A NEW DIMENSION FOR ART: THINKING BIG!

One of the attractions of art is the possibility of hosting proposals that exceed the limits of the possible, that allow creations that extend the contours of reality, that play with the implausible, the hypothetical, the impossible and the extraordinary. Many authors follow this impulse because the feasible and the near remain small and need to give way to ambitions that think big.

Anish Kapoor, “Leviathan”, 2011 (via thehardt.com)

In this search for new formats and forms of expression, there are two main challenges, on the one hand, the location of the works, since some great ideas cannot fit within a closed space, and on the other, the choice of execution materials. One of the best-known ways to overcome these barriers is mural art, with no restrictions other than the size of the wall or building to be intervened and with the use of a classical technique such as painting.

JR, “The secret of the great pyramid”, 2019 (via designboom.com)

However, mural painting is intimately connected with urban art and can have connotations that contemporary artists try to avoid. Therefore, new proposals for intervention in the public space arise, which often take advantage of the architectural elements of the cities to develop the pieces. A well-known example of this is the work of the Boa Mistura collective, which disseminates word puzzles on facades, stairs, benches, lampposts and other elements to create optical tricks that encourage the viewer to participate and to look for the correct angle to read the message. With optical illusions also dares Jean René (known as JR) a French urban artist who came to make this spectacular composition for the Louvre Museum. This work, formed with 2,000 sheets of printed paper and placed with a degradable glue, lasted just 24 hours. As JR himself said “The images, like life, are ephemeral. Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own.”

Jeff Koons, “Seated Ballerina”, 2017, ©Photo: Tom Powel (vía www.architecturaldigest.com)

KAWS, Massive Inflatable Sculpture in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour (via www.thisiscolossal.com)

Likewise, there are also who want to work with new forms and materials to avoid logistical limitations in the construction of their works. This is what happens with inflatable sculptures, a fashion that many contemporary creators have joined since it is a more affordable method, lightens the weight of the pieces, allows their transportation after disassembly, and also makes it possible to occupy spaces each time Older and more ambitious. In addition to the impressive “Monumenta” that Anish Kapoor installed in 2011 at the Grand Palais (and this is not the only giant inflatable work of this author), we also highlight the proposal of Jeff Koons, for the Rockefeller Center square. Besides, artists like Kaws also dare with this format, with impressive results.

Emmanuelle Moureaux, “‘Universe of Words”, 140,000 Pieces of Paper Form a Colorful Installation for the Tanabata Festival ©Photo: Daisuke Shima

On the other hand, other creators dare to redesign the exhibition halls with immersive installations that completely change the perception of space, and even of reality. A recent trend is to use threads and fabrics to provide volatile networks and structures that expand through the ceiling and the walls. These works produce a diverse effect; some resemble the interior of a living organ, others remind us of the flow of water, and others create a feeling of being somewhere else as if we lived in a parallel dimension.

Chiharu Shiota, “Counting Memories”, installation for the Muzeum Śląskie

All these proposals play with temporality and are designed to produce a passing effect. The ephemeral life of large-scale works never seen before.

 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.