approach, everyone benefits.


12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
There are lots of differences between Madrid and Berlin. There are still very few independent spaces or spaces for collaboration between different areas (art, design, architecture, curating, theory, philosophy, etc.) in Madrid, although good things are moving this way. Another key factor is economic issues. Berlin is full of artists because it’s easy to live, work and have a studio without dying in the attempt like in Madrid. I should say, though, that Berlin’s unique characteristics make it culturally incomparable with other European cities. I’d say Madrid is at an embryonic stage: there are more and more high-quality projects by artists, curators and wide-ranging research groups.



Curriculum vitae

Karlos Gil
Toledo, 1984.
Vive y trabaja en/Lives and works in: Madrid.


Formación Académica/Education
School of Visual Arts, New York.


MAC+I, Master en Arte, Creación e Investigación, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Certificado de Aptitud Pedagógica, CAP, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Licenciado en Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Exposiciones Individuales/Solo Exhibitions
Colorless Green Ideas, García | Galería, Madrid.


Space & Language, Faculdade de Belas Artes, Universidade de Lisboa.


Exposiciones Colectivas/Group Exhibitions
Art Souterrain, STM, Montreal.


La condición narrativa, La Capella, Barcelona.
III Moscow International Biennale, MMOMA, Moscow.
Lejos de casa, Galería MASart, Barcelona.
Parataxis, La Casa Encendida, Madrid.
Iceberg, Matadero Madrid, Madrid.
Everything Flows (PANTA REI), Galería Rina Rouwen, Madrid.

Les Rencontres Internationales, Centre Pmpidou, Paris.
SVA OPen Studios, School of Visual Arts, New York.
Estación Experimental. Investigaciones y fenómenos artísticos, CA2M, Madrid; LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón.


(In)visivilidad y (Des)control, Espacio Proyectos, Galería Fernado Pradilla, Madrid.
IKAS-ART, Bilbao Exhibition Centre, BEC, Bilbao.
Intransit, Sala del c Arte c, Museo del Traje, Madrid.


Fresh, Ulf Saupe Galerie, Berlin; Das Hotel, Berlin.
Codified, Diaspora Vibe Gallery, London.


Zeppelin Festival 08, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, CCCB, Barcelona.
The mean and the meaning, Puente sonoro, Festival Internacional de la Imagen, Bogotá.
Beyond the abyect, Collision 08, London.


Group-Show, Sociedad Nacional Belas Artes, Lisboa.
VideoDrome, Restart, Instituto de Criatividade, artes e novas tecnologias, Lisboa.


Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
Certamen Jóvenes Artistas 2010, InJuve, Instituto de la Juventud, Castilla La-Mancha. (1er Premio/1st Award)


Beca Leonardo, Maribel López Gallery, Berlin. (Selección/Selected)


Beca Cátedra Juan Gris, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. (Beca Taller/Workshop Grant)
Beca Erasmus, Faculdade de Belas Artes, Universidade de Lisboa. (Selección/Selected)
Córdoba. Eutopía 06, I Festival Europeo de la Creación Joven, Córdoba. (Selección/Selected)


Obra en Museos y Colecciones/Works in Museums and Collections
Sonoscop, Archivo de Arte Sonoro, CCCB, Barcelona.
Archivo Intransit, C arte C, Madrid.
Puente sonoro, Festival Internacional de la Imagen, Bogotá.
Junta de Comunidades de Castilla La-Mancha.



Rivera, Abraham, Nosotros-art.com, 1/X/2012.
Pardo, Tania, Colorless Green Ideas, Exit Express, 1/X/2012.
Carpio, Francisco, "Pasen y lean", ABC de las Artes y las Letyras, 29/XI/2012.
Muñoz-Alonso, Lorena, "Experimental Station. Research and Artistic Pehnomena", Frieze.com, 3/VIII/2011.
Taking / Giving, Madrid, CA2M, 15/V/2010
VV.AA., "Sci-Fi Tags", Madrid, Extraball, 1/IX/2010.
Barnils, Alex, “Blumen und Feuer”, Tip Berlin, 23/XIX/2009.
Taylor, Nick, “Black Paper”, The new Strange Times, n. 3, London, 1/VI/2008.
Martínez, Myriam, “Contenedores íntimos”, Diario del Alto Aragón, n. 7994, p. 36, Zaragoza, 14/V/2008.
"Cuadernos de la Cátedra Juan Gris", Madrid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2007, Cat. Exp.