Action art is a varied group of techniques or artistic styles that emphasize the creative act of the artist, the action. The term was created by Allan Kaprow, who pointed out the interrelationship between the artist and the viewer at the moment of the artistic creation.

It can be said that the concept of action art was born in the 1920s with Dadaism and Surrealism, in artistic montages such as collage and assemblage. Among the various forms of expression of action art are happening, performance, environment and installation.

In its most festive edition, this year Art Madrid presents its most innovative commitment with a specific programme dedicated to new media and action art. In this 15th edition we will have a booth at the fair for the realization of presentations and live actions in collaboration with the video art platform PROYECTOR and under the curatorship of its director Mario Gutiérrez Cru.

If you come to Art Madrid, you will be able to enjoy the different parts of the programme throughout the day. From the morning onwards, you will be able to view the best selection of pieces from the most outstanding international video art festivals in the world, with proposals from Portugal, Mexico, Morocco, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, France, Greece and the Netherlands. A selection made by Mario Gutiérrez Cru that will present us with new languages of artistic expression in the field of video creation so that we can compose a general idea of the international artistic paradigm of this area.

Then, every afternoon at 5pm we will attend the presentation and meeting with an outstanding artist to end the day of the fair with a performance at 8pm from Wednesday to Saturday. This program seeks to be an immersive experience in contemporary art and explore new languages linked to technology.

Opening the program on Wednesday 26th we will have Abelardo Gil-Fournier, in the presentation we will be able to contemplate the installation of the work "The Quivering of the Reed" and comment it with its creator in the whole of its trajectory. His work revolves around the hybridization between the real and the sensitive, approached from a perspective in which perception, image and material production are fused in a practice based on research into territorial planning and plant growth. His projects are conceived as material operations proposed for an open space between art, nature and politics.

Art Madrid will host at 8pm the performance of Iván Puñal “RRAND 0-82.” The artist Iván Puñal (a.k.a. The Pleasant View) will explore through a live audiovisual performance the concept of "random" and "chaos". Iván Puñal, works with determinism and freedom in his performances questioning how much belongs to the conscious self and how much is a mirage of illusion. To this end, uncontrolled elements will be introduced into the performance using mathematical algorithms, both to generate visual pictures and improvised sound spaces so that the result is "non-repeatable", "uncontrolled" and "non-voluntary". Atonal music within the territory of "musique concretè" or "noise" will accompany the projections, also framing the concept of "all sound is music".

On Thursday 27th, the public will be enjoy an encounter with Fernando Baena, a multidisciplinary artist who cultivates video, photography, installation and performance as means to reach the spectator with greater strength. His works seek to interact by approaching them through the use of common materials, and the use of direct discourses that demonstrate his communicative intention.

Afterwards, a site-specific participatory action will be carried out for the 'Partidura'. A project by Eunice Artur with the collaboration of Bruno Gonçalves. This project is part of the fascinating and vast panorama of the creation of graphic annotations. The evolution of electronic music requires a new system of notations where, among others, we seek to understand the relationship of new phenomena, such as the relationship between sound and plastic manipulation in performance; unpredictability and error as ways of generating non-linear readings and/or new graphic forms of notation.

On Friday 28th, Mario Santamaría will investigate the phenomenon of the contemporary observer, paying attention to two processes that shape him: the representational practices and the apparatuses of vision and mediation. Mario explores areas such as conflict, memory, virtuality and surveillance through tactics such as appropriation, remake and montage.

Two performers each sing inside the other's mouth. This is how the performance that Arturo Moya and Ruth Abellán will give on Friday 28th begins. The sound resulting from the interaction of the two voices in a single cavity, controls live the water produced by the same performers in a video that is projected during the performance. The same sound also governs the appearance of sounds from water recordings. "Danaides' Barrel", a physical and sound exploration that will leave no one indifferent.

And to finish the program of this edition Art Madrid-PROYECTOR, on Saturday 28th we will have two unmissable activities: on the one hand the meeting with the Argentine artist and curator Maia Navas, Bachelor of Arts and Technology, Bachelor of Psychology and Specialist in Creativity and Innovation, who will explore in a direct conversation with the public all these areas, giving way later to the performance of Olga Diego "The bubble woman show". The girl of plastics. The bubble woman. Outside, the audience interprets the movements of those two pairs of legs under the translucent inflatable. Sharing the air, the emptiness, the fragility…

Art Madrid'20 becomes a space for artistic immersion, involving all those who come and let art flood their lives from February 26 to March 1 in the Crystal Gallery of the Palacio de Cibeles.

We are waiting for you!

Buying the first work of art always instils respect. A difficult feeling to define that mixes vertigo with adrenaline. But over uncertainty and caution, a pleasurable sense of connection, understanding, and desire prevails. That work that, once seen, stays in the mind, reappears in the memory several times a day and seems to tell you that it is willing to be part of your home, is the perfect candidate to make the decision.

In the first steps, many collectors do point out that one does not start from an established plan, but rather that one acquires pieces based on taste and the connection one feels with them until, after time, they realise that the volume of works that accumulates can be labelled as a "collection". For example, this is how Alicia Aza explains it:

“I was not aware that I was collecting until many years later when a third party named me as a collector and talked about my collection. In 2005, I became aware of what collecting means and decided to articulate a collection with an identity of criteria and formats”.

Marcos Martín Blanco, co-founder, with his wife Elena Rueda, of the MER Collection, shares this same opinion:

“Collecting has been a passion, driven by a visceral state that encourages you to do so. The collection, in terms of acquisitions, has not been particularly complicated because, let's face it: it is easy to buy because they are all beautiful things and you have some clear idea of where you want to go, but at first those preferences were not so clear. It is with the time that a criterion is being formed”.

It is not always this way, of course, but for the buyer who starts out on this path, the personal connection that entails the first piece is essential. There it is the germ of a lasting relationship that is not limited to a simple aesthetic question but is an open window to knowledge, to exploration, to a world that is often unknown to us and awakens our fascination. The seed of that connection is purely sentimental, and it is precisely this impulse that determines the first acquisitions. The first piece is never forgotten.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Ana Maqueda

Exceeding the usual recommendations made by advisers and agents, rare is the occasion when the art lover decides to buy by pure investment. These paths usually open later, when the volume of pieces is large enough. In addition, there are those who are a bit against this classic concept of the traditional collector, approached from an eccentric, elitist and little accessible vision. On the contrary, art buyers are, above all, art lovers, sentient beings and permeable to creative stimulus who, at a given moment, decide to deepen the relationship they already have with art to take a piece home.

It is not that hard to overcome that small psychological barrier that turns the visitor into a buyer if one approaches the matter from a more personal and intimate perspective than from social consideration. Small-format works, graphic work or serial photography are of great help for this, whose price range, generally more affordable, allows a closer comparison to the daily basis expenses. In this way, the purchase of art falls within the range of feasible activities and becomes something close and possible.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Marc Cisneros

At that moment, a different relationship with art begins, based on pure experience and coexistence with the acquired piece. Perhaps it can be seen as an act of daring, but on many occasions, it is more a matter of necessity and transformation. Collectors also agree that the acquisition of an artwork is an exercise on personal analysis and opening up to a new field of knowledge that was previously alien to us. Alicia Aza explains that the reason she acquired her first piece of video art, by Sergio Prego, is because she did not understand it and because she saw it as a challenge and an opportunity to self-improve. This open window to knowledge creates new connections and bonds with creators, as one of the most fascinating parts of the process. Candela Álvarez Soldevilla explains that

"I think the most interesting thing in the art world is talking to artists. They are people with a special sensitivity to listen and understand.”

And Alicia Aza also says:

"I can share the satisfaction of being able to count on many artists in my circle of close friends today, and that is a long way to go."

Thus, with works that seem acceptable within the horizon of expenses that each one considers affordable, it is easy to find a piece that catches us. Since then, our home also evolves into a space in which art has a permanent place and presence, and there is no doubt that this transforms us inside.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Henar Herguera

Jaime Sordo, owner of Los Bragales collection and founder of the 9915 Contemporary Art Collectors Association, has always defined his relationship with art as a true passion and a vital necessity. For buyers who start on this path, he has the following recommendation:

“It is an essential condition that they feel the need to live with their passion to enjoy the works. Another very important aspect is that before making decisions for purchases, they are informed, so it is necessary to read specialised newspapers and books, visit exhibitions and museums and a lot of contact with galleries, which is an important and very specific source of information of the artists they represent. Finally, the presence in national and international art fairs. All this generates information and training.”

Indeed, fairs have become a good place for discovery because they condense a wide offer and allow diverse and global contact in a concentrated way. For this reason, many new generation buyers start in the context of an event such as Art Madrid, whose closeness and quality constitute a unique opportunity to meet, soak up and feed the passion for art.

(*) quotes taken from various interviews published in public media between 2013 and 2019.