Oscar Abril Ascaso presents his first actions at LABoral as Director of Activities

He intends to reformulate the architectural relationship between the spaces and the uses of the Centre, consolidate a steady network of community collaborators and boost LABoral’s projection based on its web site

Published: Mar 06, 2014
Oscar Abril Ascaso presents his first actions at LABoral as Director of Activities

A simulation of the work 'A los héroes que fuimos', 2007, by Adolfo Manzano, at the front of the facade of LABoral. Photo:LABoral/S. Redruello

Oscar Abril Ascaso, presented this Thursday, March 6, his first actions as new Director of Activities of Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial de Gijón. Accompanied by the President of the Board of Trustees and Regional Minister of Culture, Ana González, he explained that, as a previous step for the development of the activities programme for 2015, he will undertake the preparation of the reformulation of the current architectural relationship between the spaces and uses of the centre. Moreover, he will work in the consolidation of a steady and proactive network of community collaborators and he will focus on the dinamisation of the projection of LABoral from its web environment.

A horse as a symbol
As a symbol of the new period that opens up with Abril Ascaso leading LABoral and of this renewed will to strengthen collaboration ties with the Asturian art community, the Director of Activities has chosen to recover a piece of work that has spent the last seven years in the warehouses of the Art Centre. A los héroes que fuimos, 2007, is an installation by the Asturian artist Adolfo Manzano produced by LABoral for one of the opening exhibitions, Extensiones y Anclajes.

That exhibition presented an extensive view of the Asturian creation of the time, through the work of 14 Asturian artists who have worked in various disciplines in public places or historic buildings of the region: Chechu Álava and Juan Fernández, Pablo Armesto, Maite Centol, Soledad Córdoba, Carlos Coronas, Dionisio González, Adolfo Manzano, Juan Carlos Martínez, Natalia Pastor, Fernando Redruello, Avelino Sala, Aurora Suárez and Cuco Suárez.

The installation, made of pine and with a digital audio device, consists of a rocking horse, which, at its time, was a site-specific production of  LABoral to be shown in the Town Hall Square of Pravia. With this installation Adolfo Manzano links the essence of the sculptural monument with childhood. An ironic translation of the meaning of the concept of the heroic as an educational model and the archaic approaches where the children always owe respect and consideration to their elders.

As with Extensiones y Anclajes LABoral wanted to show its attitude of opening up more to the outside world, its commitment with the art produced in Asturias, spatial openness and constant presence in several geographic areas of the region, the new Director of Activities symbolises that these same principles are very present in this new phase of the Art Centre.

The recovery of A los héroes que fuimos implies, in the first place, a refurbishing and implementation of the piece by the artist, as a preliminary step to its installation in the front yard of the Art Centre, where it will serve as a symbol/emblem.

During 2014, Oscar Abril Ascaso will focus on the collaborative and open revision of the structure of the Centre. This revision will include three actions:

1.- Making The LABoral
As a matter of fact, Oscar Abril Ascaso understands that, due to the current architectural setup of spaces and uses of the Centre, with the confinement of several departments, difficult access to some underutilised services or halls, with the purpose, firstly,  of optimizing the visibility of the departments, the residents and the on-going processes  at LABoral and, simultaneously, reviewing the suitability and the room for extending the current services of the centre based on the needs of the territory (artist workshops, rehearsal rooms and studios).

This initiative, called Haciendo LABoral [Making The LABoral], a clear reference to the Maker world, will be developed through an open and participative consultation and analysis process in close collaboration with the Trust and the team of the Centre, its residents and users, an committee of experts and the Asturian community.

2. DIWO [Do It With Others]
Based on the conviction that any project is, in first instance, the people that make it up and that LABoral considers one of its main added values its vocation of cooperation, support and development of the cultural assets of the Asturian community, for Abril Ascaso the priority is to open a process of contacts aimed at consolidating and extending this network of collaborators proactively committed to the development and the projection of LABoral. This project of closing ties with the Asturian art community is entitled No lo hagas tú solo, DIY (Do it Yourself). Hazlo con otros, DIWO (Do It With Others). This network of community collaborators, includes as well, a circle of collaborators outside the territory.

3.- laboralcentrodearte.org
Furthermore, LABoral’s new Director of Activities claims that the web site must be turned into an essential instrument in the training and research processes of the Centre and into a mediation device between the active collaborators within the territory and those outside. In this sense, the web site laboralcentrodearte.org must continue being a tool of utmost importance in the visibility and projection of LABoral, as reference environment for discourse generation at national and international level.

Abril Ascaso believes that “the immediate horizon of LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación is the consolidation, development, deepening and projection of its own identity as an advanced art centre for the interdisciplinary Exchange of knowledge and information”. What he defines as “a lab for the cooperation between artists, scientists, entrepreneur humanists and social actors”. “LABoral must present itself as a node for integrated research, distributed based on its exhibition, production, training and educational programmes interrelated to form a whole”, he explains.

Oscar Abril Ascaso (Barcelona, 1966) is an art historian and philosopher. A curator and cultural producer, he has got over 20 years of professional experience curating exhibitions and taking part in congresses, seminars, symposiums and workshops. He has been artistic manager of the Sonar Festival in Barcelona during 13 years and, during the last four years, he has worked as curator at L'Estruch creation factory in Sabadell. He has curated for ARCO the exhibition Techformance around performance and technology. Another thing to point out is his researcher side and his participation in key platforms of cultural innovation, such as Zzzinc (with José Luis de Vicente, Pau Alsina, Rubén Martínez, Jaron Rowan, Imma Vila and Andrea García, among others), or initiatives as relevant as copyfight, that he co-curated with the art group Elastico, or Zeppelin, where he took part as curator member of Orquesta del Caos.

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