ART MADRID’19 OPENS CALL FOR NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL GALLERIES

Art Madrid Contemporary Art Fair will celebrate its fourteenth edition from 20th to 24th of February 2019. The Galería de Cristal of CentroCentro Cibeles will be for the sixth consecutive year the place of this event that consolidates and reaffirms itself annually as an essential part of the Madrid Art Week.

We turn 14 years of commitment to contemporary art and we have started to work on the next edition, that promises to incorporate very interesting novelties and initiatives. Art Madrid has always been a pioneer in the art market and aimed to respond to the demand of the sector with a strong commitment to digital presence, for that reason, it incorporates an online dissemination and sale platform that will be available to exhibitors before, during and after the Fair. This initiative will help to provide great visibility to galleries and artists, eliminating borders and expanding horizons.

Art Madrid is a benchmark in the Art Week of Madrid, gathering more than 20,000 visitors every February, including professionals, collectors and art lovers. Every year Art Madrid works to expand its visibility beyond our borders, which has attracted a considerable number of foreign galleries that are already faithful to the proposal. In the effort to reinforce the opening of the fair to the foreign art market, in this edition 15 stands will be allocated to international galleries.

We open the application period to participate in the General Program. The fair is destined to national and international galleries specialised in contemporary and emerging art in all disciplines: painting, sculpture, photography, graphic work, video-art, installation, 3D devices… The deadline is June 30th.

With nearly 2800m2 of exhibition space, Art Madrid brings together the most recent creations of long and medium-career artists, as well as young talents and emerging art. The Galería de Cristal of CentroCentro Cibeles is the perfect setting to make the heart of the city a reference point in contemporary art, a space where professionals, collectors and the general public come together, attracted by the nearness, proximity and the freshness of the Fair.

As in the last five editions, Art Madrid'19 will have a guest artist and a parallel activities program focused on a subject that reflects the concerns about contemporary art, such as the relationship between art and technology, to the issues of gender and the approach to education, some of the areas of work in previous editions. Very soon we will give you more details.

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One of the proposals included in the calendar of the “Art Madrid-Proyector'20” program was the organisation of several meetings with artists within the fair. This gave visitors the opportunity to get to know their work better and open a personal dialogue with them after the presentation of their last lines of work. From Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th of February, we had the participation of Abelardo Gil-Fournier, Fernando Baena, Mario Santamaría and Maia Navas, a group of creators who work with the moving image, but also with the installation, technological art, performance and video art.

Abelardo Gil-Fournier's work revolves around the hybridization between the real and the sensible. This artist and researcher approaches this question in his works from a perspective in which perception, image and material production merge. Both his artistic and research practice deal with issues related to land use and plant growth without losing sight of these three points of interest. This results in works that incorporate the presence of nature from various perspectives, sometimes as a space of experimentation in which to reflect on the connection between art and politics, the relationship of the human being with the environment or the criteria for landscape intervention.

During his presentation on Wednesday 26th, Abelardo told us about some of his latest projects, in which the presence of technology is key to offering an artistic interpretation of the individual's impact into the territory. All this affects issues such as agricultural techniques, the progressive deforestation or the exploitation of land resources. The result is colour-coded pattern drawings that break down the analyzed landscape and offer a more visual and technology-based reinterpretation of these human behaviours. In addition, in this meeting, the artist explained his work “The Quivering of the Reed”, an installation that mixes video image, sound and material elements, and that plays the role of mixing the sensory with the real.

Abelardo Gil-Fournier

Fernando Baena shared a talk with us on the afternoon of Thursday 27th. This artist has focused a large part of his work on performance, happening and video pieces, many of them designed to capture the result of the action and give the work a second life in a new format. The main subjects that monopolize his work range from the treatment of sexuality and gender issues, to migratory movements and the drama of refugees, the exercise of political freedom and thought ... all of them are far-reaching issues that Fernando addresses from a familiar approach, with the use of common materials and recognizable environments. Another of the characteristics of his work is the presence of Marianela León in many of his pieces, a performer who has been collaborating with Fernando for many years until becoming almost an alter ego of himself and starring in most actions that take place in public spaces.

In this meeting, Fernando was able to explain part of his creative processes and to highlight a key aspect to the performance artist: to understand the reaction of the public. In this way, the impact of a work conceived from the theoretical plane is also analyzed, the meaning of which can completely change depending on the viewer's perception. As he himself explained in the talk regarding his piece "Balsa":

"What started out as a performance with an established script ended up being a happening in which the public participated with sometimes unusual reactions".

For his part, Mario Santamaría, who was with us on February 28th, shared with us a completely different work from Fernando's. This artist is focused on the analysis of the use of data, the feeling of manipulation and lack of control over our information that is produced in the digital medium and the desire to transform into something real some ideas as ethereal and commonplace today as the use of virtual storage clouds, the location of web pages or the data flow over the Internet. Much of his work, documented on video or transformed into technological facilities, is a form of research on the impact of the digital medium on our daily lives. His desire to bring these terms to the material plane, which we handle in our language today without really understanding their meaning, has led him to visit server bunkers, storage warehouses, in addition to tracking the exact location of the servers that host his own website to find isolated places far away from humanity.

Mario proposed a material trip to this reality to demonstrate that we are facing a very fragile system, whose durability is sensitive to natural phenomena, as evidenced by some of the documentation work carried out, where he rescued images of wild animals entering these data centres and endangering the livelihood of the digital world.

Mario Santamaría

Finally, Maia Navas, recently arrived from Argentina, shared with us the afternoon of Saturday 29th in a chat in which she told us about her creative work as well as her experience at the head of Play-Videoarte, a festival entirely dedicated to this discipline that she co-founded in 2012, and that in these six editions has combined an annual exhibition with a program of activities that take place in the City of Corrientes (Argentina), at the Cultural Centre of the University Extension that depends on the National University of the Northeast (UNNE).

Maia has a degree in psychology, as well as a degree in arts and technology, and combine her artistic career with teaching. The impact of psychology among her work topics is evident, and some of her video works try to delve into disturbing and perplexing aspects of human behaviour, such as the series "Procedures" that we could watch during the presentation. In it, the artist portrays the daily lives of people affected by OCD syndrome with an excellent visual narrative that puts the accent, almost with a cinematographic vision, on the personal experience of this phenomenon.

Maia Navas, foto de Marc Cisneros

From Art Madrid, we want to thank all these artists for sharing their creative experience with us and giving us the opportunity to dialogue with them about their present and future projects.