press release only in german

From 28 May to 29 August 2021

Tabakalera presents its new contemporary art exhibit Komunikazio-Inkomunikazio, which is derived from the figure and work of Mikel Laboa (1934-2008), one of the most important Basque-language singer-songwriters of the late 20th century, and one of Basque culture’s most charismatic and loved figures. Curated by Oier Etxeberria, the showing uses a contemporary art perspective to explore the relationship between the concepts of popular culture and experimental creation, or between deep-rooted expression and international avant-garde, concepts between which the artist built two-way bridges, constituting the pillars of his musical production.

As a point of departure, the exhibition takes Mikel Laboa’s Lekeitioak, experimental songs comprised of sets of voices, shouts, conventional sounds, and onomatopoeias that the artist uses to create his own different language. The exhibition brings together works by more than thirty artists, from archives and historical documents to historical and contemporary works, intersecting with new productions promoted by Tabakalera, and is completed with works by artists from different generations and archives and documentation from both public and private collections.

The works in the show offer a reflection on folklore and popular culture understood as changing and transforming forms, exploring the power relations established by the machinery of language with the world around it. Many of the works can be understood as warnings that language and its categories have the ability to modulate and alter what we hear and see.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, John Akomfrah, Vicente Ameztoy, Joxean Artze, Artze anaiak, Tarek Atoui, Txomin Badiola, Zbyněk Baladrán, Josu Bilbao, Fernand Deligny, Peter Friedl, Dora García, Francisco de Goya, Susan Hiller, Höller & Parreno, Kimia Kamvari & Nader Koochaki, Louise Lawler, Erlea Maneros Zabala, Jon Mantzisidor, Remigio Mendiburu, Asier Mendizabal, Itziar Okariz, Olatz Otalora, Pauline Oliveros, María Salgado & Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca, Lisa Tan, Amaia Urra, José Mari Zabala, José Luis Zumeta.