The ZETAZ ZETA project is the result of Beñat Ibarra Abal’s dissertation, a student doing a degree in Creative Arts and Design at the University of Fine Arts of the Basque Country, in collaboration with La Terminal. The project was funded by the KSIgune Connections 2022/23, and resulted in the research and experimentation process to create an immersive exhibition on the work of the naturalist/expressionist painter Zuloaga in Bilbao. Beñat told us about his experience.

KSIgune: Beñat, what has it meant for you and your project to be part of the KSIgune Conexiones programme?

Beñat Ibarra: It was a real pleasure to have had the chance to be involved in this programme. Thanks to the it, I was able to develop and complete my dissertation on a very ambitious idea: to create an immersive space from scratch, where I could show and experiment with construction materials, audiovisual and sound techniques, in a space provided by La Terminal. Without the logistical and financial support of this programme, it would have been impossible to complete my dissertation project.


KSIgune: What was collaborating with La Terminal like? What aspects would you pick out as highlights?

Beñat Ibarra: The relationship with La Terminal was somewhat lukewarm to start with, but as the project progressed and took shape, the more interest and trust it generated. This was understandable, as it was a very ambitious proposal and it was difficult to visualise the result, because it was only based on my explanations, the wording of the project submitted and my own abilities to carry it out. Although La Terminal did not have a lot of suitable spaces in which to present my proposal, I would stress that I was given a great deal of freedom as a creator to experiment with the materials within the space and time constraints, and with the assistance that La Terminal provided to create an isolated space within the great activity that it offers.


KSIgune: How would you define ZETAZ ZETA from the perspective of cultural and artistic innovation?

Beñat Ibarra: For me, to innovate is to do things differently, and with ZETAZ ZETA, it was all about thinking about how Zuloaga would have created his work if he were alive today. We are currently living in a digital era and it is becoming more and more so, and although in the cultural and creative sector there will always be an open debate between the purists and the technologists, ZETAZ ZETA is set in the digital era and among digital artists, who, taking art as a reference, research it, transform it and offer digital art consumer products that are very much in line with the demands of the current society in which we live.


KSIgune: ZETAZ ZETA is an attempt to contribute to new digital narratives and attract new audiences that demand interaction and participation as a fundamental part of their cultural experience. How do you think it achieves this goal?

Beñat Ibarra:  The project has sought to answer the questions: “How would Zuloaga have related to his public today? How would his paintings have told his story?” It is clear to me that there is a growing demand from the public for an experience, to feel unique and part of the story being told. Doing this mediation work with the public, having the opportunity to introduce myself and tell them why I did this project, and finding out what the public thinks of what I offered them was a very important part, one with which I felt very much at ease in this project and which I think should continue to be developed. Zuloaga's relatives were invited by Ismael Manterola, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts to attend the public presentation I made about the project, and although they commented that Zuloaga would not have represented it in this way, they fully understood my vision and the approach I had taken.  


KSIgune: What do you think that being part of the KSIgune community can contribute to your professional project? How do you see new talent contributing to this community?

Beñat Ibarra: Being part of the KSIgune community can give me visibility and enhance a whole generation of young creators who are eager to become professionals, to dedicate themselves to this, being aware of the difficulty of making a niche for myself, of someone noticing me and trusting in my creativity to carry out a more ambitious project. This community needs to be nurtured by this new talent, this generational change that I hear so much about, but which is so difficult to break through. KSIgune should be the community where professional companies in the sector can find talent and this community is what it offers to the sector.


KSIgune: The immersive exhibition ZETAZ ZETA had its official opening from 3 to 7 July 2023. What are you expecting from this exhibition? / What will be the next stage in your professional career?

Beñat Ibarra: Ideally, the ZETAZ ZETA project could continue to be exhibited at La Terminal for a while or, as it is so closely linked to Zuloaga's work, museums that exhibit his work may be interested in showing this project (on the understanding that it is a dissertation, and that although I have had financial support, not all of the technical aspects of the project have been resolved). I would like to take this opportunity to thank my dissertation tutor, Oihane Iraguen, for her patience and support in carrying out this project.

On a professional level, I would like to be able to continue to research digital narratives, tackling other themes, and investigating the creation of more sustainable spaces using materials, sound and image. In the 2023/24 academic year I will probably do a master's degree in Contemporary Technological and Performative Art to continue my training and take on new projects and challenges in the field of digital art.



The third KSIgune Connections has been launched and will be open until 27 October 2023. The 2023/24 call will fund projects that contribute to responding to sectoral challenges and/or global challenges related to demographic, ecological and digital transitions, based on collaboration between Higher Education and cultural and creative entities in the Basque Country.


For more information:

Full document related to the call - link

Submission of proposals - Gune+ platform

KSIgune Connections project database - link


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