Lara Almarcegui — Ivry souterrain


Film, installation, photography

Lara Almarcegui
Ivry souterrain

Past: April 19 → June 23, 2013

Since the mid-1990s, Lara Almarcegui has been interested in the “interstices” that exist in urban and suburban areas, the empty lots, underground passages, ruins and construction sites, spaces that are normally ignored or overlooked, which she rigorously studies in order to pass on her experience of them.

Invited in 2010 to bring her brand of research to the area bounded by Ivry-sur-Seine, Almarcegui focused on the city’s underground reality. The show at Crédac features a selection of the artist’s projects related to a new publication entitled Ivry souterrain (Underground Ivry).

The city of Ivry-sur-Seine is currently undergoing enormous change and a profound redefining of its territory, where major development projects are about to break ground.

Based on a synthesis of current data on the state of the city’s underground areas, the book Ivry souterrain examines the different periods and below-ground levels of human activity, networks and infrastructures. Old quarries and labyrinthine basements, sacred thermal springs, metro tunnels, buried lakes, networks of water, energy and telecommunications present a genuine portrait of the city through what lies beneath it.

In several of its manifestations, Almarcegui’s work resembles a straightforward inventory of data related to a given site. It is an inventory that is both “horizontal” — territories that she reveals through maps and slideshows accompanied by visitors’ guides — and “vertical” — the geological nature of a particular area, construction materials or materials coming from a destruction of some kind, which she presents in the form of lists or installations. Each work or show is an objective reproduction of the long-term experience of a place and a synthesis of a large amount of information. This reproduction may assume a monumental aspect (the Rubble Mountains currently on view at MUSAC in León, Spain), or it may be slight and minimalist, such as slideshows, guides, lists of the weights of materials—typologies springing from research or education sources enabling the viewer-reader to make a mental representation of the spaces in question.

While the artist’s projects are intrinsic to their context, they also allow her to freeze a fleeting moment and, through the work of memory, locate it in a longer, more expansive timeframe. The integrity, clarity and systematization of her art with respect to a specific place point up its singularity while making it possible to tease out the issues that have a global resonance.

Almarcegui thus combines a social commitment with her analytical art practice.

By pointing up the land’s subjugation to building development, Lara Almarcegui produces work in an approach that proves political and ecological, in the original sense of the term, i.e., the understanding of what surrounds us. Because they speak to us from margins of the land and society, her works stand as invitations to leave the exhibition space and reappropriate our environment.

Lara Almarcegui is born in Saragossa, Spain, in 1972. She lives and works in Rotterdam

Recent group exhibitions include Manifesta IX, Genk and TRACK, Gent (2012), Radical Nature, Barbican Art Centre London, (2009), Athens biennale (2009), Taipei and Gwuangyu Biennale in 2008, Sharjah Biennale (2007), The 27th São Paulo Biennial, San Paulo (2006) , the 2nd Seville Biennial, Seville (2006), (Public Act) Lunds Konsthal, Lund (2005).

Solo exhibitions include Musac, León (2013); CA2M, Madrid (2012), Künstlerhaus, Bremen (2012) Secession, Vienna and Ludlow 38, New York (2010), Gallery Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam (2008), the Malaga Centre of Contemporary Art, Malaga (2007), the FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon (2004) and INDEX, Stockholm (2003). She is represented by Gallery Parra y Romero in Madrid and Gallery Ellen de Bruijne Projects in Amsterdam.

This exhibition received the financial support of Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam, and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) With the careful support of Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris

94 Val-de-Marne Zoom in 94 Val-de-Marne Zoom out

La Manufacture des Œillets,
1 Place Pierre Gosnat

94200 Ivry s/ Seine

T. 01 49 60 25 06

Mairie d'Ivry

Opening hours

Wednesday – Friday, 2 PM – 6 PM
Saturday & Sunday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment Closed on public holidays

Admission fee

Free entrance

Venue schedule

The artist

  • Lara Almarcegui