GaztEKaitza II

Five years have passed since GaztEKaitza, where we exhibited the work of four young artists from Lapurdi. Five years on, how are these artists faring?

Have they taken new directions, opened up new paths, undergone changes and transformations? What of the internal torments and tensions that prompted the choice of the exhibition’s ambiguous title?

The four Lapurtar artists have agreed to return to St Jean Pied de Port/Donibane Garazi for a second edition: GaztEKaitza II.

Beatrice Elso (Itsasu), Muriel Platero (Baiona), iF (Uztaritze) and Viviane Michel (Milafranga) will exhibit their recent works - Ink drawings, works combining different techniques (ink, oil, collage...), acrylic paintings and metal sculptures – in the Bishops' Prison of from 4 October to 1 November.

Opening hours: Daily except Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 2:30- p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Inauguration: Friday 4 October at 6.30 p.m.

Viviane Elso

Pondering the passage of time I follow paths of reflection into a world of cloud-trees, hour-glasses and time-stealers.

Like threads and droplets, time passes within and around forms cut out of paper.

Perched in the sky, time takes root, giving birth to cloud-trees…whose leaves become hands, the hands of the time-stealers.

Time takes flight, catches us up, runs away, flows… Drop by drop, it invades the page. A break in the clouds brings a moment of rest in our nomad lives of unceasing movement.

We need somewhere to shelter, to protect ourselves.

Narrative images, painted, drawn or cut out and imposed on canvas or on paper; different techniques superimposed on each other (oil paints, ink, crayon, paper collage) while each layer remains distinct. The traces of time cover the traces of the past.

Draw closer and discover a text, a thread, a drawing unnoticed in a corner of an image.

Béatrice Elso

Drawing is like breathing...

it’s vital.

Breath in deeply to draw inspiration from my emotions,

beyond words,

somewhere on the criss-cross paths

in the far depths of my memory… of my entrails

I rummage through this entanglement

of prejudices and ideas, matured or aborted,

inherited from I know not whom… received I know not whence...

Breath out deeply to spit this bag of bones on to paper.

Pell-mell I draw my figures with black ink and

throw them into a dream world that is both ferocious and tender.

Then I leave it to the spectator to find her own story.

Muriel Elso

Figuratively, I explore humanity from different angles, looking for the limits that divide people from animals, addressing the spirituality of humankind, exploring people’s thoughts and feelings, examining how far their flesh and bodies owe allegiance to the spirit.

My figures are mostly suffering and contorted, bringing them closer to their essential being and distancing them from mere appearance.

Clearly, my creations are influenced by what I see and hear in the world around me.

They refer, perhaps, to an era, but they in no way attempt to demonstrate modernity or artistic renewal.

They do not constitute artistic research, nor do they provide any answers.

Rather, they pose questions. My aim, in short, is to identify humanity in human beings.


iF has taken the universal theme of Liberty as the axis of his work. Starting from an apologia for forbidden loves and bodies (Arrak eta garrak, 2011), he has led us to challenge a World that claims to be Free while its economy is based on war and the denial of basic rights (Isilduak, 2012). The human condition is unambiguously laid bare in bodies shackled by invisible bonds.

But his more recent Isilduak hold out a ray of hope. Colour returns with vigour, as does movement. Not everyone is ready to accept this state of being taken hostage.

And now it’s the turn of Hirisilduak to take over from Isilduak and bring discussion of the universal back to a concrete topic: urban planning. One World. No, Two Worlds reveal themselves to our eyes. One is at odds with the other. On the one hand, the condensed city (houses in streets, local services, social connections, a living local economy) and on the other hand the functional city (individualism, commuter homes, dead end streets, showiness, private property, elitism, sterilization of the environment). This latter is what is now imposed upon us in a generalized and forceful way, with the former considered anachronistic. Social links are replaced by the links and chains of individualism. Each little house with its garden around it becomes a small prison, both for those that live within it and for those outside. Prisoners in probable liberty...

Place: Apezpikuen presondegia

Town: Donibane Garazi

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