June 3, 2017 - Azkuna Zentroa – Alhóndiga Bilbao - Antoni Miralda: MIRALDA MADEINUSA
June 3, 2017

Azkuna Zentroa – Alhóndiga Bilbao


Antoni Miralda
June 7–October 1, 2017

Azkuna Zentroa – Alhóndiga Bilbao
Azkuna Zentroa - Alhóndiga Bilbao
Arriquíbar Plaza, 4
48010 Bilbao

T +34 944 01 40 14

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Azkuna Zentroa presents from June 7 to October 1, 2017 the exhibition MIRALDA MADEINUSA, curated by Vicent Todolí. Exhibition by Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) in collaboration with Azkuna Zentroa. Part of this show will be exhibited at the Museo de Reproducciones de Bilbao (Bilbao La Vieja) from June 3 to October 1.

MIRALDA MADEINUSA recovers the work of Catalan artist Antoni Miralda (Terrassa, 1942) performed during his long stay in the US since the mid-1970s. Some of the most important installations from his personal archive which correspond to that period have been rebuilt, and a wide selection of materials has been made available to the public, so that they can submerge themselves in the genesis of his work: audio visual recordings of actions and events, drawings, sketches, photos and other documentary materials, most of which is unpublished.

Among the most representative works are Breadline (1977), a monumental line of bread which refers to the food queues during the Great Depression of 1929, presented at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Wheat & Steak (1981), a food parade along the streets of Kansas City, an exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum and a special event at the Board of Trade of this city; El Internacional Tapas Bar & Restaurant (1984–86), a social and artistic experiment made with the restauranteur Montse Guillén in New York’s TriBeCa; the exhibition will also include the large installation Santa Comida (Holy Food), 1984–89, based on the legacy of Afro-Caribbean culture in America today, exhibited at the Museo de Reproducciones de Bilbao.

With a great capacity for symbiosis, the work of Antoni Miralda (Terrassa, 1942) establishes a dialogue with the artist’s own socio-cultural context. While his stay in Paris, where he arrived in 1966, helped define the basis for his working method, his later discovery of American culture acted as a catalyst.

When Miralda arrived in the United States in 1971, at the height of the Vietnam War, the country was experiencing a period of great upheaval, with all kinds of social and political movements challenging the system. Miralda felt at home in this social laboratory where a current of freedom was in the air. In this cultural melting pot typical of American life, his work adopted a new direction. In Paris he had already distanced himself from the gallery system and taken to the streets in a trajectory that would see him abandon the medium of performance to become a "participative artist," but it wasn’t until he arrived in the United States that he began to develop his collective and social ceremonies. His interest in experimenting with the world of food and colour—the notion of the traiteur coloriste—was already evident in Paris, but in America his work acquired a greater formal complexity, and he began to incorporate the public as active participants in his creative act.

The fusion of different cultures, the vast dimensions of the urban and human landscape, and the popular iconography and rituals activated a method of observation and confrontation in situ. "A prying anthropologist, he studies customs and isolates usages and habits; he heightens their symbolic content, and organises their aesthetic and poetic transference, their projection into the universe of the feast," the critic Pierre Restany wrote in 1982. Miralda developed a body of work that favoured coexistence in the public space, the ephemeral, a critical and poetic spirit, and humour, thus turning an act as universal as eating into a creative universe.


El Internacional Tapas Bar & Restaurant: Pintxo + Cocktel Blue Margarita 
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7:30 to 9pm, the visitor will have the chance to try a reinterpretation of a cocktel + pintxo inspired on the menu and the spirit from El Internacional Tapas Bar & Restaurant. Ricardo Perez from Yandiola Restaurant will be in charge of the elaboration.

Some of the best cooks of the world with Michelin Stars will participate in the project: Andoni Luis Aduriz from Mugaritz, Eneko Atxa from Azurmendi, Josean Alija from Nerua, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak, Daniel Lomana from KUMA and Pedro Subijana from Akelarre, among others.


Bilbao Artistic Reproductions Museum: Holy Food
Santa Comida (Holy Food) captures the artist’s fascination with the tradition of Santeria, which he came across in Spanish Harlem in New York and in Miami. This outstanding work to be found in the Museo de Reproducciones de Bilbao reflects on the relationships imposed by Christianity and the symbolism of offerings and food as survival mechanisms of the Yoruba religion. Santa Comida was presented in 1984 at the Museo del Barrio in New York and in the Magiciens de la terre exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1989, among other venues, the different presentations of the work have gradually altered the form of the project. It is built around seven altars showing, respectively, elements related to seven deities, or orishas, of the Yoruba religion. In this presentation, visitors are invited to enrich the installation by depositing their own offerings.

Azkuna Zentroa – Alhóndiga Bilbao
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