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Eight or Ten, Six or Seven Wolves by Arrieta/Vázquez opens at Fundació Joan Miró
Arrieta/Vázquez. Eight or Ten, Six or Seven Wolves Documentary register. Fundació Joan Miró.

BARCELONA.- Arrieta/Vázquez bring their view on the construction of collectivity to Espai 13.

The exhibition explores the way landscape is transformed by mass events related to sports or leisure. Eight or Ten, Six or Seven Wolves, by Usue Arrieta and Vicente Vázquez, is the fourth exhibition in the cycle Perplexity, curated by David Armengol. It is being held at Espai 13 and the Auditorium of the Fundació Joan Miró from 10 May to 30 June 2013.

Arrieta/Vázquez’s artistic practice explores the geographic and social contexts of mass events. On this occasion, the artists base their analysis on two major events that share and transform the same space: the Tour de France on its way through the Atlantic Pyrenees and the Festival Pirineos Sur, held annually at the Lanuza Reservoir, Huesca. Their occupation of the territory and temporary settlement are the starting points for analysing the effects of these two collective experiences.

Eight or Ten, Six or Seven Wolves is divided into two independent and complementary sections. At Espai 13, an exhibition takes us on a tour of the gallery through audiovisual fragments and objects related to the two Pyrenean activities. At the Auditorium of the Fundació, the film 90º Doble Vertiente is being screened on a weekly programme. The film is an approximation to the two events presented in the exhibition, describing the relationship between their participants and the landscape.

The exhibition at Espai 13 has been conceived as a map through which the visitor can travel without a pre-established itinerary. The audiovisual pieces that articulate the installation use various recording techniques. Thus we can see a vertical panoramic view of the canalisations and waterfalls in the Pyrenees; a travelling shot defining the perimeter of the Lanuza Reservoir; a series of fixed camera shots of civil engineering works that have transformed the landscape; and an aerial shot of cyclists on the terrain.

The audiovisual projections are presented on supports created from the type of artificial element that often transforms mountain landscapes, such as concrete and corrugated iron. A dialogue is created between the projections, the structures on which they are shown and some of the objects that contextualise the images, such as the festival’s neon sign and a photograph of the Lanuza Valley before the construction of the reservoir.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia, by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. In this text the authors define the construction of the individual in terms of their relation to a group, or as they call it, a pack. Equally, the exhibition by Arrieta/Vázquez puts forward a reading of individuality in relation to a collective structure.

Perplexity is a cycle of exhibitions taking place at the Fundació Joan Miró’s Espai 13 from October 2012 to August 2013. Curated by David Armengol, it deals with the state of tension and confusion that arises when feeling perplexed about questions we cannot quite grasp or understand.

In this case, Eight or Ten, Six or Seven Wolves creates a dialogue between the civil engineering works occupying mountain landscapes and the proliferation of cultural and sports events offering other ways of relating to the space.

Usue Arrieta and Vicente Vázquez see their artistic practice as a way of investigating and experimenting with the possibilities of collectivity. Their work has dealt with track cycling (Going in circles, Seoul Art Space Geumcheon), and mountain cycling (the Tour of Spain on its way through the Picos de Europa and the Tour de France) and with amateur practices such as goitibehera and model aircraft racing in the Basque Country (Premio X Films, Punto de Vista Festival 2012). Lately they have analysed an endurance test (motocross) that takes place every year in an open-air iron mine in the Austrian Alps, for a project at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (Against Tàpies, curated by Valentín Roma).

Their work has been seen in public institutions such as Espai 2, Terrassa; La Capella, Barcelona; Centro de Arte Juan Ismael, Fuerteventura; CA2M, Madrid; and Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid; and in commercial galleries such as Lissi Hammerle Gallery, Bregenz; Nogueras Blanchard, Estrany de la Mota and Àngels Barcelona. Their video work has been seen at the C.G.A.I.; Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía; La Noche en Blanco; La Casa Encendida; Festival Internacional de Cine, Las Palmas; Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de Navarra Punto de Vista; Festival Internacional de Cine, Ourense; FMX; Festival Mar de Plata; and Cineuropa. They have been artists-in-residence at La Fàbrica de Creació Fabra i Cotas, Barcelona; Bilbaoarte; El Levante, Argentina; SASG, Seoul; and Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria. They have been awarded grants from Barcelona Producció; Can Xalant; Injuve; and Agadic. In 2012 they won second prize at the Premio del Certamen de Arte de la Fundación José García Jiménez; and the X Films Prize at the Punto de Vista Festival.

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