ARTIUM presents Catastrofes exhibition

Made up of works from the Centre-Museum’s own Collection, the exhibition consists of a space for reflection on the concept of catastrophe in contemporary society

ARTIUM, Basque Art Centre-Museum of Vitoria-Gasteiz, presents the exhibition Catástrofes, on view through June 10, 2012, containing works from the Museum’s own Collection, prepared by the Education Department. Among other objectives, the exhibition aims to support pedagogic activities and workshops developed by Artium together with a number of different groups, ranging from the school community to our most elderly visitors. On the other hand, the exhibition aims to define the type of catastrophes that might exist in someone’s life, by creating a space for dialogue through activities and workshops that will allow each individual to express and materialise the feelings it arouses. Catástrofes consists of eight works and includes paintings, drawings and sculptures.

Top balsa, Valeriano López.

The Education exhibition at ARTIUM follows the same methodology applied on previous occasions, in other words, to ask both general questions, such as “What do we learn from all this? What did it say about us?”, and particular questions, by relating each specific work to a question linked to the subject under discussion. The thesis of Catástrofes is based on a more generalised concept: a catastrophe can be natural, but also emotional, individual, familiar or collective. One person can lose another, can lose their job or experience other kinds of situations that are catastrophic. In this way, the exhibition tries to confront and seek solutions in a positive manner to a catastrophe that has occurred in the life of a person.

The exhibition contains a series of works taken from the ARTIUM Collection and through each one of these poses a question in order to encourage the visitor to reflect upon the concept of catastrophe. In this way, with the photograph by Rogelio López Cuenca, Welcome to Paradise, the exhibition attempts to compare the image and the contradictory words that appear in it. A life-size photograph by Valeriano López –Top Balsa–attempts to reflect upon the subject of immigration, “Where are these people going?” asks the footnote. The question “What on earth has happened to this person?” provokes a dialogue about the different kinds of catastrophes that one person can experience. There are other, more specific disasters than those set out in the exhibition – Estela funeraria señalando la proximidad de Lemoiz; by Jorge Oteiza–.

Following this series of questions, it is now the turn of the action in the workshop space. From that point on, visitors will take part in a number of different activities and workshops, each in accordance with their own interests. The educational activities are linked to works exhibited in the Centre-Museum and so, depending on the subject proposed by the groups, participants will reflect upon works from different exhibitions.

Catástrofes belongs to a series of exhibitions initiated nine years ago by ARTIUM in order to provide pedagogic support for a number of specific groups. Although initially conceived as exhibitions for children (for this reason the works and texts were shown and treated in the gallery under special conditions), this initiative has developed rapidly as an educational vehicle in programmes such as those that the Education Department is developing with centres for the elderly, with the Psychiatric Hospital of Alava and the addiction treatment centres, among others. In this sense, these small-scale exhibitions made with works belonging to the ARTIUM Collection, are designed to introduce the public to contemporary art in an easy and dynamic manner, and deal in each case with a specific issue in order to learn how to look, analyse and interpret the different meanings contained in works of art.

ARTIUM. Basque Museum-Centre of Contemporary Art
Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
+34 945 20 90 00

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