Daniel Chust Peters
As a young man, Daniel Chust Peters moved to Barcelona, where he pursued studies in Fine Arts until 1990. After living in France for some time, he returned to Barcelona to present his work in numerous group exhibitions, including La casa, il corpo, il cuore, which travelled to a number of cities in central Europe. Among the solo exhibitions of his work that have been held in various cities, Aire acondicionado, which was presented at the Palacete del Embarcadero in Santander in 2000, is particularly noteworthy. In recent years, his work has also been shown at the Joan Miró Foundation and Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona, as well as in various French cities. Daniel Chust often reinvents real architectural spaces, turning them into object-models that can be used to perform a particular function (for example, a playground, a planter and so on). The most peculiar aspect of his work is that the architectural model he uses is often his own workshop. In each case he reproduces the space where he engages in his personal and professional pursuits. Not without a certain irony, this device succeeds in shifting the focus of the art to the real world. His workshop—his occupation as an artist—is itself the subject of his work; but with a quick pirouette, his art itself dissolves in practice and experience. In the Gira-sol project (2001) thirty different models of his studio were presented. Another example of this apparent obsession is the work Cielo mío (1996), consisting of two wooden dollhouses that recreate his workshop and the Rekalde 2 exhibition space in Bilbao. By turning these spaces into playthings, Chust resizes the character of the art object and gives it a function. At the same time, he uses it to construct a critical device that questions the uses of architecture and offers an ironic comment on the art circuit. Challenging the notion of exchange value that seems to underlie the organisation of the art system, Daniel Chust repeatedly invokes play and fun experiences—activities people engage in for their own sake, with no ulterior motive. At a certain point, the nature of the references to the artist’s own studio undergoes a shift. In Saltar per l’aire (2007) an enormous replica of his studio moves down a mountainside, suggesting a kind of slow disappearance. In recent works (Air force one, 2009, Air race, 2010), his investigation of architectural spaces has moved on to other locations and, importantly, involves the appearance of real people whose role is to embody those spaces.
Andrea Aguado Alemany