In Bilbao, I will be working on a project called “Pure Luxury.”

My main artistic interest is to ask questions about how we all make our lives feel meaningful, but to ask these questions in playful and empowering ways. I typically make interactive, performance, or community engagement projects are meant to explore the rituals used in making life feel meaningful, addressing different sub-themes of how meaning is created socially. Right now I am fascinated with the rate of development of luxury real estate around the world, and how this makes towns and cities feel successful and valuable. So I am studying the ways that things get talked about when they are intended for high-end consumption. I want to understand what makes people feel that something is luxurious, rather than just functional, or of no value whatsoever.

In Zurich for January-February 2019, I am conducting research into the characteristics of luxury that transcend individual objects; identifying these through interviews and surveys, so that I can eventually sketch and make simple 3-dimensional representations of these abstracted elements of luxury.

My plan in Bilbao will be to figure out how to best manufacture objects that represent “Pure Luxury” and which can be used in conversations with an audience to discuss what we each value when we value luxury experiences.

I might also like to identify locations and existing features of the landscape in Bilbao that meet the criteria for being “Pure Luxury” and mark them with signs as a public art intervention.

Heather Kapplow is a self-trained conceptual artist based in the United States. Kapplow creates engagement experiences that elicit unexpected intimacies using objects, alternative interpretations of existing environments, installation, performance, writing, audio and video. Kapplow's work has received government and private grants and has been included in galleries, film and performance festivals in the US and internationally. Her most recent (2018-2019) honors include the Index Freiraum Artist Fellowship; a MassMOCA Assets for Artists Award; a Boston Cultural Council Artist Opportunity Fund Award; and a New England Foundation for the Arts Creative City Award for Public Art.