The starting point for Ibon Aranberri’s work Sources without qualities was a series of abstract metal shapes encountered by the artist in different storages for industrial heritage objects throughout the Basque Country. The abstract objects were unclassified and their original function had been forgotten. After research by the artist, it was established that the shapes had been made during the last century as formal exercises by apprentices employed in the local arms industry. The installation in Gothenburg references this vocabulary of geometric forms, that essentially stayed the same throughout the shift from manual to machine labour, and the change from military to civil production in the period after the Second World War. This migration of forms traces the modern project of building a common language for a new society and material culture that includes manufacture as well as art. As the production of gun pipes evolved into the production of bicycle frames, the formal vocabulary and methods of manufacture stayed the same, but with different outcomes. The metal blocks presented here in Gothenburg, cut to the artist specifications from standardized lengths of steel, are distributed in the room according to size and weight, emphasizing their form rather than function. What might their potential be, beyond their application in the functional context of industry?
Ibon Aranberri (b.1970 in Itziar-Deba, Spain) lives and works in San Sebastian. Aranberri has exhibited individually at institutions such as Secession, Vienna (2014), Fundación Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (2011) and Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2007). He contributed to, a.o., Bienalsur, Buenos Aires (2017), Garden of Learning, Busan Biennale, South Korea (2012) and documenta 12 (2007).
Supported by AC/E – Acción Cultural Española and the Embassy of Spain in Sweden.
Sources without qualities
224 x 182 x 40 cm, 282.5 x 190 x 34 cm
Steel components, dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin
Image: Ibon Aranberri, Sources without qualities, 2016–2019. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler