The Work in Progress Project concerns the manufacture of an object that brings together three production methods: industrial, manual and artistic.
The starting point is the production of rubber parts at a factory in Lea Artibai (Bizkaia), a region in which, despite being a rural environment, the presence of industry is important, employing almost 50% of the active population. Moreover, there are a large number of semi-legal workshops, where part of the production of the factories is carried out by immigrants and housewives who see the flexible working hours as a way of adding to their family incomes. They meet in homes, doorways, garages and shop premises on the ground floor of buildings in order to collectively carry out hard, labour-intensive such as removing the sharp edges on rubber parts after being removed from the moulds.
This type of job seems to be reminiscent of the work women used to do in groups, spinning or repairing fishing nets, but the objects produced in these workshops are abstract and unrecognisable shapes, parts of the high technology used in cars and machines, and therefore of no direct use for the workers. The characteristics of the parts allow us to draw a parallel with the objects made by sculptors in their studios.
In Work in Progress, the artists collaborate with a group of women to reproduce in a semi-industrial manner, in silicon and by using moulds, small format parts based on the Chalk Laboratories of Jorge Oteiza, originally conceived not as a work of art but as a process of study, and due to their operation as an assembly, more than as isolated parts. The aim is to develop Oteiza’s research in accordance with different parameters to those used in the originals.
Work in Progress continues the research that began with the Produciendo tiempo entre otras cosas project, exhibited in Laboratory 987 at the Leon contemporary art museum in 2011, research that examines the relationship which they establish, as artists, with the objects they manufacture and the way in which these objects establish, or not, a complicity with other subjects.
Work in Progress has been produced with the aid of the O&O Subsidies of the CBK in Rotterdam.