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 community workshops, rehearsals and conversations 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, inviting the viewer to take centre stage.
Calling herself a ‘dishonest researcher’, Azpilicueta’s work navigates across 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 figures —queer, feminist, exiled and unheard voices from the past— who haunt her scripts and videos, sculptures and textiles.
Azpilicueta’s new exhibition at Gasworks will offer 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.