THE BEGINNINGS OF VIDEO ART

The discipline of the video has its origins in the 60s, a time when domestic television became popular and the presence of the image on the screen spread throughout Western society. By that moment, there was, not just a crisis of a social model within the great economic powers of the moment, whose foundations of identity were weak and vulnerable, despite having a solid capitalist base; but also a crisis of the individual and his role in a context of growing influence of communications. Thus, the 60s gave way to some great collective demands, in addition to new forms of expression outside the prevailing orthodoxy. It is the birth of graffiti, of performative art, the break with post-war classicism, the rise of a new prosperous and promising awakening that did not hide the vestiges of a deep social wound dominated by the lack of solidarity, the anti-communist conflicts and the unstoppable anxieties of freedom.

Nam June Paik. Electric highway

The irruption of an element such as the screen in a context still used to traditional communication was a turning point in the evolution of later art. The impact of the television medium prompted deep reflections in the creators, who began to use the object itself as a recurrent ingredient in their creative proposals. Then, topics such as dehumanization, isolation, lack of solidarity, aesthetic impositions, the creation of fashion streams... began to flood the contemporary art scene for new generation artists immersed in the maelstrom of this change of habits. The screen as the axis of creation, the invasion of the media and the alienation of the individual staged many pieces at the beginning of the 70s.

Bill Viola's frames

But a new creative trend also opened up, a new audiovisual discipline that saw video as an evolved form of expression, regardless of the consolidated film industry, reserved for great speeches, or the expansive television production, with content more friendly and digestible to the domestic sphere. Video art established as an alternative space for experimentation with traditional techniques, with a yet unknown versatility... This discipline found easy accommodation among other trends of the time such as fluxus art, happening, or conceptual art. This was the main line of work of leading authors as the Korean Nam June Paik or the German Wolf Vostell, both creators immersed in an insatiable exploration that led them to test different techniques and themes.

Video installation of Jaume Plensa in Chicago

Today video art has its own label, different from that of experimental video, video installation or video action. We are facing a particular trend, increasingly tempting and suggestive that remains an expressive refuge for artists who do not want to be confined in traditional formats and who need to give free rein to a discourse intimately connected with our time. The image continues to play a crucial role in the communication of art, and video creation attracts more and more public interested in a new language, more refined and elegant.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.