Figures of Freedom

17 september – 1 november 2020

Fernando Sánchez Castillo

This programme is part of the festival Forum on European Culture, 17 – 20 September in Amsterdam.

During the festival Forum on European Culture, we invite you to take home a miniature of the “Melilla Mauerspringer” in exchange for sharing a thought, drawing in response to the question: What does the man on the pole see from his elevated position, looking down on Europe?

In the Spanish exclave of Melilla on the North African coast, people are trying to climb over the meter-high fences every day – in search of a new home, a secure perspective. One man was captured on camera by photographer Santi Palacios and made famous as the ‘’Melila Mauerspringer”. He seems to be contemplating his situation on the top of a surveillance camera post. He seems to be above it all, literally on top of a border. By transforming the man into a sculpture, artist Sánchez Castillo addresses the issue of borders, of belonging and being excluded.

The central figure in this exhibition is that of a man perched on a surveillance post, scanning a horizon of fences, barbed wire and collective dreams. Sánchez Castillo has formalized this image through a “Memorial”, made up of a sculpture that is multiplied in 957 small figurines.

Picture by Santi Palacios