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BRICKS TO A HOUSE / FIGURES TO A PICTURE: North American Press Imaginary 2001 - 2004

06.05. - 19.06.2011


Curated by Malin Barth

Erlea Maneros Zabala’s new series ”BRICKS TO A HOUSE / FIGURES TO A PICTURE: North American Press Imaginary 2001 - 2004” is tapping into the core issues of the moment, and she accomplishes this in an intriguing and open-ended manner without any notion of bias. Her exploration and visual articulations communicate ideas about the pressing issues of our times.

Maneros’ research analyses the aesthetics of the war on terror in American journalistic imagery. Her work addresses directly to how abstraction and composition is used as means to communicate power in mass media. The work focuses especially in the American media deliberate and consistent picture editing and alteration, in order to promote a specific public view. She illustrates the processes of how images are composed to convey a certain "truth." Her choice of material and process establish an exciting dialogue with both museological aesthetics and with the news media's forms of presentation.  The deconstructed images are carefully arranged in glass display cases in the exhibition space.

Maneros’ imagery brings up the familiarity of the portrayed violence in paradoxically dignified distant manner. The white grids on black seam to have caught the cutout figures as insect victims in a spider web. At a closer gaze the graphic lines and forms draw the eyes to the matter of factual composition theory captions for optical illusions. The images change as one realizes that what we first acknowledge as journalistic images are rather crafted and composed news media images by the editors.

Erlea Maneros Zabala expresses: ”I want to address the ways in which the aesthetics of these images equated war to beauty. Through these means, war was made parable to the audience. Furthermore war was proposed as a sublime event that could not be questioned.”

In sum, ”BRICKS TO A HOUSE / FIGURES TO A PICTURE: North American Press Imaginary 2001 - 2004” deconstructs documentary and journalistic imagery by explicitly addressing to the media’s usage of visual effects, as colour palette originally from landscape painting from the 19th century, in order to create and aesthetically pleasing picture of the war. The pictures are mainly sampled from two liberal American newspapers, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, which are both aimed at highly educated, and culturally refined readers. Maneros successfully manages to reveal how implications of taste and aesthetics are used to lead us spectators to passively digest war and death in the news along with our own breakfasts. 

Project created for Manifesta 8. Exhibtion in cooperation with Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles.

Erlea Maneros Zabala is a Basque artist living between Lekeitio, Spain and Joshua Tree, CA. She received her BFA from the Glasgow School of Art in 2002 and her MFA from California Institute for the Arts in 2003. Maneros Zabala utilizes a conceptual practice to redirect our attention from the experience of looking to how and why this information has been placed in front of us. Using appropriation, reproduction and seriality, she often begins by culling together a group of images in order to analyze how they are composed, displayed and archived. These production strategies challenge the traditional emphasis, particularly in painting, that is placed on the creation of a unique, authored object.

Previous solo exhibitions include the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; El Eco, Mexico City, Mexico; Kunsthall 3.14, Bergen, Norway; Seamen’s Art Club, Hamburg, Germany and Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain. Her work has also been presented at Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas; Centro de Arte de Dos de Mayo, Madrid, Spain; Castillo/Corrales, Paris, France; Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois and the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France.




I forbindelse med utstillingen Erlea Maneros Zabalas ”BRICKS TO A HOUSE / FIGURES TO A PICTURE North American Press Imaginary 2001-2004” og Lida Abduls “What We Saw Upon Awakening” inviterer 3.14 til forelesningskveld med Dr. Arne Strand, Assisterande Direktør og Forskingsleiar ved Chr. Michelsens Institutt.


Afghanistan: konflikt, kultur og konsensus

Det er konflikt, krigføring og øydelegging som pregar vårt mediabilete av Afghanistan. Men det er også eit land som historie og handelsvegar har gjorde til eit spanande brytningspunkt mellom kulturar, etniske grupper, språk og religionar. Kontrastane er store mellom det afghanske ”krigarbilete” og den gjestfriheita og konsensusbygginga som i like stor grad pregar det afghanske samfunnet.

Arne Strand har arbeida med Afghanistan sidan 1988, først som bistandsarbeidar og seinare som forskar. Doktorgraden hans omhandlar koordinering av humanitær bistand i Afghanistan og han har forska på tema rundt humanitær bistand, statsbygging og fred og konflikt. Han har også delteke i ei rekke bistandsevalueringar og i Den National Scene(DNS) si utvikling av det Afghanske nasjonalteateret.

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