June Crespo, guest artist at Biennale Arte 2022

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2022-02-03

The exhibition, also known as the Venice Biennale, will run from 23 April to 27 November, curated by Cecilia Alemani. June Crespo´s (Pamplona, 1982) participation is one of the achievements of the ZABAL programme supported by the Etxepare Basque Institute. The international showcase of contemporary art will feature 213 artists from 58 countries, and more than 1,400 works of art.

‘The Milk of Dreams’, a title taken from a book by surrealist writer and painter Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), is the name of this year´s exhibition, which has been delayed for a year due to the pandemic. In her book, Carrington describes a magical world where life is constantly re-envisioned through the prism of the imagination.

How is the definition of the human changing? What constitutes life, and what differentiates plant and animal, human and non-human? What are our responsibilities towards the planet, other people, and other life forms? And what would life look like without us? In the words of exhibition curator Cecilia Alemani, “these are some of the guiding questions for this edition of the Biennale Arte, which focuses on three thematic areas in particular: the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between individuals and technologies; the connection between bodies and the Earth.”

June Crespo´s work falls within this same context. In her pieces, Crespo uses sculpture to create a language that evokes the body and its relationship to architecture. Holes, passages, limits, circulation and remainders are some of the terms often heard to refer to the artist´s production. Her sculptures and images are based on precarious materials, an economy of means and on the importance of being by doing.

Using fibreglass, resin, ceramics and bronze, she cuts, divides, enlarges and recombines elements and materials, creating new intuitive forms that allow viewers to explore their own interpretation.

Some sculptures contain recognisable elements, while others are completely abstract and amorphous. Crespo´s pieces are like armour, reminiscent of both the constructed environment and the human body. Her installations reflect the dystopian urban landscapes of the future and the contemporary experience as composite cyborg creatures. She describes her sculptures as vessels, as well as "the demonstration of all earlier vessels".

In 2021 the Artium Museum brought together works from different moments in her career and those produced specifically for the project ´June Crespo. Helmets´. Crespo has been awarded the Mª José Jove Foundation International Art Prize (2019), the RNE Critical Eye Prize (2018), a fellowship from the Botín Foundation (2018) and the Gure Artea Award to for her creative activity (2013). Crespo’s work is part of the collections of the Reina Sofía Museum and the Artium Museum, among others.

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