Artist collective


ARMAR is a non-profit association of artists with the objective of creating, researching and promoting contemporary art collaboratively. Originating from the initials of the founders’ names, ARMAR also references the Spanish verb that means “to assemble, to equip or to cause a fuss”, all of which define our methodology. Formed by artists of distinct origin, education and inquisitiveness, ARMAR is interested in generating spaces and dynamics that enable aesthetic exploration through collective creation while enriching our personal lines of investigation. ARMAR proposes innovative encounters that both liberate and reinforce us as creative individuals, and our formal and conceptual objectives are often explored through public interactions in search of and in service to the common good.

Our inaugural project was Un Zumo de Pelo (A Juice of Hair), 2013, a social art project that established innovative connections between artistic practise and two apparently unrelated business activities. The project was carried out in a hairdresser’s shop, where freshly squeezed juices were produced from fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables that were donated by a green grocer’s on the other side of the city block in Bilbao. The juices were offered to customers at the salon, as well as to pedestrians and workers within the community. The project focused on performative, interactive and relational aspects of contemporary artistic practices. You can read a more in-depth personal analysis of the project in the following Research Catalogue article: 

“Aesthetic Health: Separation, Conjunction and Beauty in ARMAR’s ‘Un Zumo de Pelo’” (website article, English)

The Axe Head Art Exchange (2014-2015) was a year-long collaboration between ARMAR (the Basque Country, Spain) and Bill Clarke (Toronto, Canada), who functioned as curators and facilitators for the project. Every two months, original works of art on paper were solicited from a Basque and a Canadian artist. The artworks were mailed to the opposite country and exhibited in an existing art institution for the duration of two months. Working as a nomadic exhibition program, the project saw six Basque artists and six Canadian artists exhibit in twelve distinct institutions. At the end of the two-month exhibition, each artwork was gifted to the participating artist from the opposite country. Information for each artist and institution was compiled in multilingual publications, which you can find here:

Axe Head Art Exchange Catalogue (PDF, English and French)

Intercambio artístico Cabeza de Hacha Catálogo (PDF, Basque and Spanish)

Axe Head Art Exchange Exhibition and Exchange images (PDF, Spanish)

A Ghost ship. A person transformed. These scenarios define CALEUCHE, a word originating in the mythology of southern Chile that gives meaning to this international project of collaborative art. CALEUCHE, 2017-2018, established a dialogue between artists of different cultural realities to offer an innovative opportunity to explore the discursive topic of decolonial aesthetics. The impetus of the project was the creation of collective artworks between European and Chilean artists. ARMAR selected ten European artists to send artworks, in progress or completed, to Chile, where the curator Marianela Concha distributed them to ten Chilean artists. The artworks initiated by European artists were scrutinized and transformed by Chilean artists, without any imposed rules, and exhibited at a final exhibition in Chile. Please consult the following exhibition catalogue for a more thorough exploration of the project and artworks involved. 

CALEUCHE Exhibition Catalogue (PDF, Spanish)

ARMAR has also produced two educational conferences at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao that relate to the topics explored in our projects. The first conference was in 2015 and titled “Art in the Mail: Autonomy and Convergence in the ‘Eternal Network’”. The second conference and workshop was in 2016 and called “Approximation towards a Decolonial Aesthetics”. It resulted in the following fanzine publication of the same name, and is composed of personal artistic reflections on the topic of decolonial aesthetics.

Aproximación a las Estéticas Decoloniales (PDF, Spanish)

The composition of ARMAR is transitory and has included the following associates over the years: Alvaro Aroca Cordova, Benjamin Alonso, Arturo Cansio Ferruz, Garazi Erdaide, Rakel Gomez Vazquez, Marta Martín Hoces de la Guardia, Marta Ramírez Cores, Leire Rosa Oyarzabal, Robert Waters.