Thursday, 24 June 2021 13:00

Artium Museum presents the exhibition 'Self-construction. Loose Parts. Play and Experience', by Antonio Ballester Moreno

The exhibition reviews a series of historical pedagogical practices based on self-construction and play to create a space for meeting and learning. The exhibition also includes works by artists such as Carme Nogueira, Raphael Escobar and Abraham Cruzvillegas

Artium Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basque Country presents the exhibition Self-construction. Loose Parts. Play and Experience. Antonio Ballester Moreno (A3 Gallery, until 1 November 2021). The project stems from Artium’s process of reflecting on its relationship with its urban and social context and specifically on the potential of its inner courtyard as a meeting point for its surrounding area. Ballester, an artist with whom Artium has discussed this issue, reviews a series of historical pedagogical practices based on self-construction and play to create in this project, which has been designed not to be an exhibition in the usual sense, a space for meeting and learning. The exhibition, which also includes works by Carme Nogueira, Raphael Escobar and Abraham Cruzvillegas, is curated by Ángel Calvo Ulloa and has been produced in collaboration with Dinamoa Sormen Gunea in Azpeitia and the students and teaching staff of Barrutia Ikastola in Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Antonio Ballester Moreno’s exhibition Self-construction. Loose Parts. Play and Experience is the result of various collaborative processes that were begun as part of Plazaratu, the reflection process on Artium’s connection as an institution and architectural structure with its surroundings and its ability to become a meeting point and centre for social relations.

Ballester Moreno uses methods tied to pedagogy in his artistic practice and in several projects involves groups of schoolchildren and occasionally adults to shape an initial idea. In his proposal for Artium Museum, the artist has referred to a series of pedagogical practices developed in the 20th century that were based on self-construction as play as well as to transforming action – building, rebuilding, repairing, remodelling – into a way of learning, education and living. The English architect Lady Allen of Hurtwood, the Danish activist Palle Nielsen, the Italian architect Enzo Mari and the English artist Simon Nicholson are some of the figures that inspired these experiences, as the curator Ángel Calvo Ulloa explains at length in the publication accompanying this exhibition.

Artium’s A3 Gallery is therefore housing objects produced in the workshops conducted in spring by Antonio Ballester Moreno in an educational centre such as Barrutia Ikastola in Vitoria-Gasteiz and in a creative space such as Dinamoa Sormen Gunea in Azpeitia.

In the case of Barrutia Ikastola, following the practice of Enzo Mari and his autoprogettazione? manual, as well as Simon Nicholson’s Theory of Loose Parts, the artist invited students, families and teachers to participate in a workshop to construct furniture. Created using basic pieces and tools and following plans and instructions produced for that purpose, these objects – tables, benches, platforms, cabins – have converted the A3 Gallery into a square, a park that also opens up to Artium’s outdoor area, to its urban garden.

The exhibition also includes the installation of a large mural measuring 30 metres long by 4 metres high that features a set of 164 silkscreen prints produced in the workshop that Ballester Moreno directed at Dinamoa Sormen Gunea based on the designs proposed by the artist.

This tendency of Ballester Moreno “to work on projects that are diluted in the collective”, as the curator points out, is underlined by the invitation to other artists to participate in Self-construction...: Carme Nogueira and the workshops she developed based on Buñuel's documentary Las Hurdes, Tierra Sin Pan and the innovative pedagogical experiences developed in that region of Extremadura in the 1930s, Raphael Escobar and Os Cupins das Artes and the workshops conducted with homeless people in São Paulo, and Abraham Cruzvillegas and the processes of self-construction rooted in the working-class neighbourhoods of Mexico City that can be traced back in his artistic practice.

Ballester Moreno has staged solo exhibitions at Museo Patio Herreriano in Valladolid; La Casa Encendida in Madrid; MAZ in Guadalajara, Mexico; MUSAC in León; Galería Maisterra-Valbuena in Madrid; Pedro Cera in Lisbon; Christopher Grimes in Santa Monica, and Peres Projects in Berlin and Los Angeles. He has also participated in group exhibitions, such as at the 33rd Sao Paulo Biennial, as artist and curator, MSU Broad Museum in  Michigan and CA2M in Madrid, as well as in galleries in New York, Berlin and Los Angeles, among others. His work can be found in the collections of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, MUSAC in León, CA2M in Madrid, Colección Iberdrola and Fundación Helga de Alvear.

Press release (pdf)  Image request  List of works  Exhibition

Antonio Ballester Moreno. Self-construction. Loose Parts. Play and Experience
A3 Gallery, from 25 June to 1 November 2021
Curator: Ángel Calvo Ulloa
Publication with essay by Ángel Calvo Ulloa
Conversation with the artist: Friday 25 June at 6pm
Special opening hours: open continuously from 11am to 8pm
This exhibition has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of Barrutia Ikastola in Vitoria-Gasteiz and Dinamoa Sormen Gunea in Azpeitia

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