INTERVIEW WITH ALBERTO CORNEJO, DIRECTOR OF ART MADRID'18

Art Fairs are much more than a space for economic exchange, they are a space for symbolic exchange, for intangible goods. Alberto Cornejo, Director of Art Madrid'18

Alberto Cornejo

He has directed Art Madrid for 4 years, with a family of gallerists, Alberto Cornejo has surrounded himself with a young team that has managed to give the fair a new, fresher style, connected with the "new contemporary art" and new technologies. His objective is to be the fair of the future, realistic, connected, at the service of galleries and creators.

Since the change of location of the fair and the new team, how do you assess the evolution of the fair?

Very positively, it can not be otherwise. The new team has made possible to consolidate a fair with a long history, thanks to a new fresher style and more up to date with the movements of the sector, a team that is closer to the new profile of creator and collector that has been developed in our country in the last years. The venue, undoubtedly, has been an essential element so that the fair, in turn, fits into the agenda of more audiences, of different profiles, a wide audience that includes experts, professionals and collectors but also the general public that given the proximity and comfort of the space do not hesitate to make Art Madrid one of his visits in the Week of Art.

We like to know that many people have developed their taste in the art world thanks to us, by making ourselves more accessible and more open. We want to think that, in addition to keeping our audience more loyal, we are sensitizing a new type of public and that we are the reference for a new generation of collectors. The collector is younger now, has a more personal interest in more personal art, their appetites are more intimate, they buy for pleasure, for "falling in love" and not so much for investment. Art is part of their lives as a book or an object with which you identify. This public finds in Art Madrid a space with interesting pieces and at reasonable prices in which to start their collection.

There is more and more international presence in AM, what is it? Is it a bet of the fair itself?

Art Madrid has specialized in promoting and disseminating contemporary Spanish art, eminently but the truth is that international galleries are increasingly interested in the fair. This year, for example Art Madrid has galleries from Germany, France, Cuba, Brazil, Taiwan, Portugal, Ukraine and China. Portugal is the foreign country with more representation this year in the General Art Madrid Program, with artists such as João Noutel, João Santos, Ana Pais Oliveira, Rui Dias Monteiro, Isabel Sabino and Moisés Duarte. The Ukrainian artist Andrey Zadorine will surprise us too with a monographic painting stand... It is the experience of every of them what makes possible that galleries around the world trust in the fair.

What would you highlight in this year's edition? Artists, actions, galleries...

This year we have bet, without a doubt, for the new talents, to know the work of a new generation of artists. Spain has a great talent and has much to offer but, due to the specific collector tradition and the economic circumstances of the country, many artists have found themselves in need of building their career abroad. In this sense, both the galleries and the fairs have had to take a step forward and be increasingly spokespersons for these emerging artists who need an infrastructure and a wider dissemination platform and, in this sense, Art Madrid is a launching fair for young talents particularly those based in our country. We have examples of artists that we consider "part of the fair" because we have seen them form and grow, as the photographer Irene Cruz for example. The One Project program, curated by Carlos Delgado Mayordomo, works to this objective, that of serving as a showcase for talent, of creating an invoice for names that will be discussed in the future. In this 2018 edition there is an outstanding presence of young artists with a very mature and solvent work. Without a doubt, we are facing a new generation of highly committed creators with an intense and interesting work to which we want to give voice.

Why OKUDA as a Guest Artist? It is an important generational and stylistic leap...

Betting for Okuda San Miguel has been a commitment to the so-called "new contemporary art", which includes all forms of urban art, pop surrealism ... Okuda is one of the young artists with more international repercussions, he has managed to be the total artist, the global artist, the mixture of cultures beyond the market, mixing the influences that exist between the art of all the countries, Okuda condenses the image of the current urban art. His work is colorful and risky and we wanted to join this wave, his strength ... This year, in addition, there is an outstanding presence of urban art and pop-art at the fair. Okuda San Miguel is preparing an exclusive work for the fair, a limited edition that will be available for Art Madrid attendees.

In recent years, a thematic alternative program of activities has been consolidated, as well as the One Project program mentioned above... What added value bring these parallel programs to Art Madrid?

These programs allow us to deepen the art from various perspectives and this makes us more attractive for more audiences. As One Project allows us to make known emerging names, more risky, more personal projects and brings us closer to a more reflective type of public and more committed to the most personal art; The Parallel Program allows us to talk about transversal aspects to art, the relationship of art with other aspects of life, its connection with other social realities such as gender issues, technology ... or, this year, education. Fairs are much more than a space for economic exchange, they are a space for symbolic exchange, for intangible goods.

What are the challenges that AM faces in this edition and facing the future? What does AM want?

Art Madrid has always tried to be a pioneer in the art market and has wanted to respond to the demand of the sector with a strong commitment to the digital presence. In this edition, it goes much further, since we have launched an online sales platform to support the participating galleries before, during and after the fair. This initiative will help to give great visibility to galleries and artists, eliminating borders and expanding horizons.

