Book a free ticket to visit – online booking opens in May Gasworks presents the first UK solo exhibition by Amsterdam-based artist Mercedes Azpilicueta. Her work brings together marginal historical figures, fictional characters and gendered mythologies from South America’s colonial past.
Fuelled by collaboration with dancers, writers, researchers and craftspeople, her installations often take the form of intricate set designs, theatrical props, soundtracks and scores for a live performance that doesn’t yet exist, and where the viewer is invited to take centre stage. Calling herself a ‘dishonest researcher’, Azpilicueta navigates across multiple geographies, chronologies and fields of knowledge, ranging from literature and art history to popular music and street culture, in a loving pursuit of subversive and contested historical figures —queer, feminist, exiled and unheard voices from the past— who haunt her videos, sculptures and textiles.
The exhibition at Gasworks offers a speculative vision of Catalina de Erauso, a 17th-century nun from the Basque Country who travelled to the New World, where s/he lived under male identities and became a ruthless lieutenant in the Spanish colonial army. Azpilicueta’s show presents newly-commissioned Jacquard tapestries alongside a new body of sculptures, costumes and props. Mercedes Azpilicueta’s exhibition is commissioned and produced by Gasworks. Gasworks commissions are supported by Catherine Petitgas and Gasworks Exhibitions Supporters.
Mercedes Azpilicueta is an artist born in La Plata, Argentina. She was an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam in 2015-16, and received the Pernod Ricard Fellowship in 2017. Solo exhibitions include CAC Brétigny, Brétigny-sur-Orge (2021); Museion, Bozen (2020); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2019); CentroCentro, Madrid (2019); and MAMBA, Buenos Aires (2018). Her work has been featured at Villa Vassilieff, Paris; REDCAT Gallery, Los Angeles; MACBA, Barcelona (all 2018); CA2M, Móstoles (2017); Onomatopee, Eindhoven (2016); TENT, Rotterdam (2015); and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2014).