Esther Ferrer artistaren esku-hartzea = Intervención de Esther Ferrer = An intervention by Esther Ferrer

2022-11-21 / 2022-11-21 Tabakalera < Donostia / San Sebastián < Gipuzkoa
Esther Ferrer artistaren esku-hartzea = Intervención de Esther Ferrer = An intervention by Esther Ferrer

The future public square of Tabakalera will house a new work from the series "El poema de los números primos" by Esther Ferrer, thanks to the donation that the artist will make to her city, as announced today the artist herself, the mayor, Eneko Goia, and the general director of the International Centre for Contemporary Culture, Edurne Ormazabal. It is a floor installation that will be located in the square itself and in which the colours that, in the artist's words, "define Donostia" predominate: green and blue.

The intervention by the artist based in Paris will be installed on the plaza's surface, at the entrance to Tabakalera, and will be one of the first artistic elements of this area that will be created as a result of the construction of the High-Speed Railway station in San Sebastian.

The works for the new station will create an accessible roof, which will provide direct access to Tabakalera from the second floor. The installation by Esther Ferrer will be located at the entrance of the International Centre for Contemporary Culture.

The artist herself has created, specifically for this place, a new installation made in ceramic and which is part of the series “Poem of Prime Numbers”. Other works from this series were exhibited at the retrospective on the artist in Tabakalera in April 2019. Esther Ferrer. 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23… Prime numbers are a fundamental part of Esther Ferrer's artistic work, which she has used since the 70s and 80s, through different flat spatial structures, such as the well-known Ulam spiral.

“For me, time is mental and at the same time very physical. When I work with prime numbers, it’s as if there were a material element that is neither the paper nor the thread [...] As if at that moment I were modulating time, giving it shape. While drawing the numbers, I say them out loud, and the time that passes has the same importance as in an action”, Ferrer has sometimes said.


Permanent and public installation in San Sebastian

The new Atotxa-Tabakalera train station that is already under construction will host the commuter and high-speed rail terminal. The new building will have an accessible elevated plaza that will connect directly with the interior of the International Centre for Contemporary Culture. The project is expected to be completed during 2024.

The mayor of Donostia/San Sebastian, Eneko Goia, pointed out that “it is a huge honour and delightful that an artist from San Sebastian of the stature of Esther Ferrer will have a permanent installation in her city”. Goia stated that the cultural intervention “will set the profile of the new plaza or park that will be built over the station”.

“It is a real declaration of intentions. This city is very mindful of art, culture and their creators. That Esther Ferrer will be physically present in the new plaza in Tabakalera is a very important message. Donostia is culture, and culture is capital in Donostia”, said Goia.

Likewise, the director of Tabakalera, Edurne Ormazabal, commented on the close relationship that links Ferrer to Tabakalera: “Esther Ferrer was the artist chosen to inaugurate the new main exhibition hall in Tabakalera. She is an exceptional woman, committed and generous, and one of the most loved artists in the city. Proof of this are the numbers of visitors to her exhibition, one of the most visited in Tabakalera”.


Career and prestige

Esther Ferrer (Donostia/San Sebastian, 1937) is greatly renowned for her “actions” (performances) that she has performed around the world, and for her artistic work, exhibited in many museums and institutions. In the early 60s she created, alongside painter Jose Antonio Sistiaga, the first Free Expression Workshop, the starting point for many other parallel activities, among them an experimental school in Elorrio.

From 1967 and until it disbanded in 1996, she was a member of the ZAJ group, created by Ramón Barce, Juan Hidalgo and Walter Marchetti in Madrid. From the 70s onwards, she returned to her activity in the plastic arts, through installations, photographs, objects and paintings based on series of prime numbers, a theme she has continued to work with. In 1999 she represented Spain at the Venice Biennale and in 2008 she received the National Prize for Plastic Arts. In 2012 she received the Gure Artea Award from the Basque Government, and in 2014 the MAV (Women in the Visual Arts) award, the Marie Claire pour l'Art Contemporaine Award and the Velázquez Prize.

In January 2022 she received the Golden Drum of Donostia/San Sebastian.