Pilar Albarracín
Pilar Albarracin © Pilar Albarracin - Viva España Prensa (2004)
Visual arts

Pilar Albarracín participated in the "Femmes en lumière" project organised by the Institut français of Sevilla

To me, being an artist means having a different view of the world. To reflect on a subject that is common to us, but with a different position.

A committed Spanish artist, Pilar Albarracín explores Spanish identity and stereotypes through ambivalent works. 

On 30 March, she participated in the Femmes en lumière project, a day of reflection on the visibility of women artists in the visual arts. Commissioned by the Institut français de Sevilla on the occasion of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (FPEU), this project is supported by the Institut français in the framework of the "European Creativity" call for projects. 

Published on 06/04/2022

5 min

Pilar Albarracín was born in Seville in 1968, where she obtained a degree in Fine Arts. Considered by the writer Paula Achiaga to be one of the most controversial Spanish artists, her multi-faceted work deconstructs the symbols of traditional Iberian society, particularly in order to denounce a system of domination that oppresses women above all. Through irony and sarcasm, her performances and photographs play with the feminine stereotypes of Andalusian identity. Starting in 2004, she has exhibited at the Reales Atarazanas in her native city, and then very regularly in France, notably at the Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois Gallery, which represents her. Her work was also shown at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in 2015, and the following year at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Buenos Aires (MACBA). 

Pilar Albarracín's work draws on Spanish culture, while questioning stereotypes and patriarchal assumptions. In her performances, she embodies different female archetypes, such as the dancer, the prostitute, the gypsy, the immigrant or the housewife. The elements of flamenco and bullfighting are recurring themes in her world. Working in particular with embroidery, her works often use traditional Andalusian clothing - bullfighter's costumes, flamenco dresses - sometimes reappropriated. Voluntarily critical, even iconoclastic, her work is characterised by its ambivalence, and is often presented as being charged with humour and eroticism. She describes her approach as an attempt to create pieces "halfway between parody and tragicomedy, achieving a cathartic paroxysm." 

In her own words, many of Pilar Albarracín's plays are about the place of women in the city. They often involve the artist's own body and the urban space in order to create effects of discrepancy and dissonance. In her piece ¡Viva España! (2004), she strolls through the streets of Madrid followed by a brass band. A procession that gradually turns into a scene of street harassment, when the performer is suddenly forced to flee, pursued by a horde of men. Today, her works are present in the collections of the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León. Her work is also featured in the "Femmes en lumière en Espagne" event at the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville. 

"Femmes en lumière"
"Femmes en lumière"
  • 1968


    Born in Seville.

  • 2004


    First major solo exhibition at the Reales Atarazanas in Seville.

  • 2015


    Chorégraphies pour le salut, at the Théâtre National de Chaillot.

  • 2016


    ¡Viva España! at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Buenos Aires.

  • 2022


    As part of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, she is invited to participate in the "Femmes en lumière" event organised by the Institut français of Sevilla.

The Institut français and the artist

As part of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Institut français supported the "Femmes en lumière" event, organised by the Institut français of Sevilla, with the participation of Pilar Albarracín. 

L'institut français, LAB