• IRK Magazine

An Interview with Nekane Aramburu

A section of an interview with Nekane Aramburu was included in an article entitled Liminality in the Garden of Eden edition of IRK magazine. A transcript is featured below in both English and the original Spanish. IRK Magazine is on sale in the shop of the Es Baluard Museum and available for online purchase here

IRK: You are the director of the Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Palma de Mallorca. What percentage of your artists are local?

Nekane Aramburu: Es Baluard is an international centre which is focused on the Balearic Islands but from an international perspective. Therefore, we do not look at the percentage as much as the quality of the work. As a rule, every year there is a review exhibition of Balearic artists, in the sense that we have the local point of view for a regional museum, and we attempt to make projects with local young artists within a contemporary process of investigation.

IRK: How do local visitors respond to international artists and their exhibitions?

Nekane Aramburu: It depends. We try to do exhibitions with international artists but focused on issues in a way that people from the islands could be interested in. For example, now, we host exhibitions with international artists who address issues of relevance to the people of the Balearic Islands. For example, in the current exhibition “On anam? (Where are we going?)” Félix González-Torres addresses the themes of immigration and the dispersal of people from their homeland, which are themes of local interest.

IRK: As the director of Es Balaurd, we are interested in your reflection about photography, especially connections and points of contact between the realms of contemporary art and photography.

Nekane Aramburu: In memory of the series of exhibitions entitled ´Reproductibility´ which addressed the evolution of the image from the first experiments within the history of photography, and the image in movement from those times into the present day. I understand photography primarily as a support of an artistic investigation, and the support is not considered as a part of, but not as important as the overall project. Walter Benjamin described that the image in the age of reproduction looses its aura and converts itself into something industrial and mainstream. Therefore, photography is evidently of interest but as a support to a project, as within the domain of Contemporary Art the content is considered to be more important than the medium.

IRK: Do you have an opinion on the resistance of the art world to fashion photography?

Nekane Aramburu: My opinion is that the resistance is a little absurd because when we speak of artistic creation, it is multidisciplinary, and has many entry points and ways of expression, and really the time has come to create truly interdisciplinary work, which is really positive. Therefore, I don’t understand the resistance of the artworld to fashion photography, to me it doesn’t seem right.

IRK: Do you have plans to integrate more photography into Es Baluard in the future?

Nekane Aramburu: Well, the history of photography forms part of the history of contemporary art, but the integration of the photographic image into the museum has be unforced and as part of a natural process. As an example, I have studied the photographers of the avant-garde that passed through the Balearics in the 20’s and 30’s, well this can be incorporated, but only because it is part of a process logical evolution rather than premeditation.

IRK: The subject of this edition of IRK is about Adam and Eve and I would be interested in your point of view on this subject from the perspective of Contemporary Art.

Nekane Aramburu: I am more interested in Lilith than Eve, who was the first partner of Adam and was an independent woman, free-thinking, esoteric and as she refused to be subservient to Adam she was banished from the Garden of Eden. Within the museum was are working with issues such as gender and transgender from the perspective of relationships. We also address issues of paradise in the artistic representation idyllic landscape of the north of the island. As people are conscious of artistic landscape interpretation as being connected with the environment our ‘Sustainable landscapes’ project covered ecological themes and have inspired the museum to adopt a ‘Zero Waste’ initiative, to cease the use of plastic and to be mindful of the the use of paper.

IRK: The political situation in Catalunia is covered by in International news reports. Could you evaluate the impact of national or international politics on creative production of artists?

Nekane Aramburu: Yes, in respect to this I can say two things. Firstly, that I believe that everything local is global, in that in the local situation is that there is evidence of global problems of global issues of nationalism and independence. And, that what happened in Catalonia makes me think of these political and social process that have happened since antiquity but have arisen in the last three hundred years. Now there is a conclusion to the period. The conclusion of the time period is what is being put on the table, and what it is producing is very clear for us all to see. Artists are not impermeable to the pace at which time is galloping past us all, where all processes pass at high speed and at all levels, including the political and the social realm. Abruptly an important news item is completely forgotten from one day to the next because it has been replaced by another. The modification of chronological time is changing the way that we think, which is evidently affecting the production of intellectuals and artists.

IRK: You have had a very successful career until now. Could you share with us any advice for people who would like to work in the art world?

Nekane Aramburu: Work, work, work! There is no other way… and I believe that there is also a non-existent line between your life and work, that in reality is the same. We are speaking of a vocation that constitutes a point a view which cannot be separated. It is not a fixed job which you start in the morning and leave behind you when you close the door of the office in the afternoon. It is your whole life. In reality, if you believe in something, fight for it with all of your energy !

Versión original en español

IRK: Eres la directora de Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma ¿Qué porcentaje de tus exposiciones son con artistas locales?

Es Baluard es un centro internacional, enfocado a visibilizar la creación de las Islas Baleares pero desde una perspectiva internacional. No miramos tanto el porcentaje como la calidad. Por norma, cada año hay una exposición de revisión de artistas baleares, en el sentido de que entendemos lo local como lo balear por el hecho de ser un museo autónomico. Digamos que una vez al año, y tú lo has visto, hay una exposición de un colectivo o un artista histórico de relevancia balear, que es un poco nuestra función como museo: visibilizar la creación contemporánea de los artistas más consagrados. Por otra parte, intentamos hacer proyectos con artistas mas jóvenes, pero dentro de un proceso del investigación mas contemporáneo.

IRK: ¿Cómo aceptan los visitantes residentes de las Islas Baleares a los artistas internacionales, sus exposiciones y temas de que llegan desde otras culturas?

Depende, por eso intentamos que las exposiciones con artistas internacionales se programen con cuestiones que de alguna manera sean próximas a los intereses de las islas. Es decir, por ejemplo, ahora dentro del antropología del Mediterráneo hay exposiciones sobre la inmigración, la diáspora, probl