Ignacio UriarteBorn in 1972 in Krefeld, Germany / Lives and works in Berlin, Germany
When I quitted my last administrative job in order to work as a full-time artist, I realized that the newgained freedom implied a great deal of responsibility. Under no circumstance I wanted to abuse art for the sake of a personal liberation, which would have turned me into a cliché-artist (rebel and marginal). On the contrary, I decided to stay in my own personal “petit-bourgeois” reality in order to deal with it from the inside, using the expertise acquired over the years. That is why I have not stopped using the same tools and methods, similar to those of any office employee, working in a routine way and with routine as my major focus. My starting point is the little creative moments within office-routines, which mostly have a ridiculously small ‘artistic‘ aspect to them. Examples: When we scribble during a phone conversation (20. Bic Monochromes, 2005) or when we rip off a page from a block (10. Blocs, 2003) we are creating small paintings and sculptures. The systematic repetition of these activities according to predefined rules turns them into meta-routines, into re-enactments of the Sisyphus myth. The only difference is that the resulting pieces register in detail the methodical and repetitive labour that was necessary for their production. This way, the routine survives, enabling the audience to read and mentally recreate it. Esthetically, my work shows clear references to the conceptual and minimal art of the 60s and 70s. In those years the dematerialization of the art object in the art world and the substitution of products by services in the business world occurred almost simultaneously. 1 Maybe that is why the esthetics also started to look alike, e.g. in the chromatic limitation or in the formal simplicity, which would signalize how both, commercial products and art objects now would be generated in a (blank) mind. We could even speak of a mutual fetichization which led for instance to the use of neon light and the archive as artistic media and to the preferred use of minimalist art as decoration in offices.