Walking along Collins Avenue this week up by the Bass Museum and the W South Beach you may notice a large, round, wooden structure close to the beach. Check it out. It’s Guiro, an Absolut Art Bar designed by artists Marco Castillo and Dago Rodriguez, also known as Los Carpinteros. The commission is part of the Absolut Art Bureau’s new program of engaging with contemporary artists (they had a bar designed by Jeremy Shaw at Documenta in Kassel this past summer), lead by the bureau’s Vadim Girgorian.
When we heard about Guiro, we thought, what better way to kick off a new series for Whitewallmag.com, “Drinks with Whitewall”? Think “Lunch with FT” but with cocktails! We met with Dago on Wednesday evening for a quick chat and a tasty carrot, ginger, and Absolut Vodka beverage.
WHITEWALL: Were you surprised by the realized Guiro structure?
DAGO RODRIGUEZ: I was really surprised because when you have the project in the computer and you are thinking in the studio what 10 meters is, what is the meaning of measurements? Those things you can think about but you can’t realize unless the object is built. I was surprised how nicely the dimensions and the thickness of the wood came out.
We also didn’t premeditate the visuals of the inside. Outside we pretty much knew how it would look, but inside was a total surprise. And the illumination was nice to see because the way it is lit, Guiro becomes like a giant lamp.
WW: The exterior of Guiro is almost shelf-like, too.
DR: We were planning on making a library and to place alcohol and literature in it.
WW: That’s a good mix.
DR: [Laughs]. Yeah, but we couldn’t because the fire marshal said no. They said that if we wanted to put books we’d have to spray each page with an anti-inflammatory substance. And that was not worth it. But the nice discovery was that when you see the structure it’s almost better to leave it clean. It’s a crime to put something there, no?
WW: It can hold a drink well, though. We tested it out.
DR: Yes [laughs].
WW: Do you think your experience with Guiro will influence a future project?
DR: This is a very unique thing. It’s a very specific project. But the success of the construction of this will make us think about more pieces like it, for sure.
WW: How much longer will you be in Miami?
DR: I will spend one more week in Miami because my family lives here and I think I will have time to relax a little bit.
WW: That sounds lovely. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Hopefully that means, too, you won’t have to give any more interviews.
DR: I’ll get to talk in Spanish, at least!