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  • Pinta London 


    12-15 June 2014



    The installation entitled Colour Field by Sonia Falcone from Bolivia, attracted my attention before I saw it due to the vast amount of pungent and unmistakeable odours sucha as curry, chocolate, pepper, clover, cumin seed, anise, coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg.

    Throughout history, spices have motivated marine exploration and trading routes and therefore this artwork expresses an age-old history of spices in the form of piles of multicoloured spices and pigments in clay bowls. It can be described as a new landscape of senstations as it is geographically multicultural in uniting cultures from opposite ends of the earth. The resultant exhibit excited both the senses of smell and nostalgia prior to that of sight.

    A most interesting curated show by Nekane Aramburu was entitled GAUR(sic), translated as ¨Today¨ in Basque. Sic, in its bracketed form, is most often inserted into quoted or reprinted material in order to indicate meticulous accuracy in reproducing the preceding text. 


    It featured the work of eight artists based in the Basque Country, and analysed it within the context of the evolution of video art in Spain, therefore raising awareness of contemporary Basque art and placing it within an international context. Its showing at Pinta London marked the launch of an international tour for the exhibition, travelling to Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uraguay, Argentina, Chile and Nicaragua later this year. 


    The artist Ixone Sadaba explained the importance of her work to construct meanings in Political Landscapes. Her work is entitled Shipwreck with Spectator (2008, 17.51 minutes), in which a group of art students and actors performed Insults towards the public as a work of juxtaposition of angles of filming, within a natural space in Iraq. She is very keen to return to Iraq to create new work but the current political problems are unfortunately preventing her.


    The three most important issues that were being demonstrated in the artworks were the strength of the works undertaken by women, the intensity of collaborative projects and the importance of interdisciplinary movement between practices. When I was there I watched ¨Pilota Girls¨ (2012, 5 minutes) with the curator Nekane Aramburu, who is the director of the Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary and Modern art in Palma, Mallorca. 

    It is a collective of the artists Alaitz Arenzana and María Ibarretxe, which consists of a masculine woman aggressively playing Basque handball on the streets of Bilbao, accompanied by intense music performed by one of the artists. Women are prohibited from competing in this sport and therefore it is a comment of the role of the woman in Basque society. 


    The project in an initiative of the Etxepare Basque Institute, the Spanish Agency of International Development and the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Spanish Embassy. 


    I was delighted to meet by chance a friend and fellow artist Ece Clarke in the exhibition space of GAUR (sic).


    A special homage to abstract art in Spain entitled ´Black and White in Spanish Geometry from 1950-1970, was curated by Jose de la Mano and included work by José Luis Gómez Perales and Enrique Salamanca.


    Intriguing paintings by Enrique Brinkmann were constructed of stretched steel mesh painted with oil paint and graphite. The smooth texture contrasted with where the paint has been pushed through the mesh, to create pixilated sculptural forms. 


    A work by Felipe Ehrenberg created in 1976/7 caught my eye as it seemed very contemporary. It was entitled Selective information and consisted of a newspaper image of soldiers covered with tracing paper, which had squares cut into it to reveal the image underneath. 


    Javier Vanegas from Columbia exhibited a collection of artworks based on Albinos. The glass plate on a white surface manifested as a negative image, and on a black background as a positive image. The subjects were chosen by the depigmentation of their skin, which at certain times in history have been segregated, discriminated against and even persecuted. Therefore raising the issue of the relationship between the photographed subject and the photographic medium.