Conceived as an artist's book, this monograph is the outcome of a collaboration between the Basque artist based in California Erlea Maneros Zabala and the American writer Dodie Bellamy, who wrote a short story for the book, and converses with the artist.
The Voice of the Valley (2016-2022) is a book by Erlea Maneros Zabala, who was born in the Spanish Basque Country and has been living in California for the last two decades. Conceived along with her exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Basque Country Artium Museoa, in Vitoria-Gasteiz in 2022, the book goes off the trail from a conventional exhibition catalogue. Voices and images dissociate, overlap and interweave, generating an atmosphere rather than offering a survey. An atmosphere, as in a visual, mental, and sonic landscape. The American writer Dodie Bellamy, with whom Erlea Maneros Zabala has been in close conversation during the making of this book contributed to the book with an interview with the artist and a hybrid text written for the occasion, in which Bellamy responds to themes and images in The Voice of the Valley. The writing of Bellamy echoes the slow, persistent way of working of Erlea Maneros Zabala, which is based on an economy of means that takes the everyday, hers and that of her work environment, into account, without shying from the starker realities of our existences.
Published following the eponymous exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basque Country, Artium Museoa, Vitoria-Gasteiz, in 2022.
The work of Erlea Maneros Zabala (born 1977 in Bilbao) analyses the conditions and effects of image production, addressing the contexts generated and the modes of distribution. The issues raised by her work can be found in the academisation of languages of abstraction, the notion of authorship and the relationships established between handicrafts and mass production through the use of mechanical resources in production processes. Erlea Maneros Zabala's studied at the Glasgow School of Art and CalArts in Los Angeles, her current city of residence. Her work has been exhibited in institutions that include Museo Experimental El Eco (Mexico City), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid) and the Kadist Art Foundation (Paris) among others.