Museo Bikoitza / Double Museum

It is a programme of annual interventions in the museum by a guest artist. The aim is to provide a favourable environment for a series of re-readings of the collection and museographical story by different artists.

The result of this work will form part of the exhibition programme for a year, before finally being added to the museum’s art collection, indicative of, although not fulfilling, the need to incorporate every present moment into the heritage and story of the San Telmo Collection. The guest artist in this first edition is Ibon Aranberri.

This project provides continuity to the work presented by Asier Mendizabal in San Telmo Museum in 2014, Soft Focus,  which laid the seed of what the Double Museum is today. Since then, the following artists have passed through the project: Ibon Aranberri (2018/19), Erlea Maneros Zabala (2019/20), José Mari Zabala (2020/21), Iratxe Jaio & Klaas van Gorkum (2021/22), Hinrich Sachs (2022/2023) and Maddi Barber (2023/2024).

Previous interventions

Genesis of the project

In Mendizabal’s opinion, the remarkable thing about San Telmo Museum, through the accumulated historical circumstances that have shaped it, is, above all, its double condition. The fact that it has been an ethnographic museum and an art gallery at the same time. The artist himself explains the reflections which led him to propose systemising the type of intervention put forward by Soft Focus: “In San Telmo Museum, in February 2014, I presented a work entitled Soft Focus, a collection of materials completed for the occasion with some materials from the museum’s own collection. Soft Focus is a work produced in 2011 for an exhibition at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid. It was also presented at the Venice Biennale the same year. In it, the collection of ethnographic and artistic objects from San Telmo Museum, by means of the photographic inventory carried out by Sigfrido Koch in the 70s, served as an excuse for a plotting device to develop a reflection around the manner in which the patrimony of a museum is the object of different stories and interpretations. [...]

Indeed, the museum, which, after its latest renovation, tipped towards a more specific museographic model in what has come to be called a museum of society, has been throughout its history an always-problematic union between its condition as fine arts museum and its vocation as ethnographic museum. Or vice versa. If the corpus which makes up the story of a museum is that of its patrimony, the collection of art and Basque ethnography are those which, in a complex co-existence, have provided the foundations for San Telmo.

For all these reasons, the presentation of Soft Focus seemed like a way to start a reflection which would take advantage of the museum’s complex singularity and its history, while its later inclusion in the collection meant that this reflection would be housed in the very corpus to which it referred.”


Each artist will be commissioned to work for 12 months in connection with the museum and the coordinator of the project for the production of a brand new project, resulting from the relationship established with the museum.

The artist carrying out each project participates in the selection, invitation and monitoring of the next project. Thus, in the long term, the accumulated results of the programme will not be linked to the particular criteria of a single person, but rather they will be formed by means of a collective committed to the museum by means of their participation in it.

Meanwhile, the commitments acquired by the invited person will be, among other things, to carry out a period of six months’ exploratory work with the museum, and then to present a specific project describing their intervention for the museum’s approval. The following six months will be devoted to the production of the approved project.

The finished project will be installed in the museum, within the existing museographic trajectory or in an agreed space, and it will remain on show for a year. The invitee will go on to assume the commitments of the coordination of the following edition. Once the public exhibition of the project has finished, the work produced will become part of the museum collection.

Explora the art with zoom


San Sebastián, ciudad de la cultura

Language selection menu

Auxiliary menu:

Museo San Telmo in social networks:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • ivoox
  • Youtube
  • Ayuntamiento de Donostia-San Sebastián




  • Ayuntamiento de Donostia-San Sebastián
  • Gobierno Vasco
  • Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa
  • Ministerio de Cultura