(b. Zaragoza, Spain, 1972; lives and works in Rotterdam, Netherlands)
COMMISSIONED BY Litmus Research Initiative
Lara Almarcegui, Relocated Houses, Brittons Yard, 2009, Wellington, 13 February 2009. Commissioned by Litmus for ONE DAY SCULPTURE. Photos: 1-4 courtesy the artist, 5&6 by Stephen Rowe.
(Click to enlarge)
Click to download a printable version
of the Dominion Post pages
Relocated Houses, Brittons Yard, 2009
Friday 13 February 2009, 6.30-8.30pm
Brittons Yard, Haywards Hill Road, Wellington and insert in Dominion Post newspaper, Wellington
> Click here for a map
> Click here for information from the Public Programme event
> Click here fro Kate Linzey's commissioned critical response
Mini van to Brittons Yard was provided, leaving from outside the entrance to Te Papa at 6pm & 6.45pm, returning to Wellington at 7.45pm and 8.45pm. Gold coin donation.
On the outskirts of the city of Wellington there is a strange street of houses. The domestic buildings sit side by side unoccupied and unfurnished, some in a state of disrepair, others relatively pristine. The eerie quality of this ‘street’ can be attributed to the fact that these houses were never intended to stand together. On display temporarily by Brittons Housemovers, each building has undergone removal from another location – perhaps an area of development in the city itself, or in some cases, from another region.
Whilst housemoving is a relatively common occurrence in New Zealand, this practice intrigued Rotterdam-based artist Lara Almarcegui and led her to discover this curious and compelling way-station for relocated houses as they await sale. Drawing on her experience of researching the histories of wastelands and ruins, Almarcegui worked intensively to trace the roots of each house on the street.
The resulting ONE DAY SCULPTURE project includes a catalogue of the houses’ histories published as an insert in Wellington’s daily newspaper, the Dominion Post, and an exclusive artist-led tour of the street at Brittons yard. Though the individual stories of each of the houses may touch on personal histories, it is the potential for these sculptural objects and buildings to tell us about the moments of change in the region’s histories that most interests the artist. Inviting us to visit the yard with her one evening, Almarcegui coaxes us to look not simply at what these buildings are but why and how they are here, and in turn to speculate on the processes of change in our environment.
Commissioned by Litmus Research Initiative. Realised with major funding support from Mondriaan Foundation, SEACEX, Wellington City Council Public Art Fund, Massey University Foundation, Massey University College of Creative Arts and Royal Netherlands Embassy.
Lara Almarcegui, Construction materials water tower, Phalsburg 2000
The work of artist Lara Almarcegui often explores neglected or overlooked sites, carefully cataloguing and highlighting each location's tendency towards entropy. Her projects have ranged from a guide to the wastelands of Amsterdam, to the display 'in their raw form' of the materials used to construct the galleries in which she exhibits. Her works are simple actions that belie the rigorous research process she undertakes to achieve them. Construction materials of Frieze Art Fair, Almarcegui's project for Frieze Art Fair, London (2006), presented a large-scale wall text documenting the range and volume of the material components of the architectural structure of the fair. The list highlighted the scale of the event as well as its transitory nature, and as such represented an alternative way of drawing attention to, and experiencing, the site of exhibition. Characteristic of her engagements with public space, Almarcegui 2003 project for INDEX, Stockholm, involved her occupation and renovation of a boat abandoned, since the 1920s, on the banks of Arsta Bay in Stockholm.
Recent group exhibitions include: Taipei Biennial; Gwangyu Biennial; LIAF Arts Festival, Svoelvaer, Sandretto Foundation (2008), Sharjah Art Biennial (2007), the 27th Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo (2006), the 2nd Seville Biennial, Seville (2006), Momentum, Nordic Festival of Contemporary Art, Moss (2006) and Offentlig handling (Public Act), Lunds Konsthal, Lund (2005). Recent solo exhibitions include the Gallery Ellen de Bruin Projects, Amsterdam; Sala Rekalde, Bilbao; Gallery Pepe Cobo, Madrid (2008); Malaga Centre of Contemporary Art, Malaga (2007), the FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon (2004) and INDEX, Stockholm (2003).
Almarcegui was born in Zaragoza, Spain in 1972 and studied Fine Arts in Cuenca (1991 - 95) and at the Ateliers 63, Amsterdam (1996 - 98). She currently lives and works in Rotterdam.