Why does Lara Almarcegui create massive piles of rubble?

's Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria
Lara AlmarceguiConstruction Rubble of Secession’s Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria, photo: Wolfgang Thaler

Introduction

Spanish born Lara Almarcegui who currently lives in Rotterdam has always had a deep curiosity for examining processes of contemporary transformation that are brought about by the social, political and economic transformations in society. Since the early 1990s, Lara has examined urban areas that most artists choose not to focus on, such as rubble from construction materials and stuff from wastelands. Lara carefully catalogs and highlights each location’s inclination towards entropy or lack of order and predictability.

The meaning of her works

Her projects vary based on the intention of the message. For instance, she developed a guide to the wastelands in Amsterdam consisting of materials used to establish the wasteland in its raw form. Lara has managed to consolidate a reputation for herself as a respectable and revered artist in the global artist realm. In 2013, her work allowed her to act as Spain’s only representative in the 55th Venice Biennial.

A champion for the forgotten & overlooked sites

Usually, Lara fills the interior of the exhibition area with large piles of construction rubble that is identical to what construction workers use for construction. As an artist living at a time of widespread urban renewal in all parts of the world, including Europe, Lara has remained a champion for the forgotten and overlooked sites, even managing to preserve and protect some from utter destruction.

Another dimension of her work

Although examining abandoned places and structures is the focus of her works, Lara also investigates the various links that can be established when people in architecture and urban planning work in conjunction with each other. Through an unremitting investigation into the current state of overlooked peripheral areas, their process of development, use, and their consequent decay, Lara establishes a discourse surrounding the diverse components that make up our physical reality regarding the ever-changing global landscape.

Video: Lara Almarcegui speaks about her work

8 min 13 sec

Accomplishments

Some of her most well-known installations include Construction Rubble of Secession’s Main Hall was an installation featuring 9 massive mounds of construction materials, including bricks, terrazzo, and plaster in quantities that correspond to the composition of the original building.

Lara’s works have attracted positive attention, including participating in several biennial shows, including the Liverpool Biennial in 2004 and the Athens Biennial in 2009.

Installations

MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León
Lara Almarcegui - Abandoned River Park, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, 2013-2014
Lara Almarcegui – Abandoned River Park, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, 2013-2014
Lara Almarcegui – Abandoned River Park, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, 2013-2014
Secession, Vienna, Austria
's Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria
Lara Almarcegui – Construction Rubble of Secession’s Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria, photo: Wolfgang Thaler
's Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria
Lara Almarcegui – Construction Rubble of Secession’s Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria, photo: Wolfgang Thaler
Spanish Pavilion at Venice Biennale, 2013
Lara Almarcegui - Spanish Pavilion at Venice Biennale, 2013
Lara Almarcegui – Spanish Pavilion at Venice Biennale, 2013
Lara Almarcegui - Spanish Pavilion at Venice Biennale, 2013
Lara Almarcegui – Spanish Pavilion at Venice Biennale, 2013
TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011
Lara Almarcegui - Installation view at TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011
Lara Almarcegui – Installation view at TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011, photo: Job Janssen
Lara Almarcegui - Installation view at TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011
Lara Almarcegui – Installation view at TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011, photo: Job Janssen
Lara Almarcegui - Installation view at TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011
Lara Almarcegui – Installation view at TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011, photo: Job Janssen
Lara Almarcegui - Installation view at TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011
Lara Almarcegui – Installation view at TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011, photo: Job Janssen
Lara Almarcegui - Installation view at TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011
Lara Almarcegui – Installation view at TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011, photo: Job Janssen
Others
Lara Almarcegui - at Art Basel 2018, Switzerland
Lara Almarcegui – Gravel, 2018, 250 tons of excavated stone deposited daily from Klingenthalgrube (Basel’s last remaining active quarry), Art Basel 2018, Basel, Switzerland, photo: Public Delivery
Lara Almarcegui - Installation view at CAC Málaga, Spain, 2007
Lara Almarcegui – Installation view at CAC Málaga, Spain, 2007

All images by Lara Almarcegui unless otherwise noted.

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