Bigger than a cult, smaller than a mass (one, two backdrops), 2006
Copyright: Asier Mendizabal, 2008
Foto: Juanchi Pegoraro
March 29, 2008
Exhibition dates: Until 18 May 2008
Curator: Peio Aguirre
Produced by: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Plaça dels Angels, 1
Asier Mendizabal (Ordizia, Gipuzkoa, 1973) is one of the Basque artists of the new generation who pays closest attention to the relations between form, discourse and ideology.
The exhibition at MACBA includes pieces done since 1999. This presentation is not intended to be a retrospective and is organised around a recontextualisation of pieces and fragments that have been shown in different places and situations, now in a new setting and a new order with an updated organic quality that highlights new associations and relations.
Mendizabal’s activity may be described as a critique of ideology from the staging of the structures that give it shape. To do so he does not hesitate to use the most suitable languages and tools for each occasion: sculpture, photography, video, film.
His way of looking at social structures leads him to sketch a map of ‘totality’ through the expanded fields of art, music, film, politics and theory.
There are two key strategies in his method. The first is a formalist or analytical investigation of the sign as signifier through graphic and sculptural manipulations that shows the ideology concealed in the form.
In this tendency Mendizabal uses material things that explicitly refer to ways of achieving popular forms and a certain urban do-it-yourself where the crystallisation of symbology in the forms of politics meets punk, rock or hardcore subcultures.
The second is a documentary treatment and a technique close to cinéma vérité
and photographic documentary which portrays different expressions of folklore or representations of the landscape and
In his activity there is also a will to combine manual work with immaterial or intellectual work and then link them to a politics of desire which could well be described by the phrase ‘love and politics’.
The exhibition at MACBA contains works from both tendencies united by a design device like a new functional element created as a mechanism that joins the parts to the whole.
In addition to this device, there is a new work developed for the occasion, whose history goes back to the early nineties in Bilbao, when the fall of the Berlin Wall (as a metaphor for the defeat of socialism) was followed by a public initiative to raise a monument to Marx and Lenin in the Otxarkoaga district with busts acquired from the dismantling of the communist block.
A catalogue with essays by Bartomeu Marí, the curator Peio Aguirre, critic Diedrich Diederichsen and musician Ian Svenonius, as well as extracts from the artist’s writings, has been published for the occasion.