In recent years, the artist Asier Mendizabal (Ordizia, 1973) has completed a number of works that propose a critical approach to the legacy of Jorge Oteiza and the way of constructing the symbolism of his sculptural project. They also question the mechanisms of sculptural representation at the end of modernity.
In the exhibition produced by the Oteiza Museum in collaboration with the Local Council of Egüés (22 March – 3 June 2018), Mendizabal exhibits some of his earlier works and Incurvar. This project that lends its name to the title of the exhibition and responds to the Oteiza Museum’s invitation to exhibit in its rooms and stage the project currently on exhibition at the Alzuza Centre.
Mendizabal has focused his artistic work on the mechanisms of representation of symbolism, especially in reference to the formalization of political concepts through art and the way in which art delves into the processes that make up the representation and production of collective imagery. Accordingly, several of the artist’s projects have revised Oteiza as a paradigm of the aporias of modernity.
This exhibition includes projects such as Bentahandi, inspired by a formal reflection on Oteiza’s Par móvil and its resignification as a funeral stele, shown at the 2011 Venice Biennale. It also includes Una carta llega a su destino, which comes from the letter of protest addressed to the jury of the international contest for the creation of the Monumento al prisionero político desconocido, in which Oteiza participated and which was presented at Raven Row in London. The exhibition continues with references to Agoramaquia, a project for the 2014 São Paulo Biennial that takes as its starting point the monument Homenaje a César Vallejo, which Oteiza made in Lima in 1961, and ends with Incurvar. On this occasion, Mendizabal focuses his attention on the remains of works by Oteiza, fragments of mainly sculptural pieces and parts that bear witness to the residual and incomplete, apparently condemned to never embody the symbolic potential of the work of art.
Ultimately, these projects demonstrate the ability of Oteiza’s work to be present in that of other artists of later generations, not as a direct or formal influence, but as a legacy open to critical interpretation.
The exhibition also includes a monographic publication with texts and graphic material corresponding to the projects Una carta llega a su destino, Gurentza, Agoramaquia and Incurvar.
Asier Mendizabal (Ordizia 1973) is an artist based in Bilbao. His work is linked to the sculpture programme and uses various media and procedures, with writing as a common element. He has held individual exhibitions at institutions such as Raven Row in London; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Culturgest, Lisbon; Galerie Miroslav Kraljevic, Zagreb, Croatia; Carreras Mugica, Bilbao; DAE, San Sebastián; and MACBA, Barcelona. He has also taken part in collective exhibitions that include El arte y el espacio, Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa; the 31st São Paulo Biennial; A Singular Form, Secession, Vienna; Camera of Wonders, Centro de la imagen, Mexico DF; Whose Subject am I?, Kunstverein Düsseldorf; IllumiNATIONS, 54th Venice Biennial; Scenarios about Europe, GFZK, Leipzig; In the First Circle, Fundació Tapies, Barcelona; Às Artes, Cidadãos, Museu Serralves, Oporto; Després de la notícia, CCCB, Barcelona; Manifesta 5; and the Biennials of Limerick, Taipei and Bucharest.