Lara Almarcegui. Projects 1995–2010’
is the first monograph to date of Lara Almarcegui's work. Although Almarcegui has made many small format guidebooks as integral parts of her projects, this is the first publication presenting an overview of the last fifteen years of artistic practice.
The main part of the publication is formed by detailed documentation of the artist’s works and publications companioned by new descriptive texts written by the editors. These have been structured under the sections ‘Demolition’, ‘Excavation’, ‘Construction materials’, ‘Ruins’, ‘Wastelands’ (survey, access, and preservation). Alongside an introductory essay by the editors of the publication, art critic, curator and art historian Cuauhtémoc Medina and the theorist and curator Lars Bang Larsen contribute texts.
Medina presents a revised and updated version of a previously unpublished essay entitled ‘The beauty of open space: Lara Almarcegui and the freedom of the unplanned’. The essay involves an analysis of the ‘aesthetic tautology’ of the 17th-century English garden – ‘a field turned into a garden which is made to seem like a field’ – and develops a context for Almarcegui’s work through a partial history of man’s ‘perfection’ of nature, and more especially the concept of nature as coincidental with the origin of industrial modernity.
Lars Bang Larsen offers an interpretation of a single work from the artist’s ‘Construction materials’ series: 'Construction materials, City of São Paulo' (2006). Based on a talk given by the author at the Creative Time Summit: Revolutions in Public Space
, New York, October 2009, Bang Larsen argues that “Almarcegui’s work equips us with the hubris to reconceive of the city and evaluate and re-organise it as a social space”.
On the occasion of Almarcegui's solo show at TENT
, Rotterdam (6 May–26 June 2011), Latitudes
' convened a conversation
with the artist to discuss their long-term collaboration and in particular the editorial process of the monograph. Manifesta 9
curator, art historian and essayist for the catalogue, Cuauhtémoc Medina, joined reading some of the passages of his essay 'Lara Almarcegui and the freedom of the unplanned', included in the publication.