In her projects, the Spanish-born artist Lara Almarcegui, who lives in Rotterdam, examines processes of urban transformation brought on by political, social, and economic change. Since the mid-1990s, she has studied urban features that are not usually the focus of attention: wastelands, construction materials, invisible elements. In her first solo show in Austria, Lara Almarcegui has created three new works for the Secession that relate closely to the city of Vienna and to the historic exhibition house while also recurring to earlier works the artist developed in various cities all over the world.
Lara Almarcegui frequently works outdoors. She has already implemented numerous international projects, from the restoration of a market hall slated for demolition in San Sebastián (Spain) to close studies of derelict lots in Rotterdam, Bilbao, São Paulo, Lisbon, and Amsterdam. She collects historical, geographic, ecological, and sociological data about vacant areas in the urban space that will soon have changed, documenting them and interviewing experts. “One wasteland has very different characteristics from the next. I try to present each site in as much detail as I can, zoom in a lot, try to present the uniqueness of each site.” Lara Almarcegui bundles the information she gathers in Guides, brochures that present the past, present, and future of the vacant lots—some had been put to public, some to private uses—in an objective and matter-of-fact fashion.