This year's edition of ARCO, Madrid's contemporary art fair, has somehow brought an increased supply of wilderness photography, while it has cut down on socially engaged artworks. One would think the opposite might have happened considering the chaotic state of current affairs, but perhaps trying to get us closer to the experience of nature isn't such an inadequate response to today's issues, especially since nature can allegedly calm anxiety. However, and despite the benefits of nature, if art loses its bonds to social issues and therefore its capacity to move us on that, who or what would?
Richard Mosse's work remains an exception in ARCO (see 2015, '14 and '13 posts). His interest to chart human displacement caused by war, persecution, climate change and poverty, brings him to document in Heat Maps (picture above) refugee camps with an "extreme telephoto military-grade camera that can detect thermal radiation, including body heat, at great distance." The camera, primarily designed for surveillance in warfare, is used for capturing the intimate details of the camps that Moss then blend into a densely detailed panoramic image, similar to a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Mosse's new work meditates on the struggle of millions of refugees and migrants.
A large portion of the photographer's work chosen for this ARCO edition features nature though. Gianfranco Foschino's 15 minutes timelapse of the sea or Pierre Gonnord's and Axel Hütte's shots of Spain's northern forests, beautifully convey the calmness and magic of natural settings, while Richard Long's Footpath Waterline intrigues on days-long journeys through nature. The image of Regina José Galindo's performance at the Botanical Garden in Palermo is a powerful reflection on roots, body and landscape.
|Gianfranco Foschino, Lux (2016), video, detail | Galería Leyendecker, Santa Cruz de Tenerife|
|Pierre Gonnord, Urbasa I 2/5, Series:Indarra, photography | Galería Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid|
|Regina José Galindo, Raices (2016) | Prometeo Gallery, Milan|
|Dierk Maass, Illumination (2016), LED lightbox | Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt|
|Richard Long, Footpath waterline - A thirteen day walk in the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico (1987) | Lisson Gallery London|
|Axel Hütte, Irati (2014) | Galería Helga de Alvear, Madrid|
|Jessica Rankin, Could I just have the Sober Hand (2016), detail | Galerie Carlier Gebauer, Berlin|
Extreme landscapes: visually impressive and the embodiment of devastation.
|Carlos Motta, Petrified (2016) | Galeria Filomena Soares, Lisbon|
|Adam Jeppesen, BO-Uyuni (2015) | Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin|
|Ahmet Ögüt, Pleasure Places of All Kinds, Yichang (2015) | Kow Galerie, Berlin|
Argentina is the guess country in the 2017 edition. Argentina Plataforma/ARCO curated by Inés Katzenstein and supported by the Argentine Ministry of Culture and Buenos Aires' Contemporary Art Fair (arteBA) includes 12 galleries, 23 artists and an institutional stand. There is also a parallel programme throughout town curated by Sonia Becce. It includes the work of 60 artists from all disciplines and takes place throughout 17 iconic venues in Madrid. "An unprecedented display of contemporary Argentine art in Spain", says the commissioner.
Below a selection of Argentine works at ARCO.
|Mariela Scafati, Montaje disonante de cuadros que no se corresponden | Galería Isla Flotante, Buenos Aires|
|Tomás Saraceno, 3C 318/M (2016) | Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, NYC|
|Sol Pipkin, Sin nombre (2016) | Galería Slyzmud, Buenos Aires|
|Juan Tessi, Galería Nora Fish, Buenos Aires||
Large selection of light installations at ARCO this year.
|Olafur Eliasson, Global Cooling Lamp (2006) | Galería Elvira González, Madrid|
|Iván Navarro, Bomb (2016) | Baró Galeria, Sao Paulo|
|José Carlos Martinat, Distractor 3 (2016) | Revolver Galería, Lima|
|Fabrizio Corneli, Laboratorio-Lancio (2016) | Studio Trisorio, Naples|
|Bernardí Roig, Cuidado con la cabeza (2017) | Galería Max Estrella, Madrid|
Thread on paper, acrylic on aluminium and oil on canvas.
|José María Sicilia, La locura del ver (2016), detail | Meessen De Clercq Gallery, Brussels|
|Thilo Heinzmann, O.T. (2016) | Galería Heinrich Ehrhardt, Madrid|
|Santi Moix, Sin título (2016) | Galería Carles Taché, Barcelona|
ARCO International Contemporary Art Fair | Madrid, 22-26 February 2017
ARCOMadrid 2012 and 2013 Prospect
José Carlos Martinat
José María Sicilia
Regina José Galindo
Photos by PS
Cover picture, detail of Moria in Snow (2016) by Richard Mosse | Galería Leyendecker, Santa Cruz de Tenerife