Longitudes

Cover Story—June 2019: ‘Thinking like a drainage basin: Lara Almarcegui’s ‘Concrete’

Latitudes' homepage www.lttds.org

The May 2019 Monthly Cover Story ‘Thinking like a drainage basin: Lara Almarcegui’s ‘Concrete’’ is now up on Latitudes' homepage: www.lttds.org

Lara Almarcegui’s current exhibition at the CAIRN art centre in Digne-les-Bains, southern France, focuses on the nearby Bléone river, its geology, and its exploitation. Latitudes has written an essay entitled ‘Thinking like a drainage basin’ for the accompanying catalogue. Lara’s project Béton (Concrete) has two parts. The first, seen here, involves the floor of the art centre being covered with crushed cement, gravel and sand. This raw material is the remains of several concrete structures — weirs — that were placed in the river in a failed attempt to stabilise a riverbed that had been extensively dug out over the preceding decades to produce gravel for the construction industry. The watercourse and its ecology is now being restored, and the weirs were recently removed.”

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Cover Stories' are published on a monthly basis on Latitudes' homepage featuring past, present or forthcoming projects, research, texts, artworks, exhibitions, films, objects or field trips related to our curatorial activities.


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‘Thinking like a drainage basin’ essay in the catalogue of the exhibition ‘Lara Almarcegui. Béton’


(Above and below) Installation views of the exhibition ‘Béton’ by Lara Almarcegui at the CAIRN centre d'art, Digne-les-Bains, 2019. All photos: François-Xavier Emery.

Lara Almarcegui's exhibition ‘Béton’ opened on April 5 at CAIRN Centre d'art, in Digne-les-Bains, France, and will be on view until June 30th, 2019.

Latitudes has collaborated in the bilingual catalogue ‘Lara Almarcegui. Béton’ (French/English) recently published by Silvana Editoriale on the occasion the exhibition, with the new essay ‘Thinking like a drainage basin’. The publication includes an introduction by Giulia Pagnetti (curator of the exhibition and director of CAIRN Centre d'art), a second essay titled ‘Lara Almarcegui's building sites’ by Natacha Pugnet, and a conversation between the artist and Winfried Dallmann (Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø) titled ‘Earth Calculation’.



As Latitudes' writes in the essay (...) ‘As part of her most recent project for CAIRN Centre d’art, Almarcegui has produced ‘Roches et Materiaux du Bassin de la Bléone’ (2019), an inventory of the different types of geological matter comprising the entire drainage basin of the Bléone river from its source near Prads-Haute-Bléone to its confluence with the Durance at Chateau-Arnaux, a terrain of some 906 km2.

In discussing how storytelling might integrate with environmental science, anthropologist Julie Cruikshank poses the rhetorical question, “are glaciers ‘good to think with’?”[1] She suggests that glaciers and glacial stories be allowed to disrupt and exceed conceptual fields and dominant frameworks of knowledge. Ecologist Aldo Leopold coined the term “to think like a mountain” in his 1949 book ‘A Sand County Almanac’, proposing that history could be narrated, or indeed art could be made, from the point of view of non-human actors. Are drainage basins good to think with? What might it entail to think like the rocks and topological forms that funnel water into a river in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence département in southeastern France?’



‘Lara Almarcegui. Béton’
April 2019, 48 pages, 24 x 17 cm
Texts by Natacha Pugnet, Latitudes and an interview between the artist and Winfried Dallmann. 
French/English 
Published by Silvana Editoriale
March 2019
Edited by CAIRN centre d'art
ISBN 9788836640904
Purchase here for 10 Euros.

RELATED CONTENT:
  • Writing archive on Latitudes' website;
  • Review – ‘Domènec. Y la tierra será el paraíso', adn galería, Barcelona, frieze.com, 13 March 2019
  • Opinion – ‘Frank Zappa’s Genre-Defying ‘Civilization Phaze III’’, frieze, January-February 2019, Issue 200, and frieze.com, 14 January 2019
  • Review – ‘Te toca a tí’ [It's your turn], Espai d'art contemporani de Castelló, art-agenda, 7 January 2019
  • art-agenda review of Frieze week 2018 15 October 2018
  • Catalogue essay – ‘The Kørner Problem’, in the monograph ‘John Kørner', ed. by Maria Nipper. Published by Roulette Russe, 2017. 19 February 2018

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Founded in 2005 by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, Latitudes is a curatorial office based in Barcelona, Spain, that works internationally across contemporary art practices.

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