Biennale of Sydney: Iratxe Jaio + Klaas Van Gorkum

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

  • 09
    Mar 2024
    Jun 2024

‘False flag’, by Iratxe Jaio y Klaas Van Gorkum will be exhibited at the 24th Biennale of Sydney from 9 March to 10 June, thanks in part to the ZABAL programme promoted by the Etxepare Basque Institute.

The point of departure for this work is ‘Le Drapeau Noir’, a painting by the surrealist René Magritte that is reported to have been inspired by the bombing of Gernika. It features a number of futuristic airplanes ominously hanging above the horizon. Like props from a science fiction movie, they seem to foreshadow the drones and satellites that circle our planet today.

Iratxe and Klaas have produced three-dimensional models of these airplanes. They are shown together with a video in which the mountains surrounding Gernika are used as an acoustic enclosure for a medley of voices, evoking the horrors of war by describing what can be seen in the painting ‘Guernica’ by Picasso.

Jaio and van Gorkum embrace the incongruities and anachronisms of Magritte’s painting, which they consider to be a deviation from the historical canon in which Picasso´s ‘Guernica’ plays a central role. From the margins, Magritte’s flying machines serve as vehicles for an unorthodox reflection on modernity, and on the role art plays in the collective imagination of historical memory.

ZABAL programme

Last April, the artistic directors of the Biennale of Sydney travelled to the Basque Country as guests of the Etxepare Basque Institute. The purpose of their visit was to immerse themselves in the Basque artistic landscape and gain firsthand insights into the artistic practices prevalent in the region. During their visit, they toured museums, art spaces, and artists´ studios. It was during this exploration that Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum crossed paths, leading to their invitation to participate in the exhibition.

The 24th Biennale of Sydney, titled ‘Ten Thousand Suns’, proposes celebration as both a method and a source of joy, produced in common and broadly shared.

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