The exhibition GAUR (sic) will bring 8 works by the new generation of Basque artists to 8 countries

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2014-05-26

With the aim of raising awareness about contemporary Basque art and placing it in an international context, in 2011 the Etxepare Basque Institute sponsored GAUR (sic), a research project that took shape in a travelling exhibition of video works which was curated by Nekane Aramburu. The final selection of works centred on eight creative proposals, the work of the artists Sra. Polaroiska (Alaitz Arenzana and María Ibarretxe), Colombina’s (Larraitz Torres and Sandra Cuesta), Aitor LajarinZuhar Iruretagoiena, Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum, Saioa Olmo, Juan Aizpitarte and Ixone Sadaba.

Thanks to it forming part of the Spanish Cooperation project through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), GAUR (sic) can be seen in eight different countries. The exhibition will be inaugurated on 12 June in London (United Kingdom), as a priority launch in places of excellence and international visibility, and where it can be visited until 15 June as part of PINTA (at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre), in collaboration with the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs at the Spanish Embassy in London.

The exhibition will continue its international journey until February 2015 and can be enjoyed in Tegucigalpa (Honduras), San José (Costa Rica), Mexico City, Montevideo (Uruguay), Córdoba (Argentina), Santiago de Chile and Managua (Nicaragua), thanks to collaboration with the AECID Spanish Cultural Centres in those countries.

The exhibition has been presented to the press today in Donostia-San Sebastián with the participation of the Director of the Etxepare Basque Institute, Aizpea Goenaga, the Curator Nekane Aramburu, and some of the artists: Saioa Olmo, Sandra Cuesta, Larraitz Torres and Juan Aizpitarte.

With the aim of raising awareness about contemporary Basque art and placing it in an international context, in 2011 the Etxepare Basque Institute sponsored GAUR (sic), a research project that took shape in a travelling exhibition of video works which was curated by Nekane Aramburu. The final selection of works centred on eight creative proposals, the work of the artists Sra. Polaroiska (Alaitz Arenzana and María Ibarretxe), Colombina’s (Larraitz Torres and Sandra Cuesta), Aitor LajarinZuhar Iruretagoiena, Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum, Saioa Olmo, Juan Aizpitarte and Ixone Sadaba.

Thanks to it forming part of the Spanish Cooperation project through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), GAUR (sic) can be seen in eight different countries. The exhibition will be inaugurated on 12 June in London (United Kingdom), as a priority launch in places of excellence and international visibility, and where it can be visited until 15 June as part of PINTA (at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre), in collaboration with the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs at the Spanish Embassy in London.

The exhibition will continue its international journey until February 2015 and can be enjoyed in Tegucigalpa (Honduras), San José (Costa Rica), Mexico City, Montevideo (Uruguay), Córdoba (Argentina), Santiago de Chile and Managua (Nicaragua), thanks to collaboration with the AECID Spanish Cultural Centres in those countries. The exhibition has been presented to the press today in Donostia-San Sebastián with the participation of the Director of the Etxepare Basque Institute, Aizpea Goenaga, the Curator Nekane Aramburu, and some of the artists: Saioa Olmo, Sandra Cuesta, Larraitz Torres and Juan Aizpitarte.

 

GAUR (sic) links into the research undertaken by Nekane Aramburu in recent years based on a twofold approach: an analysis of the development of video art in the Spanish state and the devices used to display and disseminate it (Todo cuanto amé formaba parte de tí: Damascus, Dublin, Brussels and PhotoEspaña/Madrid), Videoarte en España (Fundación Arte y Derecho) and Caras B del Videoarte en España (Bangkok, Seoul, Sydney..). The methodology used for this new enquiry has focused on scanning and revising recent or nearly finished material, which allows her to link into this history, giving it a coherent meaning.

GAUR (sic) is not just a taster of the current panorama of art which attempts to demonstrate a representation of the most outstanding creative practices or generate a generational diagnosis-exhibition with all the risks and unfairness of a real-time sampling.                     

Beyond this, the moment has arrived to bring to wider attention the new panorama of Basque artistic creativity, linking it genealogically to the history of contemporary art in general with a less formalist and vertical focus, like a current revision of the state of affairs, demonstrating a shift in content, the construction of images and national as well as international production models.

For this reason, in selecting the material priority has been given to the consistency of internationally renowned careers which represent in a significant way critical attitudes committed to personal and social transformation, the contemporary and tradition, the intimate and collective, the site of making the public and new identities; all this would only make sense if it were their works, the key pieces selected, which clearly represented in themselves these ideas associated with the definitive thesis. Thus, the selection is based on eight distinct works which have sufficient force to represent all this (just as there were 8 member of the Gaur Group, a historiographical rereading of which accompanies the curatorial theory).

GAUR in Euskara (the Basque language) means “today” and it was the name taken by eight artists in the first group of the Basque School in 1966. This was a collective that was founded in the province of Gipuzkoa with the aim of reclaiming a dialogue and relationship with the international avant-garde and which ended up becoming a pioneer in the sense of addressing certain specific artistic and philosophical aspects, becoming an international point of reference in large part due to the charisma of the figures who were part of it in a transitory way rather than because of the cohesion of the group itself, which lasted until 1969.

