Art Madrid'23 – ESTHER FERRER: THE WOMAN OF ALL THE PERFORMANCES

The Atlantic Center of Modern Art (CAAM) of Gran Canaria organises a great retrospective on Esther Ferrer, a complete and pioneer artist who continues to open the gap in the art world at 82 years old. The curator of the exhibition, Carlos Díaz-Bertrana, notes that the showing collects the work of the artist located in “the enigma of time, body, feminism, emptiness, chance, reflection on art and prime numbers”.

Esther Ferrer, "Eurorretrato", 2001 (vía angelsbarcelona.com)

The great, risky, daring, emerging and groundbreaking Esther Ferrer is deployed throughout the CAAM to share with the viewer her concerns and artistic expressions generated throughout her career. This artist, pioneer of performative art in our country and considered one of the most outstanding artists of her generation, began her career at the end of the 60s amid a context eager for changes, hope and openness.

At that time, Esther founded the ZAJ collective together with Juan Hidalgo, Ramón Barce and Walter Marchetti. The group took the work of John Cage as the primary reference of its productions. With that, it began a practice of exploration of performance, with a wholly new and transgressive language for the time. With shows and tours in several theatres in Spain, Esther established herself as a creator at the forefront of art, disturbing, committed and struggling.

Se hace camino al andar - Festival Street Level- Hertogenbosch - Holanda. Foto:Allard Willense – 2002

Despite having an unstoppable career that kept her on top of contemporary since its inception, Esther confessed just a year ago how difficult it is to live from art in Spain. In a report that addressed the precariousness of the cultural sector from the testimony of different professionals, the artist confessed in October 2018 that only since 15 years ago she could live fully from her work, what for many other sectors is a utopia, but for the creative sector, the general rule: to finally be able to dedicate yourself completely to art beyond the retirement age. These difficulties, and an eminently migrant spirit, led Esther to settle in Paris in 1973, where, in addition to continuing to develop her work, she worked as a journalist and pedagogue.

Esther Ferrer, fragmento de "Íntimo y personal", 1977 (vía museoreinasofia.es)

Esther defines herself as a feminist and dealt with this issue on numerous occasions. Her work, which hardly leaves indifferent, has received several awards. In 1999 she was one of the two artists who represented Spain at the Venice Biennale, in 2008 she was awarded the National Prize for Plastic Arts, in 2012 the Gure Artea Prize of the Basque Government, and in 2014 the MAV (Women in the visual arts), the Marie Claire pour l'Art Contemporaine Award and the Velázquez Prize.

We have until March 1st to enjoy her work at CAAM.

 

In the year 2020 in the heart of Barcelona a wandering gallery was born, the same one that in February 2021 would debut at Art Madrid with an exhibition proposal focused on contemporary portraits; with this subject matter it would manage to create a powerful dialogue between artwork and audience and make the seal Inéditad remain in the history of the event that contained it.

Jean Carlos Puerto. Protección. Oil and copper leaf on wood. 60 x 48. 2021. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Since that first time and until today, the wandering gallery has managed to build projects on otherness, has repositioned in the spotlight the discourses on the LGTBIQ+ collective, has consolidated a group of artists who share its principles of resilience and empathy and the best thing is that it continues to bet from the professionalism and commitment to give voice to the difference.

Claudio Petit-Laurent.. El Joven de la Perla. Oil on wood. 30 x 30 cm. 2023. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Inéditad Gallery, thanks to its founder Luis López, its collaborators and the infinite possibilities manifested in the works of the artists it represents, is a gallery that has demonstrated its capacity and courage to stimulate the sensibility of the public through art and seduce a generation that moves between the glass window and the analogical story. Inéditad is a nomadic gallery that has gathered around it a community of artists and has moved the context with exhibition projects that think about LGTBIQ+ art without prejudices.

Pepa Salas Vilar. Las marcas del arcoiris. Oil on canvas. 40 x 50 cm. 2022. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Pride and Prejudice was inaugurated. An exhibition that brings together the works of sixteen artists: Abel Carrillo, Alex Domènech, Carlos Enfedaque, Silvia Flechoso, Jamalajama, Daniel Jaén, Claudio Petit-Laurent, Jean Carlos Puerto, Fernando Romero, Pablo Rodríguez, Pepa Salas Vilar, Jack Smith, Pablo Sola, Bran Sólo, Elia Tomás and Utürüo. Painting, illustration, photography and digital art are the manifestations that bring into dialogue around fifty neatly threaded pieces, in a discursive line that discusses such a latent phenomenon as discrimination. To achieve this, the artists invited to the exhibition question themselves whether: Does discrimination exist within the LGTBIQ+ collective?

Pride and Prejudice Official Poster. Image courtesy of the gallery.

With approaches on and from the body, the proposal invites to celebrate diversity, proposes to question and self-question the prejudices and attitudes of society against the collective. Pride and Prejudice is a space for dialogue about the constructs imposed on us by society. It is also an oasis in which to deconstruct with tolerance and respect the subjectivities that sometimes prevent us from approaching the production of the participating artists, simply because "the beautiful" does not fit in an androgynous body. The subjugation of stereotypes are pressed with determination to find the beauty of diversity in other palpable facets of reality.

Pablo Sola. All men are dogs. Photography. 2014. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Throughout these three years Inéditad has stimulated the vindictive projection towards bad practices, has questioned estates around the LGTBIQ+ body and the most admirable thing, is that these capacities have resurfaced around the dialogue and the visual narrative of the stories that are told from the visual: Artworks that are people, art that is, per se, humanity. Overcome impositions and accept what is different in order to continue fighting against homophobia, biphobia, lesbophobia or transphobia and defend the equal rights that all the acronyms of the collective deserve in our community.

That's Pride and Prejudice: One creature, the happiest in the world. And maybe other projects and other people have said it - or felt it - before, but none so fairly.

Silvia Flechoso. Hola, soy maricón. Oil on canvas. 73 x 54 cm. 2023. Image courtesy of the gallery.

From June 8th until June 22nd you can visit Pride and Prejudice. Carrer de Palau núm. 4. Canal Gallery space. Barcelona.