– Autumn/Winter 2006

Ibon Aranberri: Footprints

Peio Aguirre

Tags: Ibon Aranberri

(Ir.T.no.513) Cave, 2003. Photograph by Asier Larraza. Courtesy of the artist.

(Ir.T.no.513) Cave, 2003. Photograph by Asier Larraza. Courtesy of the artist.

At a time when the conquest of planet Earth is an accomplished fact, natural resources have fallen prey to the interest of Capital. Reaching the top of the Himalayas has a financial value, and not even mountaineering, increasingly portrayed as a progressive form of tourism, is safe from this exploitation.

If, as Fredric Jameson once said, 'it seems to be easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism,' this may not be just due to a weakness in our imagination, but a serious threat.1 Artistic practices such as Ibon Aranberri's emerge with a questioning attitude toward their natural environment and its constructed representations, in which tasks such as marching, exploring limits and excavating ruins frame a new field of experience.

Aranberri's most ambitious and yearning project is still to come. Visualising the fragments that will compose this new work implies an imaginary process and a commitment to an actual need for action, observation and reflection. His intuitive, accumulative, laconic and multi-faceted technique makes the viewers follow the tracks of his previous works, which become pretexts for a future personal challenge. The project is described by the artist as a mountain documentary, which he will deconstruct and reconstruct again under a new cosmos. In its current state, its mixture of references - following the concentric influence of the spiral and the allegorical form of the map - reveal a methodology in which fortuitous decisions can become the focus of interpretation, but where all the elements interact within a shared horizon. Aranberri's aspiration to this totality is not nostalgic but explicitly 'totalitarian'. It

  1. Fredric Jameson, The Seeds of Time, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994, p.xii.