Through GAUR (sic), one can see that there are three issues which are being demonstrated in contemporary artistic practices: the strength of works undertaken by women and women’s pre-eminence, the intensity of collaborative or collective projects and the establishment of the interdisciplinary in the movement between practices.     

 

WORKS

Pilota Girls. Sra. Polaroiska (Alaitz Arenzana and María Ibarretxe)

Hacia la luz y los vegetales (Towards the light and the vegetation). Colombina’s (Larraitz Torres and Sandra Cuesta)

Postcity. Aitor Lajarin

Vexations. Zuhar Iruretagoiena

Work in progress. Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum.

Hamaika (Eleven). Saioa Olmo

Gen. Juan Aizpitarte

Shipwreck with Spectator. Ixone Sadaba.



SYNOPSIS


Pilota girls

Sra. Polaroiska

Collective made up of Alaitz Arenzana (Bilbao, 1976) and María Ibarretxe (Bilbao, 1977)

Year of Work: 2012Duration: 5 minutes. They live in Bilbao.

Using the language of video clips and film, the artists question stereotypes, with bold and subversive metaphorical gestures, by means of staging a protest in a world of frenetic mutation emphasised by the song performed by one of the artists herself and the rapid rhythm of the connected images. Its stance addresses the local context head on via the meaning of the game of pilota/pelota (Basque handball) and the localisation itself in the streets of Bilbao as a cosmopolitan site.

 

Hacia la luz y los vegetales (Towards the light and the vegetation)

Colombina’s 

Collective made up of Sandra Cuesta (Urretxu, 1976) and Larraitz Torres (Irun, 1979)

Year of Work: 2012.Duration: 20 minutes.

This video is a road movie in which two women are the main characters, the voice and the action, the image and the creative and existential position. As a final whole, the work synthesises, in the form of a reference, the research of the journey through the activities, presentations, concerts and devices undertaken by both of them as a collective during the period 2008-2011.

 

Shipwreck with Spectator

Ixone Sadaba (Bilbao, 1977). She lives in London.

Year of Work: 2008. Duration: 17’51’’

A group of actors, students of art and dramatic art from the city of Halabja, performs in a natural space in Iraq in 2008, a free version in Kurdish of the original theatrical text by Peter Handke, written in 1960, Insults towards the public.

Our gaze is conscious of the fact that it is not present at a representation but at an authentic action where an attempt is made tom underscore the capacity of language to prevail over the reality that always ends up being reconstructed according to its own subjectivity.

 

Postcity

Aitor Lajarin (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1977). He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Year of Work: 2010. Duration: 17 minutes.

Work of computer animation which is presented in different chapters through the form of a fictional documentary introduced by a false narrator, David W. Deckard, who, by means of clips of various promotional sketches, deconstructs the qualities of a current or future city and its contradictions of growth, communication, multiculturalism, social levels, injustice, control practices, etc.

 

Gen                                                                                           

Juan Aizpitarte (San Sebastián-Donostia, 1974). He lives in San Sebastián Donostia

Year of Work: 2013.  Duration: 7 minutes.

A 3D figure spins around to a strange sound and hypnotic rhythm which changes form before the spectator’s gaze. The work consists of a pre-big bang laboratory which generates a convincing vision of an essential myth in the imaginary of cultural construction and which goes back to the profound unconscious roots of the Basque setting; the origins. This intersection of properties between the fantastic and the possible situates us in a non-place in which a torus animates the relationships between form, space and time.

 

Vexations                                                                                                                                           Zuhar Iruretagoiena (Zarautz, 1981). She lives and works in Bilbao.

Year of Work: 2012. Duration: 23’17’’10

In the project the spatial question, the control of times, bodies and image was planned out in such a way as to escape the theatricalised in order to configure a scenic time that might have something to do with temporal installation, the pact of a violent test. The artist locked herself away in an old firefighters’ garage in Hendaia (Hendaye) with a violinist and a saxophonist who, hanging from the roof in harnesses, attempted to play a score whilst she pushed them against a metallic structure. The score is Vexations, by the French composer Erik Satie, which had to be played 840 consecutive times.


Hamaika urte dantzan (Eleven years in dance)

Saioa Olmo (Bilbao, 1976). She lives and works in Bilbao.

Year of Work: 2013. Duration: 20 minutes.

A young woman, the author herself, appears and undertakes different activities on skates; placing objects, moving around at different speeds, performing pirouettes… the music leads the movement on skates, like a dance. Through this video she exorcizes her biography in order to impart it with a retrospective sense and subjective revision.     

 

Work in progress

Iratxe Jaio and Klaas Van Gorkum .

Collective made up of Iratxe Jaio (Markina-Xemein, Basque Country, 1976) and Klaas van Gorkum (Delft, Holland, 1975). They live between Holland and the Basque Country.

Year of Work: 2012-2013. Duration: 14’21’’ minutes.

Work in progress delves into the rubber industry in Lea Artibai, a district in the Basque Country from where the Jaio family come. The video includes images of the mass production of rubber pieces for cars, from a production line in a workers’ cooperative to subcontracted workshops in which groups of women carry out finishing off work by hand in precarious conditions.    

 

Nekane Aramburu undertook this curatorial task between 2011 and 2013 in tandem with her work as a cultural manager and freelance curator in different countries. She is currently director of the Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Palma de Mallorca.   

 

 

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