Case Study All Case Studies

Intervenciones Artisticas de la Universidad del Pais Vasco – Bilbao

By Camille Vilain

Intervenciones Artisticas de la Universidad del Pais Vasco – Artistic interventions of the University of the Basque Country

Under the framework of Bilbao Art District project, a collaboration with the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of the Basque Country took place in 2014 and 2015 through a contest in which students from that faculty would put forward artistic interventions in the public space of Bilbao.
In that way, 8 artistic projects have been selected aimed at developing different artistic interventions in the public spaces provided by Bilbao Art District throughout the month of May. Selected projects will be backed up by the university which will give advice in the elaboration process and further development of the intervention. Bilbao Ekintza also supported every call with 2.000€ for the development of the interventions and also helped in communicating and disseminating the activities.
This collaboration produced two kinds of calls in the years 2014 and 2015. In one of them, apart from the University of the Basque Country and Bilbao Ekintza, the Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum also collaborated providing exhibition space and the company Aurtenetxea Containers provided and prepared ship containers for the interventions.
The main objectives of this initiative are the following:

  • Bring art to the streets, make it visible and bring it closer to a broader public. Give local artists the chance to develop their quality work as well as provide practical experiences to the pupils of Fine Arts so that their training improves and get closer to the labour market,
  • Build a group of home grown artists in our environment and a citizenship well aware of the value of art.

    The interventions so far carried out have been the following:

    • GAIZKA LOMBERA AND AINTZANE CAMAÑO “Scientific women in the water” Muelle Marzana, 5. 15/5/15 and 16/5/15
      The goal of this intervention is to make visible the role of women in culture. Graffiti show up only when the floor is wet.
    • AMAIA VICENTE “Europe” Plaza Circular. 15/5 and 16/5.
      This work poses questions on a semantic level on the space the work itself occupies. This work conveys the idea of “paradise” supported by the capitalistic structure, backed by the time and money binomy as estructured and fundamental axes in such societies. This is a reflection of those personal paradises that may be lost within the system.
    • ARANZAZU TEMPRANO AND ARAM RIOS “Green Tile” 15/5. From 12:30 to 14:30 Iberdrola Tower-BB.AA. Museum-Bizkaia Aretoa UPV/EHU. From 16:30 to 18:00 Bizkaia Aretoa UPV/EHU-Abandoibarra Promenade. From 19:00-21:00 Abandoibarra Promenade-Juan de Ajuriaguerra Street.
      Reflection on the lack of green spaces that can be “treaded on” in the cities. A route through the streets of Bilbao without having to walk on cement or asphalt in any moment… without making any progress in any other way than the proposed one, keeping off the pavement and the asphalt. Slow movement and slow progress symbolize the effort for not losing contact with nature within a city.
    • JUAN MALK “Contents Contents” Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum Esplanade. From 12/5/15
      Artistic intervention carried out with containers provided by the company Aurtenetxea Containers which will be displayed in the esplanade of the museum. Industrial containers transport all kinds of objects, merchandise and required inputs for development either personal or collective, they are the cold packaging for the city, factories and individual longings.
      It is a plastic abstraction where the container suggests its contents. It is a metallic box, with a basic colour that reminds of the rust that can be seen in the esplanade of the Maritime Museum together with a multitude of vivid colours, that make a contrast with the standard and impersonal shield that houses countless wishes. MAITE LEYUN “Coordenates” Different streets in the city. 2nd and 3rd mayo 2014.
      Frontiers, places, neighbourhoods, areas, districts… How is our city built and organized? This project aims at limiting a time zone, an event, Bilbao Art District by means of an adapted language. Coordenates draws a limit, an imaginary frontier in the air.
    •  AMAIA DEL AMO CASTRO and RAFFAELLA REGINA “Knitting the rope” Different streets in the city. 2nd and 3rd Mayo 2014
    • MANUEL RAMIS “ Txorrota” Diferent streets in the city. 2nd and 3rd Mayo 2014.
      The project experiments with the urban space and conceptual field. The Tap is a key for the control of spiritual and earthly flow which depends on the human being.
    • MAR DE DIOS and MIGUEL PUERTA “All Iron” Esplanade of Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum. Till 25th October 2014



The promoters of this initiative have been the Bilbao City Council and the Deanery of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of the Basque Country mainly, altough students have played an important role as this project would have been impossible without them.
Direct beneficiaries could also be the the Fine Arts students as one of the objectives is to bring art closer to the citizens, not just to an exlusive public, as in many cases, these interventions in public spaces require public participation.

Role of Design

Design is present along the whole process: from the initial draft of the project with the university and the city council where students are advised on how to prepare and develop the works for a public space to the design in the communication of the event.

CONTACT (of the editor)

Carolina Gutierrez – Organization Bilbao Ekintza – Email

Igor Arrien – Organization Bilbao Ekintza – Email

Maialen intxausti – Organization BEAZ – Email