At the end of the nineties – a time of extensive urban renewal – Lara Almarcegui began to conduct work on vacant lots, sites and open spaces as the only places escaping the excesses of construction and design. Her projects have consisted in producing a series of guides to vacant lots and even their legal defence. With the aim of showing the origins of “what is built”, she has presented the materials needed to make a building or has shown the rubble after its demolition, thus deconstructing a building into its construction materials and showing what it will look like when it has been demolished. These installations have been a striking meditation on the relationship between physics, politics and architecture by confronting the public with the large volume and materiality of architecture.

“Who owns the globe’s sub-surface? What lies there and how is it instrumentalised?” These questions lead the artist to locating seams of iron ore and construction materials and negotiating the acquisition of mining rights for exploration, as is the case of Oslo, Graz and recently the Agras volcano. Without intending to extract the mineral but, on the contrary, to protect it, “the project seeks to highlight how the territory is shaped at a geological level, and how it is broken down for exploitation”.

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Gold does not take on any dirt. And gold, just are diamonds, is an exalted material. It possesses such a degree of abstraction that it encounters you –if you use it artistically– on an already exalted level.
James Lee Byars