lara almarcegui

Lara Almarcegui, A Wasteland in the Port of Rotterdam, 2009.

A Wasteland in the Port of Rotterdam, 2009. Courtesy of the artist.

For Portscapes, Lara Almarcegui developed an inventory of the fallow grounds that can be found throughout the Rotterdam port, including the present Maasvlakte. The results of her research were presented in a newspaper. She is specifically interested in areas that are characterised by an apparent lack of human design and development. She focuses attention on these areas, where time seems to have stood still in a certain, strange way. Unspoilt paradises – for nature and for visitors – have developed at these sites, seemingly independently of the rhythm of the city’s expansion.
On 8 November 2009, SKOR organised a Pass Travel: an excursion headed by a biologist that visited these fallow grounds in the Rotterdam Port. Lara Almarcegui hopes that this project will allow visitors to gain a better understanding of the port area, and that they will start to see the changes there with different eyes. In the future, when many of these sites will be developed or altered, Almarcegui’s newspaper will serve as testimony of what the port looked like in 2009.

lara almarcegui map.pdf

lara almarcegui_portlands_lores.pdf

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The making of

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The work of Lara Almarcegui (1972, Zaragoza, Spain) concerns itself with the unplanned use of the urban structure. A Wasteland: Rotterdam Harbour, 2003-2018; Genk, 2004-2014; Arganzuela Public Slaughterhouse, Madrid, 2005-2006; Peterson Paper Factory, Moss, 2006-2007 consists of a slide presentation and accompanying postcards which document four urban ‘wastelands’. Each site has been, or continues to be, preserved in its unplanned state. The very lack of planning is the only thing that has been planned and unregulated change is encouraged. Protracted periods of negotiation with councils and owners were often required to be allocated these sites and, above all, to preserve them. Seen within the discourse of environmental conservation, such ‘monuments’ present a problem for the concept of nature as ‘that which has not been sullied by humankind’. They seem to ask us why some landscapes are deemed more remarkable than others.