The exhibition held at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía dedicated to Ibon Aranberri (Itziar-Deba, 1969) at the Benedictine Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos (Burgos), is inspired by the collective memory of humans and analyses how cultural heritage is transformed by history and our industrial culture.
Aranberri analyses information generated by signs and their combinations in the landscape, "recoded topological spaces". In Gramática de meseta she sets out the phenomenology associated with the destruction of heritage as a result of the construction of large public infrastructure (roads, dams) and the de-contextualisation of its ruins to give them new symbolic uses. For this, she uses a sequence of 50 slides obtained from the archives of the big corporations that are involved in the construction of these large infrastructures, and intersperses them with images of new ideas that offer an updated vision of the same scenarios.
The projection is accompanied by a series of photographs on paper that reveal faint traces of the materials in their new locations, as well as plans and drawings on dismantling and assembly techniques. All the material is presented on a background of steel and glass modules, on which an on-structure is established, and in addition to gathering the figures, defines a sculptural, spatial and articulated form.
In this exhibition Aranberri reflects on the transformation of the landscape and the constant changes of location and on the appearance of the elements - such as the relocation in the historical centre of a city of the fragments of a ruin from the outskirts - motivated by the representation of power which is given by monumental heritage. From the most characteristic elements of these remains, new buildings are constructed with forms and functions that are very different to the originals. As their utility value has changed, these new compositions lose their original value and give way to a memorial-object stereotype.
At other times the transfer occurs stone by stone, while the use of contemporary materials in their reconstructions generate new morphological and semantic variations. The joints between the brickwork are now filled with cement and resin, and as a consequence the new construction will extend past original expectations, like a metaphor of an overrepresented fictional story.
There are items we move, others that we keep, like material and memory transactions, a memory that is assembled and dismantled again and again, in such a way that the visible object ends up replacing the memory.