18th edition Photoespaña International Festival

To celebrate its 18th anniversary, the International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts PHotoEspaña has chosen Latin America as exploration stage and an invitation, See You here, as a motto.
 

It was created as limited to Madrid and just turned 18 years, the festival is an international reference. The PHotoEspaña Festival, which celebrates its 18th edition from June 3 to August 30, will feature more than 100 international exhibitions in its various national offices (Madrid, Alcala de Henares, Alcobenda, Getafe, Lanzarote and Zaragoza) and international locations(Cascais, Lisbon Bogota, London, Panama, Paris and São Paulo) where you can enjoy the work of about 400 artists, half of them Latin Americans on this occasion, which include names like Julio Zadik, Korda, Ana Casas Broda, Martí Chambi, Graciela Iturbide and Miguel Rio Branco.

 

PHotoEspaña develops this time a monograph devoted to Latin American photography, following the path initiated in the 2014 edition of addressing a geographical area. As the organization explains on its website, an encyclopedic approach is impossible, so they want to present "a platform that shows the confluence and conflicts of the photographic medium in that territory." In addition, the exhibition program will analyze the development and complexity of Latin American photography, from its origins to the present, collecting cross visions and contextualizing themes and proposals.

For the general program, PHOTOESPAÑA has chose "a different viewpoint from the known" and as an example of this, surely, the exhibition of Alberto Diez Gutierrez KORDA, in the Cerralbo Museum in Madrid. In it, the legendary Cuban photographer famous by portraying Che Guevara, is revealed here as a commercial photographer specializing in enhancing feminine beauty.

Un Korda apenas conocido, el publicitario.

 

Also within the general program, this time in the Circulo de Bellas Artes, highlights  "Kinderwunsch" the exhibition of Ana Casas Broda (Granada, 1965) presenting a project of more than seven years where she works on motherhood as somewhat mixed experience through exploration and personal research. Another interesting exhibit is titled "Building worlds. Photography and architecture in the modern era, "and shows more than two hundred and fifty works of eighteen relevant photographers, from the 1930s to the present, that have changed the way we view architecture and to reflect on the world in which we live.

 

1) Imagen de Construyendo otros mundos.

2) Ana Casas Broda. Kinderwunsch.

 

In this edition, the PHotoEspaña Revelation Photographer Award (to photographers under 35 whose work is featured in the previous year) was for Aleix Plademunt. The jury, formed by a committee of 17 artists, curators and journalists, praised his technical precision, formal rigor and sensitivity in their work.

 

Fotografía de Aleix Plademunt.

 

PHE FESTIVAL OFF
 
This program shows the selection made by the galleries of Madrid for the festival and this time with the participation of 31 spaces, they promote works of artists of middle and younger generations. In this sense, the exhibition UNDER35 (in IvoryPress until July 18) presents the work of Laia Abril, Alberto Lizaralde, Javier Marquerie Thomas, Oscar Ruiz and Jordi Cirera Monzón, all of them under 35 years.
 
In BAT Gallery we can enjoy "Three women, three looks"... a feminine vision with photographs of Irene Irene Cruz (Madrid, 1987), Leticia Felgueroso (Madrid, 1963) and Sheila Pazos (Switzerland, 1986), three multidisciplinary artists, with their own style, their own imaginary universe that invite to be swayed by emotion and browse through your pictures as a world of expressions.

Sheila Pazos. Mirando al mar.

Meanwhile, Valverde Space Gallery presents "Latitudes" by the Photographer Luis Asin (Madrid, 1962) that makes a foray into the land of intimacy with a metaphorical story as a vehicle: images suggest poetic connections that are based on the biography of Asin but moving towards an evocative and polisémic meaning.

Within PHOTOESPAÑA you can also visit one of the largest collections of Latin American photography, comprising more than 160 works by 60 artists. It is the private collection of Anna Gamazo, wife of financier Juan Abelló, which can be seen for the first time in the municipal space CentroCentroCibeles.

 

 

Among the specialised professional profiles that we find in the cultural sector, and more specifically, in the field of visual arts, one of the most recent occupations is that of the curator. The ‘80s put attention on the role of the artist, with its innovative character and the enhancement of its figure as an essential articulator of creative proposals, while the end of the century moved the interest towards the exhibition centres themselves and their work as custodians of current production and as spaces to accommodate all proposals. The change of millennium strongly introduced in this panorama the role of the curator. Perhaps together with a social identity crisis, perhaps with the complexity that contemporary projects are currently acquiring, the need for building, articulating and delving into artistic discourses became evident.

Although the functions entrusted to this profession are not entirely new, since previously they belonged to conservatives, critics or experts according to the themes, the role has gained solidity because it combines all these purposes while allowing the specialisation of other professionals in their fields of competence. Now, as some curators themselves point out, the genuine spirit of this figure, who was born to facilitate the understanding of the discourse, create narratives within a sometimes chaotic and scattered context, mediate between the works and the spectator and create bridges between contemporary art and society.

The art of our day raises a multitude of unknowns for the visitor who must face proposals many times away from the aesthetic standards, which gives way to uncertainty and confusion; but, in turn, these works employ a closer language, materials and even compositions detached from the sophistication and the technical display of yesteryear, something that, far from favouring proximity to the message, generates some distancing. What we have just described is part of the very essence of current art. The questioning of the formalist guidelines and the recourse to tangible elements that are more utilitarian than embellishing are the new criteria of creation, where, above all, the message to be conveyed stands out.

Likewise, another inherent characteristic of the work of our time is the artists' concern for more immediate themes, for social, political and economic issues that seek to create a narrative and conceptual revulsion, leaving behind the aesthetic priority or, rather, making of the message its own aesthetic. In this context, strange as it may seem, contemporary creation encounters a linguistic barrier hindering the viewer's understanding. And to this circumstance, the abundant current production is added, covering a wide range of themes that are nothing more than a transcript of our diverse and globalised society.

The curator helps to facilitate this understanding by articulating a coherent discourse that allows the grouping of related ideas to set up the message. This requires to have an in-depth knowledge of the current state of the art, the lines of work of the creators, the most recent aesthetic proposals and the real demands of society to bridge the dialogue and allow the approach to art. If art deals with the same issues that concern us all, how can we not share its postulates? Cultural mediation requires the work of the curators to open a small window for reflection and to enable a space for exchange and idea generation. We share the thought that José Guirao expressed in a recent interview: "The curator is someone who reveals something new, and it would be a mistake for curators to become managers."

Understood this way curator’s role, many institutions have joined the trend of creating specific calls for new professionals to give light to their proposals. Let us remember, as an example, the call "Unpublished" of La Casa Encendida, or "Curator wanted", of the Community of Madrid or the call of Curating of La Caixa.