harriak: “barru, barren, barrene” erakusketa
Barru, barren or barrene is the name of a handball game which is called different things depending on where it is played. It’s a game for everyone, irrespective of their age or gender. A person’s physical ability does not determine whether or not they can play. Anyone can take part, even those who have never tried it before. At the same time, the words barrua, barrena or barrenea refer to what exists inside a body, shape or structure.
The wall of the Arriaran dam is embedded with a sculptural structure designed by Nestor Basterretxea in collaboration with the dam engineers. The internal part of the structure holds two spaces which, in turn, house different rooms. The initiative which we are unveiling to you today puts some of these rooms into use as an exhibition space. Using the rooms in this way enables us to bring a new perspective to a project which brought together civil engineering with art. It also provokes a reflection on the context of the work. Situated in an enclave of Beasain, it takes us back to a time which the work itself spurred into existence. The local exhibition hall in Teatro Usurbe was opened by Basterretxea himself just a few months following the inauguration of the Arriaran dam. Using these facts as the starting point, this initiative addresses one of the key aspects of the Harriak project, namely to encourage an awareness of contemporary art within small towns and villages.