In 2004, Barcelona was graced by great International Video Art, bringing together well-thought selections from more than fifty galleries that are actively involved in this cutting edge market of visual art in motion.
Even when sales didn’t reach the overwhelming enthusiasm brought by the hand of collectors in the 2003 edition of the fair, everyone agreed that the organization of the LOOP art fairs and in its high standards of selection was outstanding. The galleries were happy to become the early adopters of this important artistic event, and enjoyed experiencing the itinerant Video Art Festival that permeated the entire city.
The visitors’ selected video engaged the viewers in an amazing fusion of senses. The LOOP 04 prize was given to “Cruise”, the computer generated piece by Catherine Van Eetvelde and the poet Abigail Lang and showed at Tanit Gallery. It’s a very complex drawing animation which explores focusing on sign systems and articulation.
The prize of the Association of Friends of the Catalonian Museums was given to“Lalo’s Story”, work by the artist Fikret Atay, and presented by the Parisian Gallery Chantal Crousel, which also showed the piece “My soul of hunter at play” from the extraordinary Spanish artist Alberto Garcia-Alix.
London Gallery Anthony Reynolds showed the leading Estonian artist Kai Kaljo with her personal piece “Loser” where the own artist speaks of herself while receiving laughs from the audience. Gallery I-20 brought Yale Graduate Timothy Hutching’s piece “A Lark in the Larkin”, which, although finished just in time for the fair, proved to be one of the most sophisticated videos. In this video, the artist reminiscences of the entire history of film, while also performing the role of all the characters and bringing to life our inherent dreams of playing all roles.
La Fabrica and Ernst Hilger brought Marina Abramovic’s “Self Portrait with Skeleton” in Video format, whose stills were present in The Armory Show 2004 at Sean Kelly’s booth. One of her students, the Berlin based artist Jan Eilhardt, showed his piece, “Dance”, in Gallery M + R Fricke, a work in transition between performance, theater and film, evading any kind of classification.
Williamsburg’s Roebling Hall Gallery brought to mind 9/11, with their “Solace” by Eve Sussman, where reality and fiction meet at a Brooklyn breakfast table, in late September 2001. Close by, Gallery Magda Belloti was showing Fernando Baena’s “In Memoriam”, his video reaction to the 3/11 attacks in Madrid.
The Gallery of Moisés Perez de Albéniz sold to Caixa Forum Antoni Muntadas’ “On Translation: On View”, presented earlier at Location One. The artist, who has been concerned about social issues for decades, addresses the metamorphosis of values and ideas, and the re-adaptation of information and power due to the constant international flow. In a similar vain, the gallery also showed “Stalker: Crossing Bridges”, where Txuspo Poyo incorporates 3D technology into digital video. Another work by Txuspo was also being exhibited at the Basque gallery Vanguardia, along with “Real Time Paintings” by the Argentinean pioneer videoartist Jaime Davidovich.
Canvases which comprise Paintings in Real Time, are painted with an iridescent paint which enhances their reflective quality and suggest the interests of the Luminosity-light and atmosphere-as well as painters such as Turner and Corot. The silvery light of these landscapes also suggests the works of the Barbizon painters and the platinum prints of the Pictorialists. For Davidovich these works are an interpretation of American landscape seen through the dark coloration of Spanish painting.
Japanese artist Sueo Mizuma had another quite elaborate piece, the recognizable drawing animation “The Evening Traveling” by Akino Kondoh, sold for the affordable price of 300€ per DVD. Gallery Joan Prats presented the video work“Habla” by Javier Peñafiel, where images and sound transition between genres and senses. Gallery Dels Angels exposed the Barcelonean artist Jaime Pitarch with “Me, Myself and I”, focused on observing the order of everyday life.
Vacio 9 Gallery released us with the rhythm of “Coccion” by the French artist Li Romani. Simultaneously, the Berlin DNA Gallery showed the piece of Mariana Vassileva, “Jumping man”, which focuses on fulfilling the human’s need to fly. Susy Gomez also projected one of her aesthetic video works, “Parcours par coeur” at Horrach Moya Gallery. Galleries Llucia Homs and Haim Chanim Fine Arts presented Priscilla Monge and Ariadna Capasso latest works.
The work of the binomial Anthony Aziz and Sammy Cucher, considered pioneers in the digital field, was offered at Galeria Trama. In “Synaptic Bliss” they explore the relation between interior and exterior, organic and inorganic. Tere Recarens showed “Besenrein” at Parker’s box Gallery, a piece present in the last ARCO 2004 edition.
Always innovating, the famous Spanish cinema director Bigas Luna was presented at Galeria Metropolitana, with a piece mounted in a special technology: a computer in the shape of a painting, where the video piece is installed in the hard drive and sold together for about 6,000€.
Helsinki-Finland based artist Sari Tervaniemi, presented “The Vanishing Scheme” at Theredoom Gallery of Barcelona, a very powerful video installation. The video follows encounters of a woman with different men in the form of a playful dream that gradually grows violent to the point that she has to free herself from it. The piece may be seen as the survival story of a woman or a man and relates directly to the social games of power.
Galerie Synopsism, from Lausanne, showed an installation work of Rebecca S., a talented Swiss artist. The video piece called “Where the suns are rising”, speaks in a very hypnotic way about the relationship of men and women. Galerie Rabouan Moussion from Paris, brought an interdisciplinary piece by Pierrick Sorin, that included a thick iron box with two particular cropped projections inside.
The subject of the maids of the hotel was brought into the exhibit by a couple of galleries. Galeria Pilar Parra with 2001 Runa Islam showed the video “Room Service”, where the maids not only prepare the room but also use the service, reading the “Diary of a maid” from Luis Buñuel. Galeria Safia, also from Barcelona, showed the work of Joan Ill, where the maid automatically makes her duty as a neo-ritual.
In the rooms, there was still enough space for a real time video exhibit, by the hand of Ruben Ramos Balsa in the space of Galería Fucares. But one of the most virtuous pieces was without a doubt that of Frederic Amat shown at Carles Taché Gallery. Titled, “Deu dits”, the artist made a ten minute study on the versatile expression of two hands; the ones of the actress Teresa Calafell, who has collaborated in the past with artists such as Tapies, Matta and Saura. Her art is seen by simply looking at the gracefull movement of her hands.
Lalo's story © 2004, Fikret Atay
My soul of hunter at play © 1999, Alberto Garcia-Alix
A Lark in the Larkin © 2004, Timothy Hutchings
Solace © 2001, Eve Sussman
Self Portrait with Skeleton © 2004, Marina Abramovic
Real Time Paintings © Jaime Davidovich
Me, myself and I © 2004, Jaime Pitarch
Pierrick Sorrin Installation
Deu dits © 2004, Frederik Amat