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The Lara Vincy gallery is putting on the third solo exhibition by Esther Ferrer (Dans le cadre de l’art (3) in 2009 and Le poème des nombres premiers in 2002).
The following text, written by E. Ferrer, reminds us of the interest she has shown for a long time in structures and geometrical forms in space, here regarded as primary material; she precisely describes the process of
elaboration of her models and spatial projects, carried out or not.
“I have always loved making models; it is an activity that provides me with much pleasure. Manual work relaxes me and the model enables me to work in a relaxed manner, it is not a “finished” object, it is a project that evolves bit by bit as I conceptualize it and sometimes, happily, thanks to the freedom with which I can work, it takes me down paths I would never have dreamed of broaching and takes me out of my “usual paths”. When I carry them out, I am not seeking perfection, but to make visible an idea; for me, these models are like sketches and I am very attached to them.
The structures and the spatial installations have their origin in the pleasure I have always experienced since childhood, watching the electrical installations vanishing or approaching, which outline and transform landscapes
through the windows of a train or of a car. I love that “perspective in motion” and especially the internal structure of the posts that uphold the cables crossing the landscape.
I also love the notion of structuring a space with the fewest possible elements, often quite simply with threads.
Sometimes, I do it by creating haphazard forms or else by following a system that I predetermine, as for instance when I am working on the series of Prime Numbers.
At first, I liked the idea of confronting the «anarchy» of color with the «rigor» of the geometric structure. I have made many installation models in that sense, some of which are shown in this exhibition. Then, I progressively
eliminated color or I dealt with it in a different fashion.
In truth, I have never really deemed it essential to carry out my projects within a real large-scale space; if the Model I have made works, as far as I am concerned the work is finished. If I get the opportunity of making it within a large space, wonderful! Otherwise, it does not matter. I think I can claim that, without too much doubt, what counts for me is the process; it is the pathway that interests me: “Walker, there is no path, the path comes as you walk”*.”
* - Extract, Cantares by Antonio Machado, Republican Spanish poet, who died in exile in France in 1939.
Esther Ferrer, Sept. 2014
Esther Ferrer is chiefly know for her performances, her main form of expression, alone or in the group Zaj created by Juan Hidalgo, Walter Marchetti and Ramon Barce, from 1967 until its dissolution in 1996.
Her work has always been more orientated towards art/action, an ephemeral practice, rather than towards art/production.
That was how she founded with J. A. Sistiaga, in the Spain of the early sixties, the first “Atelier de libre expression” (Free expression workshop).
From the seventies onward, she has devoted part of her activity to the visual arts: worked-over photographs, objects, models, installations and paintings based on the series of prime numbers. Her work is inscribed within a very specific minimalism that could be defined as the “rigor of the absurd”. She says, but only when asked, that every performance is the “art of space, time and presence”.
She represented Spain in the Venice Biennale in 1999, and was awarded three prizes in Spain: the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas in 2008 (National Prize for Visual Arts), the Premio Gure Artea in 2012 (Basque country) and in 2014, the Premio MAV - Mujeres en las Artes Visuales (Women in the Visual Arts).
Recently, two retrospectives were shown successively in France: in the Frac Bretagne in Rennes, from January through April, 2013 Le chemin se fait en marchant / face A and in the Mac/Val in Vitry-sur-Seine from February through July, 2014 Face B. Image / Autoportrait.
Following those two exhibitions, a monographic work, the first in French (and in English), retracing her performances and her installations, was published jointly with the Frac Bretagne and the Mac/Val.