Jon Mikel Euba was born in 1967 in Amorebieta and trained in painting and audiovisuals at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of the Basque Country, as well as in various workshops with Txomin Badiola and Ángel Bados, who would also mentor authors such as Itziar Okariz, Ana Laura Aláez or Sergio Prego in the context of ARTELEKU.
As well as figures of the generational link between the legacy of Jorge Oteiza and the so-called New Basque Sculpture. After a few work stays in Berlin, Istanbul and Amsterdam, he settled permanently in Bilbao, and in his production, using video, installation and drawing, and incorporating references to underground cinema and comics, he has been reflecting since the mid-nineties on around violence and its forms.
Inserted to a large extent in action art, his workplaces the body at the center of artistic practice and, from hermeticism, assigns the viewer an active role in the construction of the visual narrative, presenting them with disturbing scenes or meaningless incidents that they turn everyday environments into suspenseful terrain.
Until next April and curated by Manuel Segade, the Dos de Mayo Art Center in Móstoles dedicates the exhibition “Animals that bear the weight of mysterious loads in environments created by opposing forces” to him, in which, in his line of conceiving drawing and sculpture as means capable of being projected in other disciplines.
Articulating his own creative production systems in which he involves other people among whom he acts as a mediator, Euba proposes a productive space rather than representation or results presentation.
The title of the exhibition, which adopts a quote from David Foster Wallace, alludes to the ancient custom of creating paths on the slopes by releasing loaded donkeys onto them to reach the summit: to save energy, their paths will be zigzagging and less steep possible.
The forces in opposition would be those offered, from the point of view of Euba, by the architecture of CA2M itself: he considers that this center, like other museums built at the beginning of the 21st century, seeks in its design and in its relationship with urbanism surrounding overrepresentation and spectacle.
Which is why its facades are often enormous, despite the fact that they do not serve any purpose of exhibition. As for the interiors, he appreciates special attention to the movement of the viewer and the contemplation of the exteriors, above that of the exhibitions themselves.
In the case of the center of Mostola, built on the site of an old mansion structured around an interior courtyard, its museum adaptation entailed the arrangement of numerous partitions that, Euba understands, give rise to rare unused spaces and originate the energies opposed to the that this project alludes to.
We will see in the exhibition materials associated with packaging, transport boxes, and sometimes fragmentary construction elements that have not been removed from the CA2M rooms because they are considered part of the exhibition, while the Biscayan sculptures have been equated to gestures displayed on the body of the museum building, as documentation exercises in situ.
Among them are closures of the openings that prevent views of Móstoles and lead us to a more concentrated look towards the rooms. In contrast, openings at other points in the form of openings on a human scale, intensifiers, will facilitate access mechanisms to other spaces, according to a purely artistic mediation, and the angles of the rooms and pillars have become more complex thanks to slowing-down elements that they limit energy flows or channel them into movement through the rooms.
“Animals that bear the weight” are completed by several prototypes on paper that include the combinations of up to a dozen viable perforations on the walls of the exhibition rooms: they are smaller circular holes that allow other possibilities of movement and room for the spaces, generated taking the body of the same artist as a pattern.
They imply the development of a potential performance that connects the center with the Euba studio, as the place par excellence where the body of the creator is the measure of almost everything. From the sculptor’s conception, each room in this exhibition must be interpreted by the viewer as a classroom, attending to a performative perspective; in them they will be able to take form potentials and diverse educational stories.
They interact with the works, on our tour, different videos that collect filming of human and animal bodies; refer to the gestation process of this exhibition, also conceptually.
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