Our goal has always been to encourage interest in contemporary art, so now the relationship with our public will be permanent throughout the year, through its own content, curated exhibitions and various events. The health of our art market, which is very powerful, depends to a great extent on generating synergies that move in the same direction. We have no doubt that this is just the beginning of numerous projects that Art Madrid will be able to host based on its presence and digital reputation.

The cultural agenda gradually recovers after the health-crisis halt and art lovers are eager to enjoy the rich cultural offer that the different spaces and museums throughout our geography have to offer. In addition, one must remember that these centres have made an enormous effort to adapt to the demands that the new situation imposes and have created abundant online-accessible content to overcome confinement. We bring you a selection of content that can be visited both in person and through the web. There is no excuse for not enjoying contemporary art again.

Olafur Eliasson, “En la vida real (In real life)”, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao continues with its exhibition dedicated to Olafur Eliasson and offers numerous resources to understand not only the exhibition but also the work of the centre in the assembly and installation process. The website allows us to expand content with interviews with the artist, the download of the audio guide and the vision of the curator Lucía Aguirre, who offers us different video-pills on the pieces in the exhibition.

"Olafur Eliasson: in real life" brings together a part of this artist's work since 1990 through sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations that play with reflections and colours. Likewise, the integration of elements such as moss, water, ice, fog... put the visitor in a situation that confuses the senses and tries to challenge the way we perceive our environment and move in it.

Regina de Miguel, “Isla Decepción”, 2017

The Botín Centre in Santander hosts the exhibition "Collecting processes: 25 years of Itineraries" which brings together the work of 25 of the 210 scholarship recipients who, to date, have enjoyed the Botín Foundation Plastic Arts Scholarship, started in 1993. With the works Lara Almárcegui, Basma Alsharif, Leonor Antunes, Javier Arce, Erick Beltrán, David Bestué, Bleda and Rosa, Nuno Cera, Patricia Dauder, Patricia Esquivias, Karlos Gil, Carlos Irijalba, Adrià Julià, Juan López, Rogelio López Cuenca, Renata Lucas, Mateo Maté, Jorge Méndez Blake, Regina de Miguel, Leticia Ramos, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Teresa Solar Abboud, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Jorge Yeregui, David Zink-Yi, the exhibition is a good example of up-to-date and young contemporary art contributed by artists with very diverse profiles.

Clemente Bernad. Series “Ante el umbral”, Madrid, 2020

The Reina Sofía Museum wanted to create a visual chronicle of what the confinement and the tragic numbers of infected and deceased have meant for the lives of many of us: a tale of pain, nostalgia and uncertainty made by the photographer Clemente Bernad. This exhibition, curated by Jorge Moreno Andrés, is entitled “Before the threshold”, a title that expresses the strange sensation that occurs when faced with something new and unknown, something that we cannot control or avoid, and that we all must go through. The alteration imposed on our lives unexpectedly is reflected in the streets, transformed into places of solitude and abandonment where life has been paralysed.

Mario Merz / No title, Triplo Igloo, 1984 MAXXI Collection

At the IVAM, the exhibition "What is our home?" brings together works from the IVAM collection and the MAXXI centre in Rome to propose a reflection on the space we inhabit seen from a personal and social perspective. It is about investigating the value that these spaces have as a home or refuge, as well as part of a city or community.

The exhibition, curated by José Miguel G. Cortés, also wants to delve into the feeling of those who feel like foreigners anywhere, because they do not identify with the habits or customs of the society, they do not fit into these social patterns, and home becomes the only shelter space that can adapt to their identity needs.

Martha Rosler, frame from “Backyard Economy I-II”, 1974 © Courtesy of Martha Rosler, 2020

Es Baluard Museu is committed to video creation and performance and hosts the monographic exhibition “Martha Rosler. How do we get there from here?” dedicated to this New York artist who pioneered the use of video as a mechanism for social and political analysis. This exhibition includes various works, from video to photography and several publications, which synthesise her main lines of discourse. Her concern for public policies and the social equality of women has led her to actively participate in numerous social movements in La Havana, New York, Mexico DC or Barcelona, and these experiences are present in one way or another in her work.

With the curatorship of Inma Prieto, a selection has been made within the abundant production of this artist, which presents one of the most coherent careers in towards-the-new-Millenium contemporary art.

Image from file, via meiac.es/turbulence/archive/acceso.html

The MEIAC - Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, host the works of the prestigious international digital art archive "Turbulence", a platform dedicated to network and hybrid art. In view of the inevitable closure of this institution, the MEIAC has offered to host all this valuable content collected since 1996. The uploading of the file also served as an opportunity to restore numerous pieces and convert formats so that files that had become obsolete remain readable by new systems. A huge job of conservation and updating that can be enjoyed online today. The archive is made up of hundreds of digital works from around the world that can now be visited remotely.