The Ministry of Culture and Sports has invested 370,000 euros in 16 pieces acquired at ARCO 2022 for the Reina Sofía Museum collection. The Permanent Commission of the Royal Board of Trustees of the art gallery has been in charge of approving this set of works, corresponding to 15 artists, 10 of them Spanish and “some of them with a consolidated career”, the museum remarks. You can find everything from installations and photographs to videos, paintings or sculptures.
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Who are the Spanish artists?
The video document I have time (1994) by Miguel Benlloch records one of his most iconic actions, presented at The Kitchen, New York, in which the artist undresses, slowly removing the many garments that cover his body, until he is naked in front of the public.
“An action that reflects on the body as a cultural object, as a container of time and accumulator of experiences that build identity, while questioning sexual identity,” explains the Reina Sofía press release. It will be the first work of the Spanish performance artist, poet and political activist.
On the other hand, thirty-six black and white photographs make up the series The Anti-Fascist Express (1936), by Antoni Campaña. The series documents the graffiti with political messages on Spanish trains by anti-fascist artists who toured the territories that had not yet been taken by the rebel side. The photographs were hidden in the so-called “red box” of Campañà, discovered by his successors in 2018. One of them served as the basis for a 1937 John Heartfield photomontage.
Coming home in the forties, fifties, sixties and seventies, in Madrid, sometimes decorated, (2012-2020)by the Spanish artist of Venezuelan origin Patricia Esquivias (Caracas, 1979), is an installation composed of color photographs, hung from a wrought iron screen.
Eva Fabregas, Born in Barcelona and living in London, she explores the eroticism of objects and the engineering mechanisms of desire. The sculptures Vessels #1 and Shedding #14, (2021) “they make one think of sexual organs or uteruses”. These are spherical shapes created with latex, resin and synthetic fabrics that show openings from which a liquid element seems to flow, creations that could allude to motherhood.
The play cell 158, abandoned prison project (2009-2010), by Patricia Gómez and María Jesús González is a book with photographs, ink-jet prints on cotton paper and wall breakouts on transparent fabric, made from the iron door of a cell itself, which has been transformed into a box- container. cell 158 It is part of a project carried out in the old Modelo prison in Valencia that seeks to rescue memory and document the symbolic and patrimonial value printed on the walls of the historic prison, empty since 1993.
Federico Guzman is the author of tuiza(2015) an installation exhibited in the Palacio de Cristal in the form of a Jaima made up of painted melhfas, triangular benia fabrics for the ceiling, mats, rugs and furniture, all accompanied by an archive of Tuiza activities (hard disk with photographs and videos ). A sample of “Guzmán’s activism and research around Saharawi anthropology”, highlights the museum.
The play Amnesty (1976) by Agustín Ibarrola was made expressly for the 1976 Venice Biennale dedicated to Spain. It represents the demands of the first post-Franco regime, denouncing the dictatorship and alludes to the context of the dawn of the Transition. “The historical relevance of this painting goes beyond the importance of the Basque author, since traces of it had been lost and it has not been exhibited since then,” declares the Reina Sofía Museum.
The work has been acquired from Concha Jerez Measure (1983-1986), an installation composed of six pieces of wood that serves to influence the concepts of division and repetition and refer to the idea of self-censorship and the personal affectation of self-repressive attitudes.
From Antoni Miralda, one of the most relevant figures of Spanish conceptual art, it has been acquired Wheat & Steak Sacks, (1981): chalcography on three sacks of burlap, linen and polyester. The piece is illustrative of one of his most recurrent themes: food. The three pieces that make up the Reina’s work refer to the Harvest Banquet, a traditional celebration to celebrate the end of the harvest.
Who are the foreign artists?
The work of Maria Thereza Alves (São Paulo, 1961) Uma Possible Reversal of Missed Opportunities (2016) was produced for the 32nd São Paulo International Biennial. Alves organized three workshops with native peoples with the aim of imagining a decolonized future for the country. Along with a group of indigenous university students, he produced three posters for fictitious congresses on various current issues.
Have You Ever Killed a Bear? or Becoming Jamila (2014) is a video by Marwa Arsanios (Beirut, 1978), an artist and filmmaker who investigates the politics of the mid-20th century. The acquired video is based on the life of Algerian freedom fighter Jamila Bouhired, an activist with the National Liberation Front, and her portrayal in film and culture. She also looks at how feminist projects have been promoted and marginalized in Egypt and Algeria.
flags in your heart (2021) It belongs to the multidisciplinary artist with a consolidated career, Cecilia Bengolea (Argentina 1979). The work speaks of the defense of a world more sensitive to climate change and the relationship between species. “Bengolea transfers anthropological practice around contemporary and archaic community dance through video, sculpture, drawing and installation”, explains the art gallery.
Two of the seven pieces that make up The Serie Natural Histories of Struggle, Rhizome and Wilderness (2021), by Filipino multimedia artist Cian Dayrit (Manila, 1989), will form part of the Reina Sofía collection. They are textile works based on the archive of American zoologist and colonial administrator Dean Conant Worcester. The photographs are printed onto fabrics and embroidered with text, emblems, and embellishments, “thus opening the originals as a stage to reframe power relations and inscribe contrary narratives within Philippine colonial history.”
From Santiago Yahuarcani (Pucaurquillo, Peru, 1960) has been acquired The man with a heart of stone, the rubber boom in the Amazon in the 20th century(2019), a work that reflects, among others of his production, indigenous suffering and human exploitation with the rubber boom, impacting the national memory of Peru. Yahuarcan is a visual artist and indigenous leader of the Uitoto, a native community of the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon.