Pilar Albarracín

ES

Born in 1968 in Seville (Spain)
Lives and works in Madrid (Spain)

Pilar Albarracín’s art is an act of pure affirmation, a direct and steely exercise of commitment. Albarracín has focused on the analysis of dominant narratives and, specifically, on the clichés which represent Andalusian identity; not from a remote and intellectualised perspective, but through an emotional and subversive immersion in the anthropology of the everyday. Folklore and popular traditions, food rituals, religious myths, and women’s role in the distribution of power or collective festivals such as bullfighting, are critically distorted in the mirror of her reflections. Aware of the way in which inherited models shape imaginaries that regulate people’s identity and morals, she uses satire and irony as forces to steer them towards a liberating catharsis. For Albarracín art is mysticism, revelation, enlightenment. It is the result of a process of instantaneous combustion which takes place, nonetheless, ‘after a great deal of insistence’. The artist says that it is like the stamping of feet in flamenco: ‘You keep on and on, and suddenly there is a moment of unique intensity’. Many of her works have a hypnotic rhythm which grows until it reaches a moment of ecstasy. Then the spectator suddenly awakens ‘with a revelation or a thud’ snapping them out of their intellectual and sensorial slumber and forcing them to call into question their preconceptions. In all her performances, it is Albarracín herself who personifies the female characters that transform her into a peasant, an immigrant, a battered woman, housewife, flamenco dancer or singer. By putting her personal energy on the line she becomes fully involved in her multiple personalities: ‘It’s like being a medium through whom each character enters and later leaves to make room for the next one.’

Rosa Martínez, “Pilar Albarracín. Para volar“, 2004


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