Pilgrimages for a New Economy (Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, 1996, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 2007, RA-4 print, framed 50 x 40 cm, edition of 5
Pilgrimages for a New Economy (East Building, National Gallery of Art, 1978, Washington D.C., USA), 2007, RA-4 print, framed 50 x 40 cm, edition of 5
Pilgrimages for a New Economy (The Louvre Pyramid, Louvre Museum, 1989, Paris, France), 2007, RA-4 print, framed 50 x 40 cm, edition of 5
Pilgrimages for a New Economy (Blur Building, Expo 02, 2002, Yverdon Les Baines, Switzerland), 2007, RA-4 print, framed 50 x 40 cm, edition of 5
Pilgrimages for a New Economy (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 1974, Washington D.C., USA), 2007, RA-4 print, framed 50 x 40 cm, edition of 5
Pilgrimages for a New Economy (Museo Soumaya, 2011, Mexico City, Mexico), 2012, RA-4 print, framed 50 x 40 cm, edition of 5
Pilgrimages for a New Economy (Taiyuan Museum of Art, 2010, Taiyuan, China), 2012, RA-4 print, framed 50 x 40 cm, edition of 5
all images courtesy of the artist and Maisterravalbuena, Madrid
OVER the last decade, with Spain in the feverish throes of what some have called the Bilbao Syndrome, it seemed as if any town with 50 or more residents somehow had 50 (or more) million euros to spend on a shiny new contemporary art museum, whether or not it had any contemporary art with which to fill it. – Welcome to the Land of ‘Wow-Factor’ Museums by ANDREW FERREN for NYtimes
And it is precisely about what Pilgrimages for a New Economy is, an ongoing project by Bilbao-born ERLEA MANEROS ZABALA presented earlier this month at Maisterravalbuena, Madrid and discovered during Liste #17 at the booth of the same gallery.
It deals with the international rise of spectacular museum architecture and how they drive traffic and tourist income despite their questionable collection, through a selection of web images of these type of buildings in the last 50 years.
By turning her camera onto her computer and ipad screen to produce this series of photographs, ERLEA MANEROS ZABALA transforms the original documentary on the screen into otherworldly landscapes. Surface detritus such as dust, spit, and dog hair interrupt and collapse the space of the pictures.
This crossover between analogical and digital contributes to the idea of mixing fantasy and reality. This exploration ultimately constitutes an imaginary territory, a sort of test zone, marked by time, lost in a formal anachronism that accentuates the gap between prospective vision and fallen mythology.
ERLEA MANEROS ZABALA (b. 1977, Bilbao, Basque Country) currently lives and works in Los Angeles, where she received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2003. She has been included in such notable exhibitions as Manifesta 8, Murcia/Cartagena, Spain; Immaterial, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas; Picture Industry
(Goodbye to All That), Regen Projects, Los Angeles; and After the Final Simplification of Ruins, Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. She has had solo exhibitions at the REDCAT, Los Angeles, Stiftelsen 3,14, Bergen, Norway; Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City; Seamen’s Art Club, Hamburg, Germany; and
Abstract Cabinet, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Basque Country. She is represented by Carreras Múgica, Bilbao; Maisterravalbuena, Madrid, Spain; and Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles