VIDEO ART FESTIVALS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN BASIN

The selection of video art that we enjoyed in the last edition of Art Madrid had the collaboration of 13 international festivals dedicated to video creation, experimental cinema and moving image. 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. With the 13 international festivals invited, we had the unique opportunity to enjoy video art outside the usual exhibition circuits that this discipline occupies.

In addition to a prominent presence of Latin American exhibitions, the screening cycle also offered an interesting and different vision of initiatives from countries bathed in the Mediterranean. We refer to the selection made from PROYECTOR - Video Art Platform (Spain), Le Cube - Independent Art Room (Morocco), Oodaaq (France) and Video Art Miden (Greece).

Frame from "Acción 07_09_07#1/Fuego en la cabeza" (2007), by Olga Diego

PROYECTOR - Video art platform offered us the possibility of getting to know the video-creation work of the artists who starred in the “Art Madrid-Proyector’20” program and who intervened through presentations, performances, talks or meetings. With this screening cycle we were able to delve into another of the creative facets of these authors and get closer to new perspectives on their work.

At the booth D5 of the fair, we could watch these artworks: "Terra Nullius" (2016) by Patxi Araújo; "Bildung (the growth of the I)" (2019), by Abelardo Gil-Fournier; "Na vibración" (2012), by Lois Patiño; "Acción 07_09_07#1/Fuego en la cabeza" (2007), by Olga Diego; "Nocturno" (2009), by Fernando Baena; "Música con pelos y señales" (2011), by Arturo Moya; "Panasonia" (2014), by Eduardo Balanza; "Partidura" (2016), by Eunice Artur; "Dividir por la línea dos libros" (2013), by Mario Santamaría; "Dystopia #1" (2018), by Iván Puñal, and "Procedimientos" (2014), by Maia Navas.

Frame from "Sisyphe" (2019), by Driss Aroussi

Le Cube - Independent Art Room (Morocco) is designed as an exhibition, residence and research space focused on contemporary artistic practices. Its approach revolves around projects that raise social, cultural, and political issues, and encourages proposals that challenge history and stories.

The selection made from Le Cube counted on the following art pieces: "Sisyphe" (2019), by Driss Aroussi; "Collective gestures/ performing with Strauss" (2019), by Maria Hanl; "People's park" (2017), by Camille Dumond; "How to remove writings from bills using nail polish remover" (2019), by Soukaina Joual, and "Achayet" (2018), by Abdessamad El Montassir.

Frame from "Panorama" (2014), by Giancula Abbate

The Oodaaq Festival (France) was born in 2011 and every year offers an artistic trip through the city of Rennes. It brings together exhibitions, video art screenings, performances, installations in public spaces, conferences and round tables around nomadic and poetic images. The festival's program is divided between an international call for projects and a space open to local and international cultural structures.

Oodaaq was present Art Madrid with the artworks: "Window" (2013), by Aibhe Ni Bhriain; "Hajar" (2016), by Karou Calamy; "Black hole son" (2018), by Pete Burkeet; "Je suis allée" (2011), by Maria Ornaf; "Le park" (2015), by Randa Maroufi; "Please step out of the frame" (2018), by Karissa Hahn; "Field of infinity" (2018), by Guli Silberstein; "Panorama" (2014), by Giancula Abbate; "Untitled" (2013), by Christian Niccoli; and "Towards The Hague" (2016), by Sylvia Winkler & Stephan Koeperl.

Finally, we complete this Mediterranean set with Video Art Miden, from Greece. Video Art Miden is an independent organization for the exploration and promotion of video art. Founded by an independent group of Greek artists in 2005, it has been one of the earliest specialized video-art festivals in Greece, setting as basic aims to stimulate the creation of original video art, to help spread it and develop relevant research. Through collaborations and exchanges with major international festivals and organizations, it has been recognized as one of the most successful and interesting video art platforms internationally and as an important cultural exchange point for Greek and international video art. Miden screening programs have traveled in many cities of Greece and all over the world, and they are hosted by significant festivals, museums and institutions globally.

This festival presented two video cycles at Art Madrid: “The way it looks back at you”, curated by Gioula Papadopoulou and Maria Bourika, and “Anatomy of silence”, selected by Gioula Papadopoulou.

Frame from “Bestiari”, by Albert Merino

Cycle “The way it looks back at you”. The present is the future of the past. What happens if you are trapped in a weird and dystopian present future? The program presents 8 videos which deal with a hypnotic re-cycling of time, creating powerful images coming from a world of dreams –or from a present future.

  1. “Vortex”, Alexandre Alagôa (Portugal 2017)

  2. “Bestiari”, Albert Merino (Spain 2018)

  3. “Harvest”, Chaja Hertog & Nir Nadler (Netherlands 2013)

  4. “Intolerance”, Tessa Ojala (Finland 2015)

  5. “The Caller”, Muhammad Taymour (Egypt 2017)

  6. “Travel Notebooks: Bilbo”, Silvia de Gennaro (Bizkaia- Spain & Italy 2017)

  7. “Self-Portrait with Mother (Serve)”, Gray Swartzel (USA 2018)

  8. “Sunny Day”, Marius Krivičius & Andrej Polukord (Lithuania 2017)

Frame from “Ship of Fools”, by Babis Venetopoulos

“Anatomy of silence” is a selection of Greek video art, which gathers visual works that silently but sharply comment on human existence, through strong symbolic images and minimalistic actions. The selection features 9 video works by acclaimed and emerging video artists from Greece.

  1. “Ship of Fools”, Babis Venetopoulos (Greece 2017)

  2. “Through the WasteLand”, For Cancel (Takis Zerdevas, Zoi Pirini, Makis Faros) (Greece 2018)

  3. “The will”, Makis Faros (Greece 2018)

  4. “Fall”, Gioula Papadopoulou (Greece 2018)

  5. “Out my body”, Poly Kokkinia (Greece 2005)

  6. “Skin Shedding”, Alexandros Kaklamanos (Greece 2016)

  7. “Point”, Fotis Kolokithas (Greece 2017)

  8. “Reflex”, Yiannis Pappas (Germany 2017)

  9. “Popcorn Free Throws”, Anna Vasof (Austria 2018)

 

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.