Joxan Iza stands up to the artistic pandemic with ‘Space for an appearance’

The coronavirus is causing a silent cataclysm in the art world. The cancellation of fairs and the closure of museums and exhibition halls for months, together with mobility restrictions, have disrupted programs and quarantined or blocked countless projects. Joxan Iza has suffered it firsthand. In summer I was going to exhibit in Ciboure, in September in Donostia, and in November at the Estampa fair in Madrid, but the good news is that one of those projects, the closest one, has already become a reality.

Until May 20, the Diocesan Museum of San Sebastián, in the Basilica of Santa María, hosts ‘Space for an Appearance’ in which Iza shares the limelight with the photographer Gorka Salmerón, showing different visions of Christian iconography.

Cyborgs, superheroes, and other ‘relics’ of the 21st century allow access to the eclectic world of two artists whose creations, according to themselves, seek to “dialogue with each other and interact with the public that comes to contemplate them.” Photographs, sculptures and paintings show objects related to religion from very different points of view and artistic languages.

Setting up the exhibition, even knowing that in the current socio-sanitary circumstances, the target audience is greatly reduced, has not turned Joxan back, who sees the exhibition “as a way to face the crisis, and to continue working. In these times of pandemic, being able to expose everything that we carry inside is also a therapy for us. At the moment only the people of Donostia can enjoy it, hopefully more people can do it soon. That would be excellent news for everyone, ”he says.

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In the opinion of Mikel Babiano, author of the text in the exhibition catalog, the works “are imbued with that mysterious and transcendent air that should permeate all artistic creation. They lend themselves to a multitude of readings depending on who looks at them. Some of them invoke the ghosts of the past, others allow us to put our fingers in the wounds of the present or predict the plagues that the future holds.

Bergarés settled in Oñati since 1987, Joxan studied at the Superior de Bellas Artes de Paris and at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of the Basque Country. A very personal artistic language and universe has been created with influences from expressionism, comics and graffiti. He likes to merge and mix all kinds of techniques and in D.Museoa he shows from a Lazarus with the head of a doll about to get up and walk, or a Saint Sebastian martyr with the head of Boomer, the cartoon hero that appeared in chewing gums. A personal interpretation of Christian iconography that is enriched by that of Salmerón.

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