VITORIA-GASTEIZ.- Artists Iratxe Jaio ( Markina, 1976 ) and Klaas Gorkum ( Delft, 1975 ), Asier Mendizabal ( Ordizia, 1973 ) and Xabier Salaberria go ( Donostia / San Sebastián, 1969 ) were winners, in 2008, at the Twentieth Edition of the Gure Artea Awards, an event which is celebrated biennially. The exposition Gure Artea XX displays the work done by these artists over the last year.
Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum work in documentary format, using processes that analyse social behaviour. Inserted into systems of production such as consumption, the media and urbanism, this behaviour determines both our individual and collective identities. In Dead Time, the artists use a video installation and a photographic record of the zombie parade that they organized in Barakaldo next to the consonni. An extravagant and grotesque sub-cultural phenomenon consisting of a group action that appears to lack direction and self-awareness, the zombie parade allows one to explore the diffuse separation between public and private spaces and the ways in which collective practices produce social spaces and images.
Asier Mendizabal´s accumulated work forms a vast catalogue of cultural signs (modernism, subcultures, left-wing movements, etc.). Generated throughout 20th Century, these signs form part of a symbolic economy of a present different from the horizon that the modern utopias projected. The artist presents two developments: one centred on the formal sculptures in public spaces, and another on a photomontage of the vanguards existent between the wars. Both are useful in affirming the irreducibility of forms via an exposition of the processes in which meanings ascribe themselves as signs. They also serve to create an awareness of history by distancing us from that which we perceive as our own, the forms that surround us.
Xabier Salaberria´s work stems from the idea that any artistic proposal is in essence an operation of design that is mediated by the context. In Debacle, the context is that of the exposition as an itinerary designed to organize a certain way of looking and moving. There is no exposition without space, which is constituted by the floor, the roof, the walls, the stands and the panels: The exhibition space helps determines than objects placed therein stop being mere objects and become works of art. Instead of sprinkling the gallery with objects in order to create a path, Debacle´s modernistic stands pile into a modular construction that potentially contain all of the possible designs offered by that exhibition space and holds the promise that the exhibition will be an aesthetic temporal-space experience, as compared to the conception of a displayas an arbitrary occupation of space.