• 31 January 2023 18:56

MERCEDES AZPILICUETA

Italiano (Italian)

*featured photo:“Telling Untold Stories Positions #5”, Archives Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (The Netherlands) Photo Peter Cox, Eindhoven, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta

A multidisciplinary artist, originally from La Plata (Argentina), born in 1981, the art of Mercedes Azpilicueta ranges from performance, textile art, video-art, installation.

Her most recent artistic research focuses on the exploration of the identities of characters from the past and the present who represent “voices out of the chorus”, figures who have moved outside the commonplace, with particular attention to the role they play in the cultural memory formation process.

 “Abya Yala (Tierra Madura)”, 2021, jacquard tapestry (merino wool, cotton, metallic yarn), 160 x 200 cm, ph. Andy Keate, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta. Source: https://www.gasworks.org.uk/exhibitions/mercedes-azpilicueta/

The artist speaks of herself as a “dishonest researcher” who navigates through multiple references and cultural fields, from art history to popular music, from literature to street culture, fascinated by the stories of characters with dissident trajectories – feminists, queer, migrants, individuals in exile – that inhabit her screenplays, performances and videos.

“By involving the body with all its defects and its potential – her own body, that of her muses and her collaborators, that of the spectators – Azpilicueta embraces its fragility as well as its capacity for resistance and care”.

“Bondage of Passions”, 2021, installation view, commissioned and produced by Gasworks, ph. Andy Keate, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta. Source: https://www.gasworks.org.uk/exhibitions/mercedes-azpilicueta/

Many of her works are often made through the use of “poor”, artisanal techniques, often associated with women’s domestic work and with techniques and knowledge considered marginal, such as sewing, embroidering or dyeing.The materials are recycled or natural (latex, leather, wool, silk, wax) and add a further level to the stories of the objects, that of the circulation of resources and knowledge often acquired through the violent exploitation of men and nature.

“Telling Untold Stories Positions #5”, Archives Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (The Netherlands), ph. Peter Cox, Eindhoven, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta

Her most recent exhibition entitled “Bondage of Passions” (2021), at the Gasworks in London, focuses on the historical figure of Catalina da Erauso, offering a speculative vision of the so-called Lieutenant Monaca, who in the early 1600s fled from convent life in the Basque Country and traveled to the New World, where he lived assuming different male identities earning a reputation as a ruthless conqueror in the service of the Spanish Empire and who was responsible for the deaths of many indigenous Mapuche in Chile.

“Bestiario de Lengüitas [Bestiary of Tonguelets]”, 2017 – 2021, textile costumes, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta

Through tapestries, costumes and holographic vinyl works, the artist offers a renewed narration of the complex, contradictory and violent history of Erauso 

Azpilicueta’s works have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museum institutions; the most recent solo shows include: t.b.a. Gasworks, London, UK (2021); Museion, Museum of Contemporary Art of Bolzano, Italy (2020); Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven (2019); CentroCentro, Madrid (2019); and MAMBA, Buenos Aires (2018).

Azpilicueta has been nominated for the Prix de Rome 2021.

“The Delinquent Breeches”, 2021, textile sculpture (Merino wool, cotton, wool felt, wood), 112 x 50 x 155 cm, ph. Andy Keate, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta. Source: https://www.gasworks.org.uk/exhibitions/mercedes-azpilicueta/

Sources:  http://www.mercedesazpilicueta.info/

https://www.gasworks.org.uk/

https://prixderome.nl/en/jaar/2021-en/

Photos has been taken from the artist’s website and are covered by copyright

PHOTO 6 “On the Dignity of Codpieces, 2021, wool felt, Merino wool, cotton, viscose, metallic yarn, holographic vinyl, cord, various dimensions, commissioned and produced by Gasworks. Ph. Andy Keate, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta. Source: https://www.gasworks.org.uk/exhibitions/mercedes-azpilicueta/

PHOTO 7 “On the Dignity of Codpieces-detail”, 2021, wool felt, Merino wool, cotton, viscose, metallic yarn, holographic vinyl, cord, various dimensions, ph. Andy Keate, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta

PHOTO 8 “The Lieutenant-Nun Is Passing: An Autobiography of Katalina, Antonio, Alonso and More-detail”, 2021, jacquard tapestry (Merino wool, cotton, metallic yarn), 160 x 400 cm. Commissioned and produced by Gasworks, ph. Andy Keate, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta

PHOTO 9 “The Trans-forming Armour”, 2021, textile sculpture (wool felt, viscose, metallic yarn, mannequin torso, holographic paper, wood), 182 x 75 x 155 cm, ph. Andy Keate, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta
source: https://www.gasworks.org.uk/exhibitions/mercedes-azpilicueta/

PHOTO 10 “On the Dignity of Codpieces, detail”, 2021, wool felt, Merino wool, cotton, viscose, metallic yarn, holographic vinyl, cord, various dimensions, ph. Andy Keate, copyright Mercedes Azpilicueta
source: https://www.gasworks.org.uk/exhibitions/mercedes-azpilicueta/