Lara Almarcegui

Lara Almarcegui

Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Lara Almarcegui, The Rubble Mountain, Sint-Truiden, 2005.

January 29, 2013

Lara Almarcegui
1 June–24 November 2013

Preview: 29–31 May 2013

55th International Art Exhibition – 
La Biennale di Venezia
Giardini, Venice

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain
Agency for International Development and Cooperation (AECID)
Acción Cultural Española (AC/E)

Curator: Octavio Zaya

Lara Almarcegui to represent Spain at the 55th Venice Biennale
Octavio Zaya was appointed curator of the Spanish Pavilion by the Spanish Agency for International Development and Cooperation (AECID) in October 2012. He has selected the artist Lara Almarcegui to represent Spain at the “55. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte.”

Itziar Taboada, Director of Cultural and Scientific Relations at the AECID, convened an Advisory Committee for Contemporary Art last June with the objective of selecting the curator for the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The committee, whose members were José Guirao (Director of Casa Encendida, Madrid), Teresa Velázquez (Head of Exhibitions of Museum Reina Sofia, MNCARS, Madrid), Estrella de Diego (Professor of Contemporary Art, Universidad Complutense, Madrid), and Alberto Ruiz de Samaniego (Curator of the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2007), recommended the selection of Octavio Zaya for the curatorship of the Spanish Pavilion.

Throughout the month of July 2012, Zaya concentrated his attention around the work of Lara Almarcegui, whom he has chosen to develop the project that will represent Spain at the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious events in the international arts calendar, which will be celebrating its 55th edition from the 1st of June to the 24th of November, 2013.

According to the Spanish curator, “Almarcegui has been working at the boundary between urban regeneration and decay, and devising exhibition projects that render visible what escapes our attention and even our awareness. Since the mid-1990s, she has been researching and studying the transitional spaces where the urban and the natural orders meet: the processes of urban planning and transformation of the peripheral wastelands of the cities brought on by economic, social, or political interests and changes. At the same time, she has been analysing urban and architectural landmarks and features that we hardly notice or upon which we rarely, if ever, focus our consideration. Operating as an archeologist of the present conducting field research, Almarcegui documents her investigations by way of guides, maps, and brochures, in an effort to concentrate on marginal elements or areas within the complexity of our urban reality, revealing the connections that inform us about the relationship between our past and our future. Likewise, in deconstructing buildings and other landmarks and constructions, Almarcegui unravels our understanding of inhabiting, by showing the inarticulate, bare materials of which the buildings are made, or uncovering the products of recycling that they use and that they themselves, in turn, end up becoming, to get us closer to the inherently entropic nature of civilization. Ultimately, these works connect the outdoors with the indoors, and the inside with its awareness of itself, in a dialectical process of knowledge.”

Lara Almarcegui, born in Zaragoza, Spain, lives and works in Rotterdam. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Cuenca and at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. She has solo exhibitions in important museums and institutions both in Spain and abroad, including MUSAC, León (2013); CA2M, Madrid (2012); Künstlerhaus, Bremen (2012); the Secession, Vienna, and  Ludlow 38, New York (2010); Gallery Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam (2008); the Málaga Centre of Contemporary Art, Málaga (2007); the FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon (2004); and INDEX, Stockholm (2003).  Recent group exhibitions include Manifesta 9, Genk; TRACK, Ghent (2012); Radical Nature, Barbican Art Centre, London (2009); Athens Biennale (2009); Taipei and Gwangju Biennale (2008); Sharjah Biennale (2007); the 27th São Paulo Biennial (2006); the 2nd Seville Biennial (2006); (Public Act), Lunds Konsthall, Lund (2005); and the Liverpool Biennale (2004). Almarcegui is represented by Gallery Parra y Romero in Madrid and Gallery Ellen de Bruijne Projects in Amsterdam.

Octavio Zaya, born in the Canary Islands, Spain, is a writer, curator, and editor living in the US since 1978. He is the Director of Atlántica: Journal of Art and Thought, published by the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas, Spain. He is Curator at Large for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MUSAC) of Castilla y León, as well as Guest Curator at CAAM. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Performa, New York, and of NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Duke University Press; a contributing editor of Flash Art; and a regular contributor to several art publications, including Art Agenda, New York, and ART-IT, Tokyo. He was one of the curators of Documenta 11, under the directorship of Okwui Enwezor, and a curator at the 1st and 2nd Johannesburg Biennials. He has curated over 25 exhibitions in museums such as the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, MNCARS, Madrid; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Helsinki City Art Museum; MARCO, Vigo, Spain; Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Aalborg, Denmark; and Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona. He has published over 20 monographic books and catalogues devoted to contemporary artists, including those on Cerith Wyn Evans, Paul Pfeiffer, Shirin Neshat, Georges Adéagbo, Candice Breitz, Yinka Shonibare, and Miki Kratsman, in addition to contributing to many other publications.

For more press information:
Cano Estudio (Spanish Pavillion Press Office)
comunicacion [​at​] / T +34 91 429 77 74 / F + 34 646 006 330

Lara Almarcegui to represent Spain at the 55th Venice Biennale
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