LATIN-AMERICAN VIDEO ART IN ART MADRID

To celebrate Art Madrid's 15th anniversary, the fair organised a program of activities focused on video art, new media and action art that took place throughout the month of February. In addition, one of the keys in this edition consisted of dedicating a complete booth to accommodate part of this agenda and thus be able to share with the public the experience of enjoying video art and performance in the same space. In this program, in addition to the daily presentations of artists and live performances, one of the highlights was a curated cycle dedicated to international video art that was possible thanks to the collaboration of 13 foreign festivals that gave us the best of their selected pieces.

Mario Gutiérrez Cru, the director of the PROYECTOR video art platform, and the curator of the “Art Madrid-Proyector'20” action program, carried out an arduous task of selection and contact with these contests and exhibitions with the aim of offering a varied, enriching picture of the reality of global video creation. In this way, we have had the contribution of these 13 international festivals, which has given us a unique opportunity to enjoy video art outside the usual exhibition circuits that this discipline occupies.

In this collaboration, the participation of Latin American festivals especially stands out: BIM (Argentina), EJECT - International Festival de Videoperformance (Mexico), Kósmica (Mexico), Play - Video Art Week (Argentina), El Validadero Artístico - Tele-atemporal / curaduría latinoamericana de video experimental (Colombia) and VideoBabel (Peru). With more or less experience and seniority, these 6 festivals have brought us a selection of the best awarded works in the most recent editions, providing a global and updated vision of the interest that video art arouses in Latin America.

Frame from "Fotooxidación" (2013), by Pablo Mazzolo

The Biennial of the Moving Image (BIM) is a combination of a film festival and a contemporary art show where the central axis is experimental videos and cinematographic works. BIM combines an exhibition program with works exhibited in museums and theatres with a wide range of activities (workshops, conferences, seminars and talks with artists). It is a meeting space designed for audiovisual art lovers. The project was born from the initiative of the National University of Tres de Febrero and takes place every two years in the City of Buenos Aires.

For the curated screening of “Art Madrid-Proyector’20” we had the following artworks: "Viento Sur" (2012), by Paz Encina; "Una sombra oscilante (2018), by Celeste Rojas Múgica, "Fotooxidación" (2013), by Pablo Mazzolo; "Retrato nº 26" (2011), by Edu Loschpe; "Traspasar (2.0)" (2009), by Hernán E. Bula; "Am I?" (2012), by Florencia Aliberti; "Lumbre" (2016), by Christian Delgado & Nicolás Testoni; "Trabajos de la vida terrestre I, II y III" (2017), by Camelia Estefes; "Destellos" (2016), by Ernesto Baca; "Abecedario/B" (2014), by Los Ingrávidos; "Black Pond" (2018), by Jessica Sarah Rinland, and "Plantas trepadoras" (2014), by Julieta Averbuj.

Frame from “Taxonomía de la desmesura: diario de viaje a la isla Victoria”, by Maia Gattás Vargas

Also from Argentina, it came PLAY - VIDEOARTE, an exhibition of international scope born in 2012 that seeks to expand the borders of legitimate contemporary uses of image, sound and speech. In each edition, they carry out activities aimed to educate and promote video creation, such as production workshops, talks/meetings with and between artists, which are held in the City of Corrientes (Argentina), at the Cultural Center of the Extension University, of the National University of the Northeast (UNNE).

The selection by PLAY was a 100% Argentinian and included the pieces: “Escucho los grillos”, by Tamara Kuselman; “Así me duermo”, by Mariano Luque; “Taxonomía de la desmesura: diario de viaje a la isla Victoria”, by Maia Gattás Vargas; “La raíz de lo ligero”, by Juan Ignacio Slobayen; “Distancia”, by Joaquín Pedretti; “Los casuales”, by Pauli Coton (production), Lucía Ruiz Guiñazú (original music) and Marianela Márquez (script), and “Experimento desde Occidente N 1”, by Yaela Gottlieb.

Frame from “The chingón of the fighters”, by Fershow Escárcega

EJECT - International Festival of Videoperformance in Mexico City initially functioned as a festival and today it is an archive that brings together the works presented in successive editions, mostly carried out by Mexican authors. EJECT is coordinated by the artist and curator Pancho López and was formed between 2006 and 2016 from a public call launched by Ex Teresa Arte Actual and the Arte Alameda Laboratory, two important cultural venues dependent on the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature of Mexico. Since 2019 this archive is part of the Video Art Research and Documentation Centre (CIDV) at the Vanguardia Arts Centre, La Neomudéjar Museum in Madrid, Spain, and Ex Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico City.

