Bloom Projects: Beatriz Olabarrieta, Ask the Dust

*Please note the new closing date of February 3, 2019.

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara is pleased to present Bloom Projects: Beatriz Olabarrieta, Ask the Dust. Ask the Dust marks Beatriz Olabarrieta’s first institutional exhibition in the United States. Olabarrieta presents a new commissioned installation revolving around a film work exploring her ongoing interest in writing, drawing, and collaboration with other artists, musicians, and writers as devices to generate performative spaces or situations.

More than a film, this exhibition takes the form of a novel that aims to create a connection between the notion of drawing as writing, or writing as drawing. The title of the exhibition, which in itself references a novel, points to the notion of “asking the dust,” or looking for meaning and understanding not in solid objects, people, or places, but rather in the dust that those things produce and leave behind. By questioning what we are as humans with or without language, Olabarrieta examines the (im)possibility of articulation and the inevitability of the “slippage” of knowledge.

For this project, Olabarrieta collaborated with a musician, a cartoonist, and a writer, whose “voices” act as fictional alter egos of the artist. They are personas, or voices within the artist’s voice, and therefore key agents, or active parts, of the artwork. The inanimate technology that displays the work, the projector and speakers, embodies human characteristics acting as yet another alter ego.

Comprised of seven chapters, Ask the Dust inhabits a space that shifts and expands as the artwork “grows” within it throughout the duration of the exhibition. At the Opening Reception on Saturday, November 10, 2018, the first three chapters were released, alongside a commissioned text by writer Bianca Stoppani.

Two more chapters will be released Thursday, December 6, 2018 at MCASB in advance of a performative Artist Talk by Olabarrieta on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at the Santa Barbara Community Arts Workshop (CAW). Release dates of the remaining two chapters will be announced at a future date.

While visiting Santa Barbara in early December 2018, Beatriz Olabarrieta will meet with UCSB MFA students as well as provide workshops for MCASB’s Teen Arts Collective, among other community groups.

Ask the Dust is the continuation of a series of film works that Olabarrieta has been working on over the past few years, including her durational performance Dumb Bells presented at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2016.

Following the exhibition at MCASB, Ask the Dust will continue to unfold as chapters are added to the film work and take on new iterations.

Bloom Projects: Beatriz Olabarrieta, Ask the Dust is curated by Alexandra Terry.

Related Programming

Screening | Chapter Release: Ask the Dust
Thursday, December 6, 2018 | 6 - 8 pm
MCASB | 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, 93101

Artist Talk | Beatriz Olabarrieta
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | 6 - 7 pm
Santa Barbara Community Arts Workshop (CAW) | 631 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Curator Talk | Alexandra Terry: Ask the Dust
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 | 6 - 7 pm
MCASB | 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

About the Artist
Beatriz Olabarrieta was born in 1979 in Bilbao, Spain and currently lives and works between London and Berlin. Olabarrieta earned a BA in Sculpture from Wimbledon School of Art (London, United Kingdom) in 2004 and a MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art (London, United Kingdom) in 2007.
Recent solo shows include: New Clear Family, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, 2018; The only way out is in, The Sunday Painter, London UK, 2017; Clever to follow goat, Antoine Levi, Paris, 2017; Book! Don't tell me what to do, Parallel Oaxaca, CDMX, 2017; Dumb Bells, Saturdays Live, Serpentine Galleries, London, UK, 2016; Cosmic Clap, MOT International, London (2015); Plot Bunny, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland (2015). Recent group shows include: Freedom of Purpose, ViS, Hamburg, 2018; M Quelche Chose, Les Bains Douches, Alecon, France, 2018; Los argoritmos suaves, Centre del Carmen, Valencia, Spain, 2018;  All Over, Studio Leigh, London (2016) and The boys the girls and the political, Lisson Gallery, London (2015).  In 2016, Olabarrieta completed the Platform residency at Site Gallery in Sheffield and has recently been awarded the Joanna Drew Travel Bursary towards a research trip to Japan.
This exhibition is part of MCASB’s Bloom Projects series and is programmed at MCASB’s Main Space location, in the Charles Bloom Foundation Gallery. Bloom Projects features newly commissioned artwork by regional, national, and international emerging or under-recognized artists. Bloom Projects gives contemporary artists whose work has begun to garner significant attention an opportunity to move beyond their studio practice, encouraging experimentation and giving them the resources necessary to further their careers as professional visual artists.

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