Opening of the installation of María Cerdá Acebrón on the closure of her residency at Bulegoa z/b. Her proposal, Vida Neus a veces Ana (Life of Neus, sometimes Ana) was selected, together with Alejandra Pombo Su’s What Looks At Me Surroundings, from our 2021 call for residents by a jury comprised of Iratxe Jaio (artist), Laura Vallés Vilches (curator, editor and researcher) and the members of Bulegoa z/b.

The installation will be open for public viewing on Friday, November 19 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm and on Saturday, November 20 from 04:30 to 8:30 pm.

In the project Vida Neus a veces Ana, I reconstruct fragments of the life of Neus Espresate Xirau, a Catalan-Mexican exile (Canfrance, 1934 – Mexico City, 2017). Through these fragments run the historical events Neus experienced. She was an exiled activist, editor and co-founder of the Mexican publishers ERA, and her memories and personal experiences offer an account of the turbulent political history of Latin America, Spain and the anti-colonial independence movements of the late twentieth century.

Through interviews with Neus and people close to her, I make collages, drawings and diagrams, hand-made timelines that visually translate the complex assemblage of personal experiences and the larger events of contemporary history. These take on the dimension of a historical narrative, creating a narrative composed of different points of view.

With my residency at Bulegoa z/b as a background, I will be working on an installation on support networks for the clandestine entry of publications during the Franco dictatorship and the links between ERA’s editorial stance and the workers’ movement, the struggles of the trade unions and the political circumstances that came together in Bilbao’s industrial reconversion.

These links will be generated through interviews and an intergenerational workshop, which I propose as a space to gather a series of memories, personal and family experiences and others from the participants, that will tell of the relationship between official and domestic narratives. I aim to bring memories of neighbours and agents of the Solokoetxe district in Bilbao into relation with one another.

These memories will take shape through writing, collage or intervened photographs, and finally give rise to a published work, which will be collectively edited and remain in Bulegoa z/b’s library for consultation.

María Cerdá Acebrón (Madrid, 1984) is an artist, researcher and teacher.  She understands her visual work as a device for reformulating imaginaries, questioning and reworking the hegemonic narratives of the recent past. She has a degree in Fine Arts with the Universidad Complutense, Madrid (2010). She studied with the Erasmus programme at Universität der Kunste Berlín (2008-2010); and a Postgraduate in Social Sciences and Humanities at UAM, Cuajimalpa, Mexico City (2016), where she carried out an interdisciplinary project on visual memory of the Spanish Republican exile in Mexican third generations. The project was exhibited in 2018 at the Centro Cultural de España, México City, and in 2019 at Nadie Nunca Nada No, Madrid. Her work has been exhibited at the Bienal Tlatelolca, Mexico City (2021); Museo Amparo, Puebla (2020); and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Carrillo Gil (2019). In 2013 she was awarded an Injuve young artists grant. She has taken part in Circuitos 2011 and Archivo Intransit 2011.

This event is supported by the Foundation for Arts Initiatives (FFAI), New York.