The musical career of Spanish artist Begoña Muñoz began in 2000 when she started her project of inventing herself as a pop singer. The result was the release of the album We Only Move When Something Changes in 2004, under the artist name Begoña.

She uses the Populism exhibition as a platform to promote herself as a genuine pop star, complete with live concerts at the exhibition openings and her CD, t-shirts and other home-made merchandise for sale in the museum shops of all the participating venues.

In the exhibition her music video, made by the artist Itziar Okariz from Bilbao, is shown. The video is a visualisation of idolisation, of the cliché of stardom, where she – wearing stilettos and other appropriate pop star attire – throws herself onto a mass of eager fans, who literally carry her on their hands through the streets of Bilbao while she sings. At the same time this act can be seen as an overcoming of the distance between musician and audience, not least because the fans in the video act as a virtual stage for her performance. This last aspect is essential for Muñoz, and this is why she places emphasis on performing live. In her regular concerts, a different kind of dialogue is created than the one usually attained between a visual artist and her audience. It is a dialogue based on the immediacy of reaction and on direct interaction. Here, as in many of her other projects, she investigates the role of the audience by implicating it directly in the creation of her work.

Muñoz’s sound, look and performance are not those of a professional pop singer, rather they are images of the desire to become a pop singer. The fans in her video are hired extras, and she acknowledges her amateurism in the field of music. In this way she doesn’t become a part of the music business as such, rather she takes on a role in order to explore it. She mixes freely with other spheres of life in her capacity as an artist. It gives her the freedom to act in different contexts and roles without actually establishing identity with the sphere she is working in.

By Eva May


"Begoña DJ" Photo by: Unai Goikolea.