RISVEGLIO. WITH MIKEL ESKAURIAZA AND ASIER MENDIZABAL

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  • Nemesio Mogrobejo: “Risveglio” (1903). Courtesy of Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.

  • Mikel Eskauriaza: “Waking Up in the Museum” (1990-2018)

Encounter around Risveglio (Nemesio Mogrobejo, 1903) with Mikel Eskauriaza and Asier Mendizabal. This 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, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
Time: 7 pm.
Entry free of charge, limited seating. Invitations available at the museum ticket office from the Monday before each session. 

The series Risveglio. Despertar en el museo (Risveglio. Waking Up in the Museum) (1990-2018) by Mikel Eskauriaza will be exhibited in the auditorium entrance hall from 26 March – 1 April.

About the artwork
In 1903, Nemesio Mogrobejo made Risveglio, one of the bronze sculptures from his stay in Rome on a scholarship from the Bizkaia Regional Government. The artist started his training in Paris, where he was influenced by Auguste Rodin and came to know the new artistic tendencies. He was to fall ill soon after, and passed away in 1910 at the age of thirty-five. Four years later, in 1914, Risveglio was presented at the recently opened Bilbao Fine Arts Museum at what was previously the Hospital Civil, Atxuri.

A black and white photograph from 1930 shows one of the rooms of the museum at its first location. In the background is a museum guard wearing a uniform and peaked cap and leaning against a doorjamb. In the middle of the room, whose walls are crammed with paintings, one on top of the other, with hardly any free space, can be seen Risveglio, the rounded bulk of a sculpture of a naked youth, raising his arm and cupping his head in his hand in a gesture that denotes a dreamy state or, maybe, as the title indicates, that he is stretching sleepily.

Another black and white photograph from the museum. This one is from 1949, and shows the main hall of the museum’s current location in the Doña Casilda Park. Framed against a piece of wall under the monumental staircase is a group of three sculptures. In the middle is La hetaira by Moisés de Huerta, and next to it is Risveglio. On the other side is Eva (1904), another of the works made by Mogrobejo during his time in Italy. Today, copies of the two sculptures by Mogrobejo occupy the niches by the old entrance to the museum.

Another black and white photograph of Risveglio. This one is from 1990. The naked youth, just waking up, has a black leather jacket hanging over one shoulder. This irreverent, spontaneous addition to the sculpture turns the dreamy modern piece into a young New Romantic. At his feet, on the marble floor, are three sleeping bags, some books, two pairs of shoes and a radio cassette player.

Mikel Eskauriaza (Bilbao, 1969) is an artist, who studied Fine Art at the University of the Basque Country, EHU/UPV (1987-1992), and Photography at the International Center of Photography, New York (2000-2002). He has worked with photography and the landscape genre since the nineties. Eskauriaza uses photography as a tool for observation, for documenting and interpreting phenomena and processes affecting land, and their physical, political, economic and symbolic consequences. Recent projects include A Methodology for the Critical Analysis of Land (in progress since 2000); BAPORAK. La flota atunera vasca en el océano Índico (2013-2017); and Deusto Block # 26 (2010).

Asier Mendizabal (Ordizia, 1973) Artist whose work focuses on relationships between form, discourse and ideology. Mendizabal has held solo exhibitions at: Fundación Museo Jorge Oteiza, Alzuza (2018); Museo de Arte Precolombino Casa del Alabado, Quito (2016); Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen (2013); Raven Row, London (2011); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2011); and been part of group exhibitions such as El Arte y el Espacio, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2017); Camera of Wonders, Centro de la imagen, Mexico DF (2015); 31 Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo (2014); A Singular Form, Secession, Vienna (2014); Scenarios about Europe, GZK, Leipzig and San Telmo Museoa, Donostia-San Sebastián (2013); Illuminations, 54 Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2011). He was a co-founder and board member of Kalostra, Donostia-San Sebastián, and is currently Professor of sculpture at KKH, Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm.

Artworks for De-occupying and Occupying Time in the Museum is a collaborative project between Bulegoa z/b and the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.