San Rafael Cultural House Goes to London

Private view: Monday 18 of September 6-10 pm

Exhibiton dates: 19-25 of September

So excited to welcome the first of three artist-run spaces at Chalton this Autumn. La Casa de Cultura San Rafael is bringing an exhibiton and a diverse programme of concerts, workshops, talks and colour for a whole week. 

We start on Monday the 18th of September with an opening including over 15 mexican artists and a concert of experimental electronic music followed by a little party at the Cock Tavern with live acustic music.


With an exhibition of more than twenty artistic works, from established and emerging artists, that represent a panorama of production and artistic styles from the City of Mexico. During the week the Casa de Cultura San Rafael in the Chalton Galery, also present at least three ‘improvised’ concerts. The first is with the mexican visual artist and composer Arcangelo Constantini, Dr, Nexus, Milo Taylor and Adriana Camacho. The second is with a group of ‘electroprehispánic music” called Cataratas del Niágara, and the other with an ensamble of Mexican, and avante garde musicians from London incluiding Blanca Regina. Also there will be a painting workshop at the Chalton Gallery for it’s neighbours and interested artistis. 


Since January 2016 Casa de Cultura San Rafael (CCSR) has evolved to become a center of artistic initiation, artistic production, and cultural diffusion. In 2016 fourty five experimental, contemporary, free-jazz, avant garde music concerts, coordinated by composer Adriana Camacho, took place in the Casa de Cultura San Rafael (CCSR) with important Mexican and international musicians such as: Elliot Levin, Alexander Bruck, Gibran Andrade, Carlos Alegre, Maricarmen Graue, Adriana Camacho among other important artists in the music scene. At the same time 15 individual exhibitions took place, including artists such as Eloy Tarsicio, Roberto Turnbull, Gabriel Castaños Mora, Néstor Quiñones, Taka Fernández, Julián Madero, Mareck Wolfryd, Marco Aviña, Marcelo Balzaretti among others. Also 6 collective exhibitions, including one with direct wall interventions coordinated by Demián Flores; and a nude art exhibition including the works of more than 40 participating artists from various figure drawing workshops such as Espectro Electromagnético. 

During the last 2 years, 8 plays were presented by 4 companies that also rehearsed in the CCSR. A cycle of 12 lectures took place that were coordinated by the INAH (Historical Research Center on History and Politics in Mexico) and they were based on social movements of the last 70 years. Complementing the theatre shows, a series of discussions took place with prestigious cultural promoters about the problems that Houses of Culture such as CCSR face in Mexico.

Half a dozen poetry recitals were coordinated by Xilote magazine. Also, a long cycle of lectures called “My History of Art” that were part of the XIII International Symposium on Theory of Contemporary Art, curated by artista Frederik Mosh. They took place with more than 40 artists and curators active in the Mexican contemporary art scene. 

Last but not least, 14 workshops took place including the following themes; Nahuatl, Short Stories, Children's Visual Arts, Screen-printing, Engraving, Drawing, Nude Drawing, Theater, Guitar, Painting for Adults, Choir practice, and an intensive summer course for children on engraving, by “Taller El Ajolote.” This graphic collective create artworks every day in the CCSR with a lot of young and emergent artists from the Mexico City street art scene.

Sadly, in Mexico City, there is a lack of cultural policies throughout the different levels of government, and Houses of Culture remain removed from state budgets. With this barrier the hectic cultural activity of the CCSR seems unusual, however since January 2016, artists, musicians, actors, researchers and cultural promoters have been invited to use CCSR, to make it their own. In one year the Casa de Cultura San Rafael has become a dynamic space for creators and promoters, where they can experiment, work and present their artistic projects. One could say that today the CCSR impressively reflects the concept of the ‘House of Culture’ as defined by French art theorist André Malraux: "The State must create Houses of Culture; a place where artists are constantly creating, and ordinary people can enter to converse with these artists and learn from their experiences and techniques, and also give them ideas for new projects.”