Lara Almarcegui

Chantiers ouverts au public

Exhibition    Productions    Works    Residency    Publication    Biography


  • Exhibition from January 17th to March 2nd, 2003

The young Spanish artist Lara Almarcegui's vocation is to act. She acts like an archaeologist in the urban environment, presenting another perception of space, and more particularly a concrete vision of the state of a building or a public space in transformation. Wastelands, abandoned ground, allotments, new constructions: Lara Almarcegui excavates these particular territories so as to understand their history and question the relationships that humanity holds with its architectural environment, with its towns.

In 1998, she travelled across Amsterdam and published a guide to Amsterdam’s wastelands in order to demonstrate the truly ephemeral side of our towns and their incessant movement. And when she comes a little closer to buildings, as in Brussels in 1999 where she destroyed the façade of a building layer by layer to reveal the different stages of construction, Lara Almarcegui wants to make the spectator become conscious of the transitory state that ultimately characterises all architecture. She invites us, for the time of an action, to look at what is around us with another pair of eyes.

Lara Almarcegui, invited in residence at Le Grand Café, is interested in the processes that make a town alive, with a work of meticulous experimentation laden with binary rhythms (interior/exterior, construction/deconstruction, appearance/disappearance, reversible/irreversible, fertile/sterile, private/public, inhabited/disaffected, experiment/document ...).


13 Manifestos / Certificates, 2002
inkjet prints
80 x 92 cm each

Démolition en face du Grand Café, 2002
double slide show

L'Auto-construction à Saint-Nazaire, 2002
60 photographs and texts
variable dimensions

La Cabane, 2003
disassembled garden shack, slide show, text


Table documentaire
edition by the artist, editorial interventions in several mediums
collection of the artist

Construire mon jardin ouvrier, 1999-2001
slide show, texts
collection Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France


Lara Almarcegui was in residence at Saint-Nazaire in August 2002 and from 15 September to 15 October 2002. Lara Almarcegui’s residency project consisted in looking at the various urban development transformations of which the town of Saint-Nazaire was the scene at that time. Considering the town as a permanent construction site, she was especially engaged in researching the town’s anticipated building demolitions and notably the site immediately opposite le Grand Café. The inhabitants were able to be invited to attend its demolition; in this way the artist highlighted the spectacular character taken on by the mutations of the town.

At the same time, Lara Almarcegui’s work often consists in researching the traces of areas of freedom and individual action within the town. In Saint-Nazaire, she was interested by forms of auto-construction such as those practised by Les Castors, a community group born at the time of the reconstruction. The subject of Les Castors allowed the artist to link the history of the town and its urbanisation with its present, to consider the place of the individual within the collective.

Lara Almarcegui worked in partnership with local community groups, the Écomusée and the town’s urban development services.


Lara Almarcegui
Démolitions, terrains vagues, jardins ouvriers
co-edition Le Grand Cafe, Saint-Nazaire
Etablissement d'en face, Brussels, Belgium, 2003
French / English / Dutch, 48 pp.
ISBN 90-77299-01-7
15 euros

Text by Ramon Tio Bellido


Born in Saragosse, Spain, in 1972.
Lives and works in Rotterdam, Netherlands.


- Gallery Luis Serpa, Lisbon, Portugal


- FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France


- Index, Stockholm, Sweden
- Chantiers ouverts au public, Le Grand Café, Saint-Nazaire, France
- Museo de Arte Contemporaneo del pais Vasco, Vitoria, Spain
- Hôtel Saint Livier, FRAC Lorraine, Metz, France


- ARCO 2002, Galerie Marta Cervera et Caja Madrid, Madrid, Spain
- FACT, Liverpool, England
- HAL, Anvers, Belgium
- Biennale de Turin, Italy