Catalogue. Rosa Olivares (Introduction)
"Accidents are part of the performance"
"The idea must be good when the concept is bare and everybody can see it"
"There is no freedom when everything is controlled by institutions"
"I do not do art for others, I do art for myself"
"Art is the only space for freedom"
These words of Esther Ferrer, gathered over years of conversations, present us with a radical, independent, anti-exhibition and free artist with her own ideas. All this has made her since the beginning of her work as an artist - in other words, since she began doing anything - into somebody uncomfortable yet admirable, an example for everybody and at the same time somebody who is difficult to adapt to the roles assigned to an artist by the system of art today.
For over forty years, she has been developing her work based on a knowledge of the world that is systematic, rigorous and methodical. And although she claims she is only interested in her work while she is completing it in her studio, it is inevitable that we search to discover what happens to this work when it emerges from her studio, when it emerges from her mouth. And it seems that until recently she was absolutely unknown in Spain, although internationally recognised. Her performance pieces were gradually being seen, and some of her other work too, but gradually and in a piecemeal manner.
But the fact is that Esther Ferrer does not want to exhibit, and it is not easy, first, to convince her and, then later, reduce her thought down to a handful of works exhibited in some rooms. In fact, it could be said that all her work can be reduced into one: Esther Ferrer. She is the work. Not only she, her body and its energy in her performance pieces, but she, always she, in her objects, in her self-portraits, in her search for the infinite through the number Pi. In short, she, with her body, her voice, her ideas, her words, her logic and her excesses. Simply superb, any attempt to systematise her work and steer it towards an exhibition becomes a struggle that can only be won by entering into the epicentre of her thoughts. Talking with her words, seeing with her eyes, touching with her hands. That is why we have chosen four ideas that have always been present in all her works in one way or another: time, infinity, repetition and presence. In four movements, in four blocks focused on each of these concepts, the exhibition brings together her object-based work, installations and documentation of her performance pieces, key works in her career, as well as other unknown works, some never seen before or never made, or others created specifically for this occasion.
This is not a retrospective exhibition, because Esther is not particularly enamoured of looking back, and neither is it an anthology, as that is typical of artists who have ended their career and Esther Ferrer is still as active as ever. In Four Movements aims to show all the four pillars upon which a lifetime's work is constructed, and in particular present a work of art that is always under construction and in constant progress and development: Esther Ferrer.
Esther Ferrer. In four movements
North Gallery, 2011 October 8 to 2012 January 8
Curator: Rosa Olivares
Organized by ARTIUM (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country) and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E). Co-producers: Es baluard (Palma de Mallorca) and Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporáneo (Santiago de Compostela)
Catalogue of the exhibition published by ARTIUM and AC/E. Authors: David Pérez, Tom Johnson, Sergio Rubira, Alberto Sánchez Balmisa, Margarita de Aizpuru and Rosa Olivares.
Performance by Esther Ferrer: October 7, friday, 5.30 pm
8 variatons, 32 movements. How to make a performance in all posible ways... except for one. Open calling up to October 31
Inauguración: sábado, 8 de octubre, a las 20.00 horas
With the support of: Naturgas and the Provincial Council of Álava