The De Ateliers DEBUT SERIES is the fruit of the close and enduring relationship between the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and De Ateliers. The forthcoming show by Lara Almarcegui (b. Zaragoza, Spain, 1972) will be the third in the series of solo shows by artists who have spent time at De Ateliers in Amsterdam (the Netherlands’ premier institute fostering young artistic talent). This valuable initiative is sponsored by Outset Netherlands and the Niemeijer Fund. For her forthcoming exhibition in the projects gallery, Almarcegui has created a brand new work based on the Gemeentemuseum building.
Lara Almarcegui employs procedures similar to those of an archaeologist, but applies them to buildings and sites that still exist. The basis of her work is the idea that the materials of which a building is made will be all that remains when it is demolished. Almarcegui herself puts it like this: “The list of materials recalls the building before it was constructed, when the materials were loaded on the truck for delivery, and it resembles the pile of material it will turn into after it has been disassembled. The list is like a cookbook that shows a dish alongside the list of ingredients. Here you can see the building with its various components.”
Almarcegui documents her investigations in many different ways: in the form of ‘listings’ (lists of the type and weight of materials used in the buildings concerned), videos, and physical representations of the materials involved. At the Venice Biennale in 2013, for example, she filled the Spanish Pavilion with the exact quantities of raw materials used to construct the exhibition space.
New work based on the Gemeentemuseum building
For her show at the Gemeentemuseum, Almarcegui has worked in close cooperation with the museum to carry out a specific investigation into the bricks used by the museum’s architect, H.P. Berlage, to construct his last great masterpiece in the 1930s. The results of the investigation are encapsulated in the ‘listing’ that will be on display in the projects gallery from 29 August.
In addition, the artist will exhibit Buried House, Dallas (2013), a video showing a house being demolished and the rubble being buried in a large hole on the same site: a way of suggesting that all the materials that make up the buildings important to us – from private homes to churches – will eventually end up in the ground, covered over with new structures of significance to subsequent generations and cultures.
This iniative is sponsored by Outset Netherlands and the Niemeijer Fund.