September 13, 2004 - Reales Atarazanas de Sevilla - Pilar Albarracin
September 13, 2004

Pilar Albarracin

Pilar Albarracin
17 September - 31 October 2004

Reales Atarazanas
Calle Temprado, 1
41001 Sevilla
Opening hours:
Monto Sat: 10am – 2pm / 5pm to 9pm
Sun: 10am to 2pm

Opening: Thursday Sept 16th, 8 p.m.

Curated by Rosa Martinez

Pilar Albarracin, viva Espana, 2004, video performance, 3’30″   


The Consejeria de Cultura of La Junta de Andalucia, through the Direccion General de Instituciones del Patrimonio Historico, presents a solo exhibition of the Andalusian artist Pilar Albarracin in the Reales Atarazanas of Seville. The stunning architecture of this building offers itself as a privileged setting for a fertile dialogue between the historic heritage and the contemporary productions. The show is curated by Rosa Martinez, currently co-curator of the Moscow Biennale and artistic director of the Arsenale for the Venice Biennale 2005.

Pilar Albarracin (Sevilla, 1968) is one of the most significant artists of the contemporary Andalusian scene and has had significant solo exhibitions at the ARCO International Project Rooms (Madrid, 2002) and Sala Montcada de la Fundacio “la Caixa” (Barcelona, 2002. She has also participated in group shows like The Real Royal Trip (PS1-MOMA, New York, 2003). Her productions have focused on the analysis of dominant narratives and, specifically, on the cliches which represent Andalusian identity; not from a remote and intellectualised perspective, but through an emotional and subversive immersion in the anthropology of the everyday. Folklore and popular traditions, food rituals, religious myths, and women’s role in the distribution of power or collective festivals such as bullfighting, are critically distorted in the mirror of her reflections. Many of her works have a hypnotic rhythm which grows until it reaches a moment of ecstasy. Then the spectator suddenly awakens ‘with a revelation or a thud’ snapping them out of their intellectual and sensorial slumber and forcing them to call into question their preconceptions.

In all her performances, it is Albarracin herself who personifies the female characters that transform her into a peasant, an immigrant, a battered woman, housewife, flamenco dancer or singer. By putting her personal energy on the line she becomes fully involved in her multiple personalities. From her early interventions such as Sin titulo. (Sangre en la calle) [Untitled. Blood in the Street] (1992), which featured women thrown out onto the streets of Seville after having suffered some bloody incident, to more recent works such as viva Espana [Long Live Spain] (2004), which takes place in the streets and squares of Madrid, an unquestionable desire to integrate conscious and unconscious, feeling and reason, body and soul, private and public, runs through Pilar Albarracin’s creations. This is why she plays with the surprise factor and gives interactive installations or improvised performances that are put forward as shock therapy in order to bring out collective demons.

Artistically, Albarracin’s productions question the absolutist pretensions of minimalism as a hegemonic language and do not subject themselves to the anglosaxon mainstream. Her work connects with the poetics of excess which the baroque, kitsch or pop represent and link up with a Spanish tradition of criticism which contains Goya’s enlightened positions and Valle Inclan’s theatre of the grotesque. Her work reflects the flash of madness, understood as a form of lucidity, and destabilises false identities. It is imbued with a generosity which conceives the work, not as a documentary transcription of what exists, but as a form of production of thought and life, as a gift which needs a reply from the other, to whom direct or indirect requests are being made for new forms of action, love and conscience, or, in other words, involvement.

On the occasion of this exhibition a catalogue including essays by Rosa Martinez, Cuauhtemoc Medina and Pedro Romero de Solis has been published by the Junta de Andalucia and Caja de San Fernando Obra Social.
Junta de Andalucia. Consejeria de Cultura.
Direccion General de Instituciones del Patrimonio Historico

For further information and graphic materials, please see
or contact: Nela Pliego
Empresa Publica de Gestion de Programas Culturales
Consejeria de Cultura. Junta de Andalucia
Tf. +34.955.03.67.00
Fax +34.955.03.66.14

Reales Atarazanas de Sevilla
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