Fifty years after the Museo de Navarra hosted the exhibition ‘Current Basque Art’ as part of the Encuentros del 72, the Ciudadella bears witness to that event with a comprehensive overview of the current panorama of Basque-Navarre sculpture. with title ‘Encounter 2022 Sculpture’The Mixed Pavilion brings together 80 works, three of them displayed outside, in an initiative promoted by the Eskuhaldunk-Azken Muga Collective.
As part of the program to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Encuentros del 72, it features the participation of 24 artists from Navarra, including Carlos Siriza, Faustino Azcorbe, Carlos Puroy, Luisa Aldaburu, Maite Canto, Irene Zaranz or Marijos Ricalde,
As explained by Javier Pérez, coordinator of the Navarrese Sculptors of the Azcan Muga Collective, the exhibition began to take shape in the Azcan Muga Arts and Culture Festival, which was held in the midst of nature, exactly those of Azkarate (Navarra) and Bedao . on the middle border. (Gipuzkoa). “Azken Muga is a diverse movement, open to different trends and ideas. We are inter-generational: 80-year-old artists and out-of-university people”, Perez said of this group of artists, who worked in particular. It has intensified its activity since this year.
In the words of Pamplona City Council’s Plastic Arts Technician Javier Manzanos, the ‘Encuentros 2022 Sculpture’ “takes on the great tradition of the Basque school of sculpture of great masters such as Otiza, Chillida, Mendiburu and Busterretzia, who are the fathers of current Basque sculpture”. For Manzanos, the “great wealth” of this “huge” exhibition is the diverse panoramas that include: “There are sculptures of all languages: from sculpture and abstraction to more conceptual works, and new technologies exist as well.”
In this final section, the ‘Mapping’ which will be carried out by Navarrese artist Irene Zaranz and which can be seen in early September, stands out. The composition will focus on a Navarrese woman set in the year 1610, when the Inquisition staked several neighbors of Zugarramurdi accused of witchcraft. “Through ‘mapping’, with poetry and metaphors, those non-conforming layers of our reality will be merged,” said Zaranz of the creation.
In addition to accommodating all kinds of techniques and materials, this exhibition also brings together several generations of sculptors. One of the oldest artists is Vicente Laria, who participated in the exhibition ‘Current Basque Art’ during the encounter five decades ago. At the same time, it allows to get closer to the work of young creators. Villava artist Irene Zaranz explained that a group of female sculptors also gained weight within the Azken Muga collective: “At other times we didn’t have a chance to show ourselves,” she said. “In these last 50 years it seems that there have not been mass movements arising with Azken Muga as a result of that encounter in the jungle”, I have assessed.
from decline to resurrection
Biscayne artist Guillermo Olmo, coordinator of Azken Muga, explained that the collective currently brings together 130 sculptors. It is a symptom that the sculpture is beginning to reclaim its former heyday after several decades spent in the background: “It was as if the sculpture was on a downward trajectory. During the 1970s and 1980s, sculpture has been of great importance in Euscal Heria, but with the appearance of other forms of art, and above all, the digital world, sculpture is losing much of its influence”, remarked Olmo. The artist emphasized the importance of this art form: “It is the area that has best represented us. When you go out and say you are a Basque or Navarrese sculptor, you see that it is important”.
Olmo explained that the Azken Muga has managed to “visible” the world of sculpture: “Each of us was involved in our workshop and we have made the move to get to know each other and organize ourselves. Now we have to give institutions to us. Need to be taken seriously and we also need to go abroad”, he remarked.
As those responsible for Azken Muga go ahead tomorrow, the ‘Encuentros 2022 Sculpture’ exhibition will be completed along with other activities scheduled for the month of September. “There will be one thing about the current sculpture, but also referring to the exhibition which was organized 50 years ago within the encounters of 72”, advanced Javier Pérez.
“We project images to give the sculpture a narrative charge”
Navaran artist Irene Zarranz exhibits the work ‘Hopi mkumiya hustuz son seria’, a female figure belonging to a series of eight pieces that represent “battle zones”. In particular, the work is inspired by an indigenous Hopi culture, which emerged in present-day Arizona. Jarranj has been working on this series for ten years. “I wanted to represent different places on the planet, including Navarra”, he said. As a creator, Zaranz develops sculpture in sync with other arts: “For example, we project images onto sculpture. We work with sound, image, and poetry, giving the sculpture a narrative charge. And with the idea of bringing it closer to the masses”, I explained.