Fernando Sánchez Castillo
Born 1970 in Madrid, Spain. Lives and works in Madrid, Spain.
Fernando Sánchez Castillo’s public sculpture, conceived for the Biennale Gherdëina, refers to the tradition of the so called “Nagelmänner" - a form of wartime propaganda and fundraising for members of the armed forces during World War I. “Nagelmänner" consisted of wooden statues into which nails were driven in exchange for donations. Sánchez Castillo reinterprets Val Gardena’s mounted crusader of St. Ulrich by updating the monument’s symbolic meaning and fabricating a contemporary anti-hero for post-heroic times of violence and terror. His version of a local “Nagelmann” statue consists of a life-size wooden figure of an armed and uniformed policeman on a horse, like those often seen in action to control civic riots or mass manifestations. In Sánchez Castillo’s art of masquerade and ironic twists, an infamous symbol of state power and dominance enters a historical narrative of patriotism, collectivity and belonging.