The curated exhibition for Art Madrid revolved around the concept of "radical Mexicanisms," an analysis of the gestural features that mark the idiosyncrasy of the country's society, and was made up of the following videos by Mexican artists: “Ahí va el diablo”, by Mariana Orozco; “Maléfica educare”, by Angélica Peña; “Paisaje mexicano con sombrero”, by Víctor Sulser; “Ensalada de nopal”, by Isabel Rojas; “Ejercitar”, by Luis Albarrán; “Progreso”, by Liliana Ramales; “Soy 1, 2, 3, 4”, by Manuel Díaz; “Caja de Pandora”, by Liz Misterio; “#15”, by Fernando Arroyo Sauri; “Chamánika urbana”, by Claudia Bernal; “El bombón”, by Erika Mayoral; “The chingón of the fighters”, by Fershow Escárcega, and “Toque de lo que queda”, by Blanca Ugarte/César Cuahtémoc Cruz.

Frame from "Vimana" (2017), by Tania Candiani

Also from Mexico, we have the collaboration of KOSMICA, a global institute founded in 2011 with the mission of establishing a platform for critical, cultural and poetic discourse on our relationship with outer space and the impact of space activities here on earth. The Institute develops initiatives that unite art and the humanities, the space sector and society.

KOSMICA selection included: "Reflections of a space traveler" (2013), by 2boys.tv; "Entrenamiento para 0g" (2015), by Gilberto Esparza; "Vimana" (2017), by Tania Candiani; "ECLIPSE//Composition I" (2015), by Melanie King; "Supernova" (2014), by La Gravedad de los Asuntos (Ale de la Puente, Juan José Díaz Infante, Nahum y Tania Candiani); "Sujetando Aire" (2014), by Nahum; "About the moon" (2019), by Manuel Díaz; "Distance of everything" (2020), by Javier Barrios, and "Dream to space" (2006), by Anaïs Tondeur.

Frame from “Iceberg Nations” (2019), by Fernando Martín Borlán & Rubén Martín de Lucas

VideoBabel is an international festival, founded in 2009 by Jorge Mora Fernández, based in the city of Cusco, Peru. The project seeks the democratisation, diffusion and promotion of audiovisual and digital culture in Peru and in other regions of the world. More than 3,700 audiovisual works from different countries have participated in the calls for its nine editions since 2010, and for Art Madrid, they have brought the best of their official section:

“Tárrega Tanazaky” (2018, Spain), by Román Rubert.

“Cielo / The Blue Of The Sky” (2018, Canada), by Marco Joubert.

“El Gran Señor / The Great Mukhiya” (2018, Nepal), by Ashin Poudel.

“Incluso Lo Inusual Debe Tener Límites” (2019, Germany), by Tobi Sauer.

“Guisantes: Sinfonía Industrial En Cuatro Movimientos” (2019, Spain), by Fran Gas.

“Lugares” (2019, Spain), by Claudia Barral Magaz.

“Accidente de persona” (2018, France-Spain), by Álvaro Martín.

“Iceberg Nations” (2019, Spain), by Fernando Martín Borlán and Rubén Martín de Lucas.

“Esencia inaccesible” (2017, Mexico), by Adrián Regnier.

“Una payasa en el espejo” (2018, Brazil), by João Lucas.

“Ravilob” (2018, Argentina), by Marco Lanzoni Larracoechea.

“Guanímar” (2019, Mexico-Cuba), by Emir Luciano Tlachi Sandoval.

“El Fin De La Eternidad” (2018, Argentina-Peru), by Pablo Radice.

Frame from “Ejercicios de Memoria”, by Pamela Loaiza

And from Colombia El Validadero Artístico - Tele-atemporal / curaduría latinoamericana de video experimental has collaborated. It is an experimental pedagogical project for artistic practices and social relations, after its 4 years of pedagogical programs and continuous research in the city of Bogotá.

All the works selected by Federico Daza M. for Art Madrid are Latin American, with a clear predominance of the Colombian presence. Thus, from Colombia, we had the artworks: “Paisajes Encontrados”, by Paula Andrea Molina; “Georáculo”, by Camilo Parra; “Obra en proceso”, by Sonia Rojas; “Apología 3.0”, by John Melo; “Exponiendo te conocí”, by Andrés Guarro; “Economía Naranja 2020”, by Recreativa TV; “Paisaje del deseo”, by Andrea Solano and Laura Muñoz; “Ejercicios de Memoria”, by Pamela Loaiza; “Zoom”, by Julieth Natalia Casteblanco; “Es wird haarig”, by Esteban Rivera, and “Contracorriente”, by Diana González.

From Mexico: “Ciudades Invisibles”, by Eder Castillo and “Ciudad de México en el Tiempo”, by Antonio Falcón; along with “Un gozo entre humanos”, by Luis Yépez, from Ecuador; “Camino hacia el fractal”, by Yannet Vilela, from Peru, and “X,Y, Z”, by Adrián Preciado, from Venezuela. Finally, we also had some Argentinian presence with “Quizá Algún día lo logre”, by Rodrigo Tunica, and “Instrucciones para levantar una piedra”, by Maia Gattás Vargas.

 

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.