EACC (Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló) is hosting the first solo exhibition in Spain by the French artist Raphaël Zarka. This site-
Born in Montpelier in 1977, and based in Paris, Zarka belongs to a generation of young artists who use found forms as the raw material of their work. And while the starting point of his work is basically sculptural, he is particularly concerned with art in public spaces and the challenge they pose for artists, rooted in his abiding fascination from a very young age with skateboarding and the whole culture around it. In fact, he has developed this interest in various essays on the history of skateboarding, and on its topography and strategies, and how the experience of skating in different urban sculptures and public areas redefines these places. As such, the artist approaches the practice of skateboarding as a kind of rewriting of spaces conceived for a particular use, to then transfer them to his artistic practice. In this way, he reiterates the same practice that had previously fuelled his interest in abandoned sculptural constructions in order to give them new uses.
International Archives 1st half of 2017
By using the concept of “documentary sculptures” with regards his practice, Zarka underscores his desire to voluntarily work with pre-
While Zarka’s rethinking of skateboarding is sustained on an ecology of critical and contemporary artistic creation, his interest in reutilisation defines the rendering of his “skateable” sculptures, designed on the basis of scientific objects by the mathematician Arthur Schönflies (1853–1928), little geometrical elements that fit together without leaving empty spaces. Zarka designed these modules by amplifying them to the scale of urban fixtures and thus enabling them to be used by skaters. These corten steel forms, whose angles and planes are perfects for skateboarding, are sculptures in their own right. In consequence, skaters have to adapt to Zarka’s sculptures in the same way as they co-
In the project for EACC the artist transforms the exhibition hall into a hybrid space where skaters and spectators have to establish their own frameworks of cohabitation.
At the same time, the suite of photos Riding Modern Art that illustrates this concept is on show on the upper level of the exhibition hall. These photos, which the artist culled from skateboarding magazines, show various public sculptures used by skaters as ramps, half pipes and so on.
This archive work is basically a work-
Exhibition 3 February -
12003 Castellón de la Plana (Spain). T +34 964 72 35 40.
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