Manual de uso - Usage guide
Andrea Acosta's publication, Manual de uso, is about two neighbourhoods of Bilbao called Ribera de Deusto and Zorrozaurre, that occupy a 2,5 km long. This land was not long ago a lively peninsula filled with workshops and factories, until the onset of the industrial crisis. Since the 1980s, various masterplans have suggested comprehensive reconstruction work. The latest fits perfectly in with the modernising, aseptic and bright image that Bilbao has been constructing in recent years, attempting to deny that its historical foundations are rooted in soot powder, foundry furnaces, mines and shipyards.
As it awaits the destruction and rebuilding that might never come, the peninsula sees its buildings deteriorating, nature growing in its sites; it sees fishermen setting their rods on its banks, neighbours grilling sardines at parties; it sees warehouses being filled with theatres and creative companies; and in the distance, its sees a great many inhabitants of Bilbao who have never set foot on its soil, frightened by its lack of perfection.
But in fact the peninsula is one of the best examples of how cities transform. Bilbao's memory is guarded today in such spaces, difficult to read because of their complexity, which provides us with a chance to extrapolate what we see in it. It might specifically refer to the city's history, but it simultaneously presents us with a global city vocabulary, reflecting the clashes between nature and construction, between function and use.
Commissioned by a group of locals interested in postindustrial spaces, artist Andrea Acosta tries to convey that language to us, through syllables, words and phrases that are objects, traces and streets. Her work provides us with keys to interpretation, encouraging exploration and the search for other hidden treasures, for diverse urban occupation and alternative usage. In general, it reveals to us the presence of a forgotten, neglected memory. But above all, Acosta's work provides us with the opportunity to reflect on how we contemplate and experience the city; it suggests to us a new way of building by gazing at these places, re-educating the manner we observe to cleanse it of what we have learned and be able to read the formal and historical languages that the city presents us in all its spaces.
ANDREA ACOSTA (Bogotá, 1981) lives and works in Berlin. She got her BA in Arts by the University of the Andes in Bogotá (2005) and a MFA in Art in Public Space and New Artistic Strategies by the Bauhaus Universität in Weimar, Germany (2008). She has developed projects in public spaces, exhibitions and publications in Germany, Austria, Begium, Colombia, South Korea, Spain, France and Russia. She has also participated in artistic residecies such as Le Pavillon, Experimental Lab of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France (2010) hand has been awarded with scholarships, such as the Graduiertenförderung des Freistaates Thüringen in 2009, and prizes, like the Bauhaus Hochschule Preis (2008).