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Ignacio Uriarte

Ignacio Uriarte

Reconfiguring the repetitive rhythms of administrative activity into unlikely blueprints for conceptual creativity, the Berlin-based Spanish artist Ignacio Uriarte transforms the mechanics of office routine into works that transcend their dourly quotidian genesis.

Uriarte's own experience as a one-time business administrator informs every aspect of his practice: coloured biro and highlighter pens are used to create intricate, doodle-like drawings (below left) or stark, monochrome panels. Notebooks are torn into sensuous sculptural objects (left); digital prints are generated using Microsoft's ubiquitous spreadsheet software Excel.

Further mediums including photography, installation and video transform the gestures and structures of daily office routine into unexpectedly rich vehicles of expression and enquiry which, underpinned by conceptual concern with the formulaic, echo the precisely determined practices of artists such as Hanne Darboven or Sol LeWitt.

Emerging artists; Ignacio Uriarte

There is, of course, a particular poignancy to Uriarte's vision of the office workplace as an improbable crucible for artistic inspiration.

By deftly transmuting 9 to 5 monotonies into an aesthetic framework, the artist dramatically aligns the rigour and labour-intensivity of administrative processes with methods of art-making itself.

Nevertheless, this strategy also highlights the irresolvable gulf between the two endeavours: devoid of creative agency, the mechanistic output of the office environment can never approach the meaning of an art form, and Uriarte's practice almost seems to mock the true intransigence of the business workplace.

Yet taken as a reminder of art's ability to reconfigure even the unlikeliest propositions, there's also something intensely liberating about Uriarte's premise. For millions of workers trapped within the tedium of dull routine, creative possibility lies tantalisingly at their fingertips.

Ignacio Uriarte

Ignacio Uriarte

December 2010


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