Centro de Cultura Contemporánea San Martín, Avant-Garde Culture in Vegueta

Along with its sister establishment CAAM, the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea San Martín's one of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's more convention-challenging art galleries. As well as exhibitions, they also hold intimate night-time concerts. For a reduced cultural tour of Vegueta, you can do it all with a visit to San Martín.

Art and about in Vegueta

Outside the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea San Martín

Located on Calle Ramón y Cajal, the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea San Martín's just around the corner from the cathedral and the Museo Canario, heading in the direction of the San José neighbourhood. That's the beauty of strolling around Vegueta, nothing's more than five to 10 minutes away. It's a pocket-sized district with something interesting at every turn.

The building itself dates back to 1775. For that's when, on the orders of the Obispo Fray Juan Bautista Servera, a military hospital was constructed. Taking its name,Nuevo Hospital de San Martín, from the old hospital which used to be on nearby Plaza de los Alamos. Nowadays, it's been transformed into a centre celebrating the finest in contemporary culture from around the world.

Inner beauty

Inside the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea San Martín

Enjoy Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's cultural heritage by checking out the interior of the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea San Martín. Of course, there's a palm tree to admire. The city's not known as Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for nothing.

The centre's open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00am to 9:00pm, and on Sundays from 10:00am to 2:00pm. It's closed on Mondays and public holidays, including the 24th and 31st September. Entry's free for the exhibitions but most of the gigs you have to pay for.

Down with the kids

Duanmu Stone

As well as giving young Canarian bands a showcase, downstairs at the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea offers gallery space to the enfant terribles of the art world. When I visited, El Vacío y Lo Intangible (08.08.2013-13.10.2013) was running. The Empty and The Intangible collates the work of eight contemporary Chinese artists who are not afraid of looking back in order to go forward.

One of the eight artists featured is Dong Wensheng. His 2010 masterpiece Duanmu Stone, pictured here, is pure Chinese mysticism. The black and white image is stark, but at the same time otherwordly, transporting the viewer to the magical Orient.

Up with the revolution

Capitalismo 1712-2014 D.E.P

There's more shock and awe to be found at the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea's upstairs gallery. During my visit, the agents provocateurs were PSJM with their A Critical Decade 2003-2013 show (08.08.2013-13.10.2013). PSJM are subversive Berlin-based artistic duo comprising Spanish artists Pablo San José and Cynthia Viera.

Slogans are used, but instead of selling the brand they slate them. So you have the logos of famous sportswear companies accompanied by the text "Made by slaves for free people." The artwork pictured relates to a project started in 2001, sounding the death knell for capitalism. D.E.P is the abbreviation of the Spanish phrase "Descanse en paz", Rest in Peace aka RIP.

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