Also in contemporary art, little by little, things return to their being. Or at least they come back. Several galleries have reopened their doors in recent days. In some cases, to return to the subject at the same point where they left it, such as Elba Benítez with the exhibition dedicated to Ignasi Aballí or that of Francesc Ruiz at García Galería. In others, it has been chosen to return with new exhibitions, from the group that presents The Goma to the individual by Juan Francisco Casas in Fernando Pradilla, although the logical capacity restrictions have completely altered the old experience of the inauguration. In parallel, many galleries maintain innovative online initiatives that they launched when the confinement was decreed, which includes virtual exhibitions and digital encounters with the artists.
Programa Taide, a platform for cultural management and artistic production founded in 2018 by Zoraya Ghanem and José Luis Guijarro, already developed a campaign called #busyARThome last May, which marketed the work of emerging artists for a single price of 200 euros. Now he goes one step further with the Reset: Tales from the Vanguard initiative , by which they have invited a selection of national and international artists to reflect on the consequences of covid-19.
Each of them contributes a piece that is marketed for a price that ranges between 1,200 and 5,000 euros, not high amounts for the segment. However, those interested must request the individual amounts through a form, since they are not indicated on the website. According to those responsible, this has been done with a purpose: "We want to avoid diverting attention from the work, its conceptual discourse and the reflection of each artist in relation to this crisis." Because the differential point compared to other online art marketing initiatives is that their opinion about the health crisis has been requested, not only through their own artistic work, but also with the contribution of a text of their own handwriting. .
"Artistic creation has always reacted to scenarios of crisis or war," explains José Luis Guijarro. "And it has been precisely the new generations of artists who have most advanced the characteristics of the new times through their works and manifests. Furthermore, given the global dimension of the pandemic, it was appropriate to grant an international rank and a global perspective to the project , so we decided to incorporate Latin American artists. "
The result is presented through the platform in two different phases: the works and texts of 10 selected artists have been available since yesterday, June 3, together with the young collector Victorino Rosón Díez-Feijóo (son of the lawyer and also a collector Victorino Rosón, who died in 2016), while on the 15th the group of Latin American creators chosen by Colombian critic Celia S de Birbragher, editor of the art magazine ArtNexus, will be announced .
All those selected in the first phase that is in progress were born between 1978 and 1990, and several work with more or less established galleries, which have abandoned the vague label of "emerging" to approach rather another no less diffuse, that of "half career".
The truth is that - beyond small digital creations that have been collected in projects such as the Covid Art Museum on Instagram - the voice of the artists has not been heard too much these days in which, however, the opinions on the current situation and The future that awaits us have flourished in the media and social networks. Sometimes in excess.
Iñaki Domingo (Madrid, 1978), one of the selected authors, does not hesitate to criticize this inflation of opinions in his text: "We have spoken and we have written a lot in these months," he values. So he advocates temperance and even silence: "Perhaps it is time to stop again [...], but this time to finally reconcile ourselves with our silence and thus learn to live with it definitively". The photographer Macarena Gross (Madrid, 1982) also refers to the value of prudence when she quotes Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order: "In moments of crisis, stillness".
For his part, the British Josh Rowell, born in 1990, ventures to make a forecast on how the artistic sector will change as a result of the covid-19, announcing that these changes go through a return to the local relationship between the galleries and their collectors. His words are somewhat optimistic: “We are likely to see a change of power within the traditional artistic ecosystem; some galleries (and their artists) relied heavily on an annual program of international art fairs. I think galleries and artists will learn to reintegrate with their immediate local communities. "
Other artists, such as Filippo Giusti (Livorno, 1990) or Keke Vilabelda (Valencia, 1986) trust that, beyond the new impulse of digital, our need to continue enjoying real sensory experiences, among which art, will continue. it has a special transforming potential. "I think that painting and sculpture can play a crucial role, reaffirming themselves as a material and thought object," explains Vilabelda, who brings a painting to the program. "The artistic experience is not merely conceptual, but has to do with the bodily and the haptic (the relationship of the sense of touch with sight and hearing)."
After all, we know from experience that the great collective traumas, such as wars or pandemics that have happened over time, have consequences in all areas. And sometimes those consequences are presented in such an unexpected way that only historians can unravel them after a while. But it is also true that there are things that never change. Perhaps this idea is better represented by the phrase with which the painter Hugo Alonso (Soria, 1981) opens his text: "They are strange times, as always."