6 March 2020
In an Art Week predominantly defined by the same old, HYBRID, an emerging art fair set in the rooms of a town hotel, comes as a breath of fresh air.
The experience of going through the rooms-turned-galleries was fun and intimate, which is no surprise bearing in mind that the event was wonderfully curated; had the artists present; and wasn't overcrowded. The art works were great and affordable, and many of them were by female artists. It was noticeably a gender balanced event, sharply contrasting with ARCO, the main Art Week event, where only 32% of artists were women.
A total of 35 young galleries, collectives and art/artist-run spaces from 10 countries were exhibiting in the rooms, while independent artists provided site-specific installations for the communal areas.
I found fascinating the new media art brought by two Canadian artist-run spaces. One of them, Ed Video, a centre for independent media art based in Guelph, Ontario, presented videos by Toronto-based Brianna Lowe with exciting 3D representations and video game sceneries.
The other space, V tape, a Toronto-based distributor for video and new media art, brought an augmented reality and 3D animated project by Jenn E Norton that was selected as this year's Best Exhibition. The project showed animated content featuring plant compositions, when the symbols displayed on the wall were viewed through an electronic device. The theme itself was as interesting as the medium. It was about the communication methods of plants and fungi that operate outside human perception.
|Left Brianna Lowe, Compressing Balls (2020), Ed Video Guelph Canada | Jenn E Norton, Not Present on the Year (2020), V tape Toronto|
Some exhibitors showed works while nicely interacting with the setting. Such as Exodus in a Sink, the lovely site-specific work around a handbasin by Perfettipietro from artist-run Spazio Display Parma. Or the collage on a bed with works by Lucia Veronesi, Marco Salvetti and Lorenzo di Lucido from Yellow, another artist-run space and invited by Hybrid as Special Project.
|Left Exodus in a Sink (2020), Perfettipietro, Spazio Display Parma | Works by Lucia Veronesi, Marco Salvetti, Lorenzo di Lucido, Yellow Milan|
There was a performance on the visual paradox of masculinity by Ricardo Mena at the Cobertura Photo room, a photography school and gallery based in Seville. María Pla, one of their featured artists and at work in the room shooting the performance, showed wonderful photographs.
|Ricardo Mena, Acullá Performance & María Pla, Doble Expo (2019), Cobertura Photo Sevilla|
More photography at the Susana Pardo gallery who featured the work of Manuel Granados on the subject of waste pollution. In his series árbol para un paisaje Granados explores the exchange between humans and nature with bouquets created with waste.
|Árbol para un paisaje (2020), Manuel Granados, Galería Susana Pardo Barcelona|
|Aguas del gran sol (2005-20), Raúl Hidalgo, Galería Lamosa Cuenca | Paletas, Paco Vallejo, Raum E116 Berlin|
Very interesting work by Fotolateras, a collective of two, Lola Barcia and Marinela Forcadell, who travels the world taking pictures with a home-made pinhole camera, which is a simple light-proof box with a hole. They make their own cameras with coffee and biscuit cans, and use the different can shapes as specific lens types. When they travel, they can carry up to 40 cans and improvise the darkroom in their hotel bathroom. The pictures they take are unique.
|Pinhole photograph of London, Fotolateras Valencia|
|Home-made pinhole cameras, hotel room lab and biscuit can for landscape pictures showed by Lola Barcia, Fotolateras Valencia|
Handmade banner with powerful message by Joyce Overheul at the Lauwer Gallery, and intriguing (carbonized) objects by Rani Sasson at the Almacén Gallery.
|Nevertheless She Persisted (2019), Joyce Overheul, Lauwer Gallery Den Haag | Rani Sasson, Almacén Gallery & Cultural Centre Tel Aviv|
HYBRID Art Fair | Petit Palace Santa Bárbara Hotel, Plaza Santa Bárbara 10, Madrid | 28 February - 1 March 2020
ARCOMadrid 2020 (upcoming)
Jenn E Norton
Lucia Veronesi, Marco Salvetti and Lorenzo di Lucido
by PS. Cover picture, Colour is Pretty by Anbel