Itziar Okariz and Sergio Prego: Perforated by

Itziar Okariz and Sergio Prego: Perforated by

Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Itziar Okariz, The Statues, 2019. Performance and video with sculptures by Sergio Prego. Spanish Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2019.

May 1, 2019
Itziar Okariz and Sergio Prego
Perforated by
Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
May 11–November 24, 2019
Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Giardini della Biennale

Opening: May 10, 1pm

Curator: Peio Aguirre

Live performance program with Itziar Okariz: May 7, 8, 9, 4:30pm

The main gesture and thought behind this exhibition consists in the opening, widening of space from an occupation which in reality is its own opposite, a clearing out or emptying. A body in an empty space generates tension with the place where it is inserted, because the enveloping volume of the architecture reflects the minimum materiality of the body. The art of Itziar Okariz and Sergio Prego is defined by a principle of immanence in this body-space relationship. Drawing on economical resources, they create an austere and powerful body of work that is complex in its simplicity. Susan Sontag noted in her essay “The Aesthetics of Silence” that “not only does silence exist in a world full of speech and other sounds, but any given silence has its identity as a stretch of time being perforated by sound.” 

This exhibition by Sergio Prego and Itziar Okariz is conceived as a perforation through performance, sound, image, sculpture and architecture. The work done by these two artists since the 1990s redefines the notion of performativity and sculpture, operating within a regime of representation where—as befits our visual era—the production of signs is inevitable.

In The Statues Itziar Okariz presents a series of actions consisting of murmured conversations and confrontations with statues and art objects. By directly confronting inanimate objects, the artist imbues them with soul, life and subjectivity. The content of these conversations and the prolonged positions that the artist takes up in front of these objects spring from a strong, subjective relationship that is difficult to convey; it defies common sense and supports the intra-history and the personal and intimate way in which we relate to objects and art.

Sergio Prego redefines the relationships of art and the exhibition space, artistic object and the aesthetic experience. Apart from the body, it is essential to take the material and the autonomy of the postminimalist sculpture into consideration. Prego’s intervention in the architecture takes place in the garden or rear façade of the Pavilion, through site-specific sculpture where the capacity of the fluidity of water and other elements is shown. 

Itziar Okariz was born in San Sebastian in 1965. Lives and works in Bilbao. Her work is mainly about language and the body as a sign, questioning the limits of the normative and the use of public and private spaces. Recent individual exhibitions include: Tabakalera, San Sebastian (2018); Kunsthaus Baselland (2017); and CA2M, Madrid (2017). Performances at Art Parcours ArtBasel, BOZAR in Brussels and MACBA Museum in Barcelona, among others. 

Sergio Prego was born in Hondarribia (Spain) in 1969. Lives and works in New York. Throughout his trajectory, he has been questioning and reformulating his afiliation to the tradition of sculpture and performance through video, drawing and pneumatic architecture. Recent solo exhibitions: Baffler Museum, Houston (2017); CA2M, Madrid (2017), CarrerasMugica gallery, Bilbao (2015).

Peio Aguirre is a writer, art critic, and independent curator based in San Sebastian. Since 2000 he has published widely in specialized art magazines, newspapers and artist’s catalogues. 

Publication: With contributions by Peio Aguirre, Craig Buckley, André Lepecki, Manuela Moscoso, Itziar Okariz, and Sergio Prego. Published by Koenig Books, London 2019. Graphic design by Mevis & van Deursen. ISBN: 978-3-96098-622-5 (Spanish) 978-3-96098-589-1 (English)

Spanish Pavilion
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, through AECID, is once again organizing the participation of Spain in the Venice Biennale, as has been the case since the year 1950. As is custom since 2005, this project counts on the co-organization of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) –Spain’s Public Agency for Cultural Action-.

For press inquiries:
By Studio Mónica Iglesias, info [​at​]

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Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
May 1, 2019

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