Maider Bilbao

Summer 2007 Artist in Residence

The HVCCA is pleased to announce the Summer 2007 Artist in Residence, Maider Bilbao. Bilbao’s residency will run through December 2007, resulting in a site-specific installation and performance entitled “Animal Spirit” that will be on view from September 16 – December 16, 2007.


Maider Bilbao is an interdisciplinary artist who combines sculpture, photography, performance, video and sound in site-specific installations. Often working outside in natural environments, she documents experimental performative actions using video and photography. She then reinterprets these actions in the gallery context using biomorphic constructions made of elastic textiles onto which images are projected.

About the Artist:

Bilbao received a Fine Arts degree from the University of the Basque Country in 2001. Her coursework was reinforced by a doctoral course and several artistic workshops. In 2001, she received the Erasmus Grant from the Faculty of Art, Media and Design at the University of Bristol in West England. She also received a New Technologies Grant in 2004 from the Bilbao Art Foundation, which funds new artistic production by emerging talents. Bilbao has been exhibiting her work in various exhibitions since 2000. She has been a finalist in several art contests, including Ertibil 05 with the Diputacion Foral de Bizkaia (the local Basque Council). Her work has been published in several magazines such as Diseno Interior, an international magazine of architecture and interior design. Currently, she is working on photographs for the cover of SIC magazine, a journal of gastronomy and the arts.

Artist statement:
During my three-month residency at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, I have explored the landscape of the region with its mountains, forests, and the Hudson River. The wildness and beauty of this land left a stronger impression on me than did the vast urban network of New York.

Taking long walks to the mountains, being alone surrounded of nature, I’ve listened to what this land has to say, what the animals that appeared in my paths wanted to tell me. Everything I found had the influence of the Natives Americans, “The Lords of the Land”, the people that lived here before the European invasion.

spirit2I learned how the Native Americans love and take care of the mother earth, the profound respect that they have for all the beings of nature. I also researched all of their sacred rituals and, in particular, the practice of animal embodiment that allowed them gain the energy of one specific animal. For the Natives Americans the eagle is one of the most sacred animals, symbolizing great power and the illumination of the spirit. It connects the humans on the earth with the gods in the heavens. The eagle is actually the symbol of the United States.

I usually connect everything that surrounds me with my personal circumstance, so I knew from the beginning that I needed to work with nature and the eagle. The result is a live-in video installation that consists of a large sculpture that could be either a big nest or perhaps even the earth itself, and a video projection that tells the story about my own relationship with this ANIMAL SPIRIT belief.

All the images that appear in the video are places from the Hudson Valley region: Manitoga “The Place of the Great Spirit” in Garrison, the Hudson River in Coldspring, the Hudson River in Saugerties and the Blue Mountain in Catskill Park. I taped the Bear Mountain Powwow, a Native American Heritage Celebration, and the beautiful eagle that appears in the video is the 22-year-old female bald eagle from the Bear Mountain Zoo.

The first sound of the installation comes from a wild forest in the Catskill Park in the middle of the night, the other one is a song called “Scheherazade” by the Apostle of Hustle.


Maider Bilbao
Interactive video and sculptural installation
Duration: 6.25 min
With found recorded sounds and music by the Apostle of Hustle