heriotza/hands is a chatroom based on the alphabetical museography of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. It reflects on art collections as a possible language, the museum as a dialoguing presence, and the way in which words affect our gaze.
On the occasion of the 110th anniversary of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, the institution decided to arrange its collection around alphabetically ordered words, from A for Art to Z for Zubi (Bridge). These words and works gathered in a space grant each other meanings, allusions, contexts, beyond the usual historical-artistic background.
Over time, these words and works have changed, articulating new ways of seeing the pieces and the spaces they occupy.
Cranach's Lucretia stabs herself in room H. Originally, room H was entitled Heriotza (Death). Our gaze was then directed to the dagger pointing to Lucretia's flesh. Some time later, the subject of room H changed to Heads and Hands, shifting the gaze from the knife to the hands and face of the person holding it.
These alterations allow us to understand the collection as a language, and the museum as a dialogic presence. heriotza/hands attends and responds from a chatroom reminiscent of those we use every day, a chatroom in which, as a new museum room (this time, online), the artworks acquire a unique, intimate and personal meaning.