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Lara Almarcegui

Lara Almarcegui

Since 1995 Lara Almarcegui has pursued her studies of architectural decay and regeneration; interest in her work is comparitively recent, however, particularly in the US where she made her first appearance in 2010.

Born in Zaragoza, Spain in 1972, but based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Almarcegui's practice encompasses works such as Ruinas de Holanda (Ruins of the Netherlands, 2008), a photographic guide to 154 abandoned buildings scattered throughout Holland. According to the artist, "These plots, which have no precise function, offer a huge potential. They are spaces of freedom, where anything can happen." (below).

Almercegui's interest in the delapidated and decaying extends not only to impending absence, but also to curtailing destruction through restoration and preservation: Two Weeks Painting the Sheds of the Allotment Gardens, 2002, saw the artist restoring threatened antique garden sheds in the Italian city of Turin.

contemporary artists; Lara Almarcegui

A piece commissioned for the 2006 São Paulo Bienniale offered an alternative starting point, with the artist calculating the total amount of specific construction materials present in the entire city, exhibiting the results as a chart.

These research-based records of entropy and redevelopment are accompanied by actions and interventions such as Demolition Opposite the Exhibition Room (2002), in which temporary gallery spaces were created directly in front of building / demolition sites in order to present invited audiences with "an image as far removed as possible from the image of a city presented by urbanists and town-planners."

More recently, Almarcegui has begun to investigate the fabric of exhibition spaces themselves, excavating and reconstructing, or displaying building materials equivalent in mass and type to the galleries' original construction (below).

contemporary artists; Lara Almarcegui

With the processes of urban entropy currently a hot topic in the hands of better-known artists such as Cyprien Gaillard, Almarcegui's long-developed investigation into the inevitability of urban decay - and equally ineluctable processes of renewal - instigate powerful confrontation with the very fabric of the constructed spaces we inhabit.

June 2010


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