#10mila Joan Etorrian Aztarnak/ Huellas

The contemporary Basque artist Irantzu Lekue closed the 2016 Olas de Energía of Donostia program with a giant installation in Sagüés, consisting of 10,000 bottles, in which the opinions of the Guipuzcoan people about this cultural year were saved, and  shaped the image of a labyrinthine fingerprint.

Installation of Irantzu Lekue in San Sebastián

“People, social by nature with a desire to search, move forwards or backwards in the process of life and death, leaving their mark, creating connections with other people and generating new paths. That is why, grouping the 10,000 bottles in curved and organic lines, like glassy rivers, the natural labyrinth is formed: the fingerprint, the heart of the fingers, destined to feel, perceive and feel, “said the artist.

Lekue sought to apply the myth of Theseus and the minotaur to her installation. In this way, she indicated that the labyrinth symbolizes “life, death and rebirth” and that it represents “the tortuous path, full of mistakes that must be followed in order to find the centre of one’s self and wisdom.”

Likewise, she explained that the fingerprint is “the mark that we leave with our presence, our way of being, our ways of doing things and it is an elongated process in time, a willingness to travel the path that marks the route, like the thread that Theseus used to find the Minotaur. ”

Lekue also recalled that to carry out the installation “we called on the citizens of Euskal Herria to participate and to express their dreams and reflections on culture and insert them in the bottles”, while adding that “each bottle contains the essence of each person, transforming into his/her image “.

Together with Irantzu Lekue, fifteen volunteers started working at 6.00 and continued their work until 24.00 on Thursday so to “give life” to a “changing” and, at the same time, “fleeting” installation, as it would  disappear at midnight. “It is an ode to the urban, by using everyday objects with a new meaning,” she said. At twilight, the 10,000 bottles will be illuminated to “reveal” their content.

The footprint.


In 2016 San Sebastian had the honour of being the European Cultural Capital, full of events, exhibitions and activities. And ended by passing the baton onto Aarhus of Denmark and Paphos of Cyprus. To say goodbye, Irantzu Lekue proposed an artistic installation made with 10,000 bottles, a metaphor based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. In this myth, Theseus is locked in a labyrinth inhabited by a half-man half-bull being from which the Greek hero had to escape. The image of the labyrinth has been used metaphorically throughout history as the symbol of life, death and rebirth and this is precisely what the installation of the artist Lekeu represents, a tortuous path, full of mistakes that must be travelled in order to find the centre of one’s  self and wisdom.

But beyond this myth, the installation is presented in the form of a fingerprint, the mark we leave with our presence, our way of being and acting. It is the will to travel a path that marks the route, like that thread that Theseus used to mark the path that followed within the labyrinth.

It must be asked, that if Theseus’s desire was to escape from that labyrinth, in search of freedom, what is the desire of this imprint? The Greek used a red thread, a thread that marked his way, the walk, but in this case, this red thread does not reach the centre of the labyrinth, to create the idea that the one who is trapped within this crossroads is always pending your destiny, your wishes.

This piece of Lekue closed the program of Olas de Energías de Donostia 2016. Each bottle contains the opinions of the Guipuzcuan people about this year of culture in their city and are stored in the great fingerprint.