Esther Ferrer, Walking is the way / Se hace camino al andar El Cabañal, Valencia (Spain) 2015 PHOTO Rosim Zahinos
Saturday November 23
(Times and locations TBA)
Esther Ferrer is best known for her performances, which have been her principal form of artistic expression since 1965, both as a soloist and as a member of the group ZAJ until its dissolution in 1996. Her work has always been oriented to ephemeral artistic actions. She created, in collaboration with the painter José Antonio Sistiaga, the first “Workshop for Free Expression” in the 1960s, an activity that inspired similar groups in Spain. Since the 1970s she has also been active in various plastic arts: reworked photographs, installations, canvases and constructions based on the prime number series, Pi. Her work is a particular kind of minimalism, which she sometimes terms ‘rigorous absurdity’. Esther Ferrer has performed throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. In 1999 she was one of two artists representing Spain in the Venice Biennale. In 2006, she received Trace John Boehme Performance Art Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2008 the Spanish National Prize for the Arts, in 2012 the Basque government’s Gure Artea Prize, in 2013 the Mujeres en las Artes Visuales Prize, and in 2014 the Marie Claire Contemporary Art Prize and the Velazquez Plastic Arts Prize.
Esther Ferrer, untitled 7a*11d 2004 PHOTO Shannon Cochrane
Friday October 29 8pm
“Esther Ferrer strictly dissociates that core of the artistic work from all shapes of happenings or any other type of standing born in the XX century. Her actions deal with single subject; they are reduced to the extreme; they are not shows; they are not fiction; they are always anchored in the reality while being artificial and in a new context. They represent nothing. Their emptiness and absurdity turn the viewer into an interpreter; they submerge her/him in a process of interpretation. Even if the viewer behaves reluctantly or even leaves, she/he continues participating actively …” – Helga de la Motte “Rationality and unpredictability.”
Performances have been Esther Ferrer‘s principal form of artistic expression since 1966. Her work, both as a soloist and as a member of the group ZAJ, has been oriented to ephemeral artistic action rather than to permanent artistic production. She created, in collaboration with the painter José Antonio Sistiaga the first “Workshop for Free Expression” in the 1960s, an activity that was to inspire other similar groups in Spain. Other visual art projects include reworked photographs, installations, canvases and constructions based on the prime number series. Her work is a very particular kind of minimalism, which she sometimes terms “rigorous absurdity.” She has performed throughout Europe as well as in Cuba, the US, Canada, Japan and Korea. In 1999 she represented Spain in the Venice Biennale.
Esther Ferrer, untitled 7a*11d 2004
Infiltration panel discussion, with Mideo M. Cruz, Esther Ferrer, Glenda León, Cheryl l’Hirondelle; moderated by Johanna Householder, Toronto 2004