2020 Oihalezko teilatua



Five large photographs, three sculptures, and a common thread: the canvas. A white awning.

The awning symbolizes shelter in difficult times. An impromptu gap for life, when there is no other. It is the indispensable material in refugee camps: a simple piece of tarpaulin in the midst of uncertainty.

What is this thirst, this irritated look of the family that has sailed the Mediterranean Sea?

And what is the pain of the person who, due to this health crisis, has not been able to say goodbye to a loved one?

Although they are different situations, there is a connection between the two: we are united by helplessness in the face of misfortune, by the awareness of our vulnerability. This is what the exhibition “Oihalezko teilatua” talks about: that now we all have an obligatory shelter, a provisional camp that protects us and encloses us at the same time. Perhaps this will calm our strides and our unshakable convictions; hopefully it will appease our selfishness, and bring us closer together.

The photographs reflect life under the canvas: the pain, the cold, the games, the joy… the movement. Everything that the people inside it have experienced, as if the canopy were a thin, fragile skin that absorbs emotions and transmits them to us through its wrinkles and folds.

They are images of canvases that in turn have been printed on canvases, and with this Arriaga invites us to play, both with the gaze and with the conscience. The receiver must approach the work to be able to distinguish between the real elements and the printed ones, a metaphor that defines very well the times in which we live: What is reality? That which is shown to us from afar? Or, on the contrary, that which we discover when we approach?

Three sculptures complete the exhibition. They are made of concrete fabric, using a very special and unusual technique among sculptors. These works symbolize a canvas tent, and represent the three phases that this global pandemic has generated in us. In the first work, the tent appears collected, still closed, expectant; in the second, an expanded canvas can be distinguished, beginning to open, with the first visible tensions on it; and finally, the third work represents the moment when we face the problem: it is a canvas full of folds and tension, which has already become our house.


Oihalezko teilatuak. Some roofs are temporary. Others, provisionally eternal.