ZARAGOZA, SPAIN, 1972
Descampados de Ámsterdam (Wastelands of Amsterdam), 1998-99
Two sets of forty slides, map of Amsterdam 1:25.000 and projector
Gift of the artist 1999
For the past two decades, Lara Almarcegui has been examining processes of urban transformation brought about by political, social, and economic change. She has focused her attention on urban features that are usually overlooked: wastelands, construction materials, invisible elements. She photographs the sites, and collects historical, geographic, ecological, and sociological data about those vacant areas before they are transformed into new developments. Acting like an archaeologist of sorts, she compiles the information she gathers in guides, brochures and panels that present the past, present, and future of the vacant lots in an objective and matter-of-fact fashion.
This early work marks the beginning of a research that has unfolded in many forms. It consists of a series of slides that document abandoned spaces and buildings in the city of Amsterdam, where the artist has been living for many years.