Encounter around Homage to Malevich (Jorge Oteiza, 1957) and Action ‘The Museum’ (EAE. Euskal Artisten Elkartea, 1983-2001), with María Luisa Fernández and Beatriz Herráez. The event is part of Artworks for De-occupying and Occupying Time in the Museum, a series of encounters accompanying the exhibition After 1968. Art and artistic practices in the Basque Country, 1968-2018 at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. The encounters are based on seven works, some of which are included in the exhibition while others are part of its conceptual framework. In each encounter, artists and art specialists gather together around an artwork.
The encounters in Artworks for… coalesce around the idea of how to imagine the museum through the objects it holds – the particular museum hosting After 1968, with its specific nature and history; and the museum in general, as an institution that creates a narrative of the present by storing objects from the past for the future.
Venue: Auditorium of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
Time: 7 pm. Entry free of charge, limited seating. Invitations available at the museum box office starting the Monday before each session.
About the artworks
Homage to Malevich is one of a series of twenty-eight sculptures exhibited by Jorge Oteiza at the IV Bienal de São Paulo as part of his Experimental Proposition, which focused on the concept of de-occupying space. Two years later in 1959, Oteiza abandoned his sculptural practice. Txomin Badiola, in Oteiza. Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture (2015) considers the work to be an instance where “space, the most immaterial element, is both cause and effect; the sculpture creates space and the space creates sculpture”. The work was acquired by the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum in 1982, and a year later was the basis of an action by the artist collective EAE (Euskal Artisten Elkartea / Basque Artists Association). Action ‘The Museum’ (1983-2001) is the title of the video edited by Txomin Badiola that captures the action which consisted in the “kidnapping” of Homage to Malevich from one of the museum spaces and carrying it to the Bilbao City Hall. The collective’s choice of the word “kidnapping” to define the action could be seen as a direct allusion to the socially and politically violent situation in the streets of the Basque Country at the time, while its poetical but mocking tone is reminiscent of the nine-minute race through the Louvre in Jean-Luc Godard’s Bande à part (1964).
The sculpture Homage to Malevich is part of ABC. The alphabet of the Bilbao Museum. The video EAE. Action. The Museum is shown in After 1968. Both exhibitions are currently on show at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
María Luisa Fernández (Villarejo de Órbido, León, 1955) is an artist. In 1979, together with Juan Luis Moraza, she founded CVA (Comité de Vigilancia Artística / Art Vigilance Committee). The collective, which was conceived as an “art company” made sculptures, texts and actions as a means of critical reflection around mechanisms of representation and reception of artworks or the contemporary art system. The acronym is associated with the New Basque Sculpture, which was a reference for the Basque Country art context in the eighties. In the nineties, the artist moved to Vigo, where she spent a new period of her life teaching at the university. In 2014 her work was given a retrospective exhibition at Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, which itinerated to MARCO, Vigo and brings together two decades of her work until 1997, when she made her last solo exhibition. In 2018, recent works of hers were exhibited at 7,608,766,433 +-, Galería Maisterrabuena, Madrid. Works of hers are included in the collections of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid); MACBA (Barcelona); Fundació la Caixa (Barcelona); Artium – Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo (Vitoria-Gasteiz).
Beatriz Herráez. Art historian and curator; director of Artium, Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo. From 2010-2016 she was a member of the Collections Department, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and from 2007-2011 she worked as chief curator for Centro Montehermoso Kulturunea (Vitoria-Gasteiz). During her time at MNCARS she co-curated the exhibitions Ficciones y Territorios. Nuevas razones para pensar el mundo, 2016-2017; Mínima Resistencia. Entre el tardomodernismo y la globalización: prácticas artísticas en las décadas de los 80 y los 90, 2013-2014, and curated Erlea Maneros Zabala, 2016. At Montehermoso she curated solo exhibitions such as What I see. Susan Hiller (with Xabier Arakistain), 2011; and Implejidades. Juan Luis Moraza, 2009; and new work by artists in the programme Arte e Investigación. Other exhibitions include: I Never Said Umbrella. Itziar Okariz, Tabakalera, Donostia-San Sebastián (2018); Lubricán. Julia Spínola, CA2M, Madrid (2018); Je, je… luna. María Luisa Fernández. Obras producidas entre 1979 y 1997, Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, y MARCO, Vigo (2015-2016); Soy el final de la reproducción, Sculpture Center, New York and castillocorrales, París (2007-2008); and El segundo nombre de las cosas. Néstor Sanmiguel Diest, MUSAC, León (2007).
Artworks for… is a collaborative project between Bulegoa z/b and the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.