OPENING OF THE ART MADRID-PROYECTOR’20 ACTIVITIES PROGRAM

Tomorrow, Wednesday 12th February, the programme of activities developed by Art Madrid and the video art platform PROYECTOR starts. Under the curatorship of Mario Gutiérrez Cru and with the collaboration of the spaces MediaLab Prado and Sala Alcalá 31 the program is dedicated to video art, action art and new media.

The convergence between technology and art generates new languages and forms of artistic expression. From Art Madrid we want to bring the public closer to these disciplines by generating a direct dialogue with the creators where there are no intermediaries. Our commitment and one of the fundamental pillars of this programme are the practical and immersive activities in creation through master classes, meetings and presentations or a visit to an artist's studio.





To start this programme, the artist Patxi Araújo will give a master class tomorrow, Wednesday 12 February at 5:30 pm in the MediaLab Prado auditorium, where the following master classes by Olga Diego and Lois Patiño will also take place.

Under the title "All Prophets are Wrong" they will share their creative experience, the paths explored in communication and their productive processes incorporating technology without losing the burden of discourse.

Patxi Araújo develops his work in the territory of the poetics of new media. His work has been recognized and selected in different biennials, festivals and competitions of video art and electronic experimentation. A reflection that goes beyond aesthetics, and that runs between the digital and the human, between nature and artificial life. Places where the limits are diffuse, spaces where the public can delve together with the artist to know and understand the metaphoric of Patxi Araújo's work.

Later, at 8.30pm and as an opening, the interactive art work Sherezade will be shown for the first time. A site-specific creation by Patxi Araújo for the facade of MediaLab Prado. The art work is based on play. It is a random generation of sentences and phrases according to the position of the spectator in the front square of the facade. Just as automatic poetry emerges from the poet's entrails or from any other of his organs that have stored reserves, "Sherezade" elaborates literary proposals in the form of titles or epigraphs from a bank of words chosen by the author and stored in a virtual memory in random mode. The movement, presence or absence of people, animals or things in the square of MediaLab Prado determines that the program chooses among those words, and generates lapidary, poetic, absurd or sublime phrases. Therefore, if some kind of literary causality exists, it should be sought in the mixture of the activity in the square and the random mode which the words in the program emerge. Sherezade's memory today mixes 24 prepositions, 31 articles, 926 adjectives and 726 names of the Spanish language conjugated in the masculine singular.

The role of the public in this installation will be crucial to seeing it in operation. "Sherezade" will be available from sunset every day until mid-March.

On Thursday at 5:30pm we continue the programme with a master class by Olga Diego. An artist who combines scientific knowledge and art to create an installation area loaded with symbolism. Olga reflects on when the creative process becomes an art work in itself through all the material left behind in the testimonial process. The artist invites us to learn about the process and invention of the art work, how it works and will make a small exhibition when she puts some of these pieces into action. A space that aims to be a unique experience.

Olga Diego preparando "El jardín autómata", foto: Carolina Diego

To finish this cycle of master classes, the artist Lois Patiño proposes on Friday 14 at 5:30 pm an encounter in which he will trace different paths in his art works to discuss this intermediate space between contemporary art and cinema, the frontiers that separate them and that Lois proposes to dilute. Art Works that take the form of video installations, experimental fictions, video art pieces or creative documentaries. The still image and the moving image, visual abstraction and the impact of the new formats that transit in places where perhaps these frontiers should disappear.

Lois Patiño, fotograma de "Sol Rojo"

In order to obtain close knowledge and bring the public closer to a more detailed understanding of contemporary art, the opinion of professional experts in the field could not be lacking. On Thursday February 20 at 6:00 pm we will hold a round table in the collaborative space Sala Alcalá 31. Moderated by sound artist and composer Miguel Álvarez-Fernández, we will have Rafael Doctor, independent curator and cultural manager, Karin Ohlenschläger, critic, curator and director of activities of LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, and Berta Sichel, cultural agent and curator director of Bureauphi Art Agency. The table will debate the evolution of the still image, passing through video art to the new media and will reflect on the current impact it has on creators and the society that enjoys and consumes it.

Converging in all the objectives of Art Madrid-Proyector'20 we have the visit to Eduardo Balanza's studio on February 22nd at 12:00 pm. This activity presents us with the possibility of getting to know the artist's workspace, understanding his creative process and understanding the application and techniques used to finally enjoy a small performance in this intimate space. Eduardo Balanza will show the audience how the "B71" works, an electro-acoustic instrument inspired by baroque organs with a manual and automatic system of operation activated by vibrating speakers on plates capable of connecting to weather data websites.

To visit Eduardo's workshop it is essential to register beforehand using the form

Eduardo Balanza, "B71"

All programming is open and free to the public, thus generating the opportunity to attend a diverse audience where the only requirement is the ability to be amazed and the willingness to live unique experiences in the art world.

 

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.