Xabier Salaberria’s (b. 1969, Saint Sebastian) practice is unique among artists of his generation, moving through the space where art, design, and architecture converge. For this artist, the history of the modern era has proven to be a fertile field of intellectual investigation throughout his career, a theme that Salaberria references in his sculptural and architectural installations. He often uses strategies of collaboration and relational participation that generate unexpected connections with the audience and other artistic agents. His reflections on the concept of sculpture in the 21st century, the idea of modernity, and relational art are present in some of his most important works, such as Cold Front (2008/13); Part II of an Unbuilt Project (2007); Debacle (2009); Untitled (2011); Unconscious/ Conscious (Inkontziente/kontziente) (2011–13); Martello (2012); and A.T.M.O.T.W. (2013).
The installation A.T.M.O.T.W. was conceived specifically for the 2013 exhibition Garmendia, Maneros Zabala, Salaberria. Process and Method with the intention of triggering a reflection on the museum as a place of representation. The title A.T.M.O.T.W. stands for “All The Material Of The World,” a statement of intent that betrays the piece’s encyclopedic ambitions, with the museum’s architecture as its subtext. A.T.M.O.T.W. contains numerous references, ranging from more subtle connections to the idea of “Basque sculpture” to overt associations with architectural icons such as the Rietveld Pavilion, designed by architect Gerrit Thomas Rietveld in 1955 for the Third International Sculpture Exhibition held in Sonsbeek Park, Arnhem, The Netherlands. In so doing, Salaberria deconstructs the history of modernism, the Industrial Revolution, and the serialization of mass production by reinterpreting their characteristic artifact-objects or exhibition displays.