Guadalupe Echevarria Adventurous Spirit

“No Time to Spare” could well have been Guadalupe Echevarria’s mantra – if she ever actually considered having a mantra. But if there is something that characterized her and the conduit of her professional life as an exhibition curator, a festival programmer, a writer, or an art school director, it is that she resented formulas, repetition, and becoming a cliché of herself. Even during her long tenure at the helm of the School of Fine Arts in Bordeaux, where she was the director from 1991 to 2013, she managed to keep for more than two decades the institution in a state of permanent invention and reinvention, a true laboratory of pedagogical and artistic research in pace with, or even ahead of, an ever-changing and accelerating world. The exact antonym of a conservative, but rather, an antidote to it, she inspired countless individuals, artists, curators, educators, etc. like few others did. Guadalupe Echevarria passed away last June in San Sebastian where she had been living since 2013. In this interview with her conducted just a few years ago by Bilbao-based art critic Miren Jaio and artist Daniel Llama that was originally published in the inaugural issue of Artium Museoa’s journal AMA, Echevarria’s biographical journey is retraced, from her early days at San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Vitoria Festival of Music Video to her more recent projects. It tells a story of an exceptional life in the arts, one that has been written and danced to like it was a punk song – unsurprisingly her ever-favourite music genre. 

Thomas Boutoux

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