ARCO 2002

HAPPENINGText: Terevision Ruiz

Following the Christmas holidays and having left January as a month in which to rest and recover from them, a new year full of events, concerts, inaugurations and other activities begins. The first indispensable venue is ARCO 2002, the most important International Contemporary Art Fair in Spain, which now celebrates its twenty-first edition. Around 261 galleries and 4000 artists from all parts of the world will offer a broad sample of the best of 20th century art and new trends emerging since the beginning of this century.

Daniel Joseph Martinez, Self-portrait #9B, Fifth attempt to clone mental disorder or How one philosophizes with a hammer, After Gustave Moreau, Prometheus, 1868; David Cronenberg, Videodrome, 1981, 2004, Digital print, 122 x 152 cm © Daniel Joseph Martinez

This year the guest country and protagonist is Australia. Paul Greenaway was entrusted with selecting the artists and galleries from this country that can be seen in Arco. In addition to the guest country, which always arouses expectation, the most experimental areas are always Cutting Edge and Project Rooms.

Emily Floyd, Hello; Yes Yes, 2002, Wood, paint and varnish, 39 x 109 x 11.5 cm © Emily Floyd

Cutting Edge has been divided into various programmes which encompass the most avant-garde artistic proposals. The art of the Far East is presented under the title “Asian Party Global Game II”. Three of the nerve centres of world art are offered in “Cityscapes: Paris-New York-Tokyo”. The Latin American alternative, far more centred on the social sphere, is shown under “Migrations to/from the Caribbean”. “Crossroads” introduces some twenty galleries of different nationalities, selected by critic and commissioner Rafa Doctor with the aim of giving a far broader view of present creation and, lastly, “The Italian Trail” houses proposals made by young artists from Italian galleries.

Massimo Vitali, Riccione Black Bikini (#0057), 1997, Photographs, c-print with diasec mounting and inset aluminum back frame, 152.4 x 182.9 cm © Massimo Vitali

In the Project Rooms we can see 25 works created for the occasion under the concept of “Frontiers”. And these are not only physical- other more metaphorical frontiers will also be developed in relation, for example, to religion or sex.

Olaf Mooij, Mini cooper haircar, 2002, Ink jet print, 77 x 130 cm © Olaf Mooij

In the section, conceived as a cyber chill-out, we can visit webs on contemporary art, specialised publications… This year, architecture will play a fundamental role in ARCO, as an Ephemeral Architecture project has been created by Vicente Salvador, an architect, denominated Space Project, which envisages wide areas for transit and places for resting or reading. (In previous editions, our weary bodies rested on the floor, propped against a wall). In any case, although this year it seems that we will have a place to take a break, the recommendations for visiting ARCO are: comfortable shoes, light coat, a bag to hold sundry pamphlets and brochures and, above all, plenty of time ahead for the sight and senses to soak in contemporary art.

ARCO 2002
Date: February 14th – 19th, 2002
Place: Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I Madrid
Address: Glorieta de Don Juan de Borbon, 28042 Madrid
Tel: +34 91 722 5074

Text: Terevision Ruiz
Photos: Courtesy of ARCO © the artists

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