ART WITH BOOKS AND BOOKS WITHIN ART

Books are much more than just an object. Its content is capable of housing infinite universes, of being an inexhaustible source of knowledge and transporting us to real and unreal places where the imagination reigns, from another time, from another dimension. It has been shed blood because of the books; there has been prohibition, censorship, repression and annihilation. They have also opened doors to freedom, exchange, tolerance and knowledge. Such is the power of a book, which has become an object of worship. Who has not opened a new book in a bookstore and smelled its pages? We like to read them, see them on our shelves, order them, leave them open face down, carry them in the bag, read them on the subway, lend them, ask for them, return them, and give them a second life. And this same passion is shared by many artists who make books their raw material of work.

The artist Schaduwlichtje is able to transform printed pages based on folds. This way, he manages to create these amazing sculptures with no need for scissors. This Dutch mathematician began working on paper when he joined the bookstore Books4life as a volunteer in 2013.

Other authors focus on taking advantage of the outside of the books for their compositions. This is the case of Mike Stilkey, an artist who works with used and discarded copies to create huge walls of stacked books on which he applies paint to create his works. Sometimes, the colour of the cover determines the type of piece you are going to draw. His compositions are intriguing and overwhelming.

For his part, Jonathan Callan reuses magazines, fanzines and books as the main element. His works give a second life to these materials eliminating references to their original use so that he bends the leaves and curves the covers to get some abstract compositions with shapes that remind us of the organic structures of the coral or the way lichen grows in the bark of the trees.

The work of Alicia Martín is well known. She has been using books in large-format sculptures for years to create proposals with enormous visual impact. In the form of a waterfall that springs from a window or as a huge spiral that imitates a whirlpool of water, her pieces surprise and charm equally.

Much more subtle is the work of Beatriz Díaz Ceballos. Her work is based on the written word, and she uses books as an infinite source of printed texts from which words sprout in waterfalls. Her proposals resemble allegories of a fairy-tale that refer us to images of fantasy and reverie.

 

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.