MADRID, SPAIN.- This year, the International Contemporary Art Fair, ARCO, will welcome a Latin American country as its Special Guest for the first time since the joint Latin pavilion in 1997, which established a major venue for dialogue and promotion. This time, Mexico will be in the spotlight with an artistic proposal devised by curators Carlos Ashida and Julián Zugazagoitia, who have selected a total of 17 galleries to present MEXICO AT ARCO. It is going to be an extremely interesting programme, the purpose of which is to show the Spanish public not only the most recent Mexican Contemporary art, but also a number of historical references that will help them to understand the evolution and cultural background of Mexican artists today. The curators have therefore divided the display into three sections: veteran galleries, established contemporary galleries and emerging galleries.
Among the veteran galleries that will enable visitors to look back over Mexican art of the 20th-century via the work of its major artists, the curators have selected the ARTE MEXICANO GALLERY JUAN MARTÍN, QUETZALLI, LÓPEZ QUIROGA, ARTE ACTUAL MEXICANO and PECANINS. They will all be showoing pieces by the most highly regarded figures of Mexican art in the last century, including Rufino Tamayo, Vicente Rojo, Francisco Toledo or Gunther Gerzso.
The MEXICO AT ARCO programme will also bring us a number of established contemporary art galleries that have been running for many years and which have always supported cutting-edge Mexican artistic creation. They will be exhibiting the work of young artists who are now firmly established on the international art scene, such as Fernanda Brunet, Melanie Smith, Héctor Falcón, or Betsabeé Romero. Examples of this solid experience are OMR, ENRIQUE GUERRERO, RAMIS BARQUET, NINA MENOCAL and KURIMANZUTTO, which has this year chosen to show a project by the Nuevos Ricos, (Nouveaux Riches) group, Julián Lede, Carlos Amorales and Andre Pahl,
The programme is completed by six galleries specializing in emerging art, who will be showing the youngest and most transgressive face of Mexican art, with artists like Diego Teo, Ángel Ricardo Ricardo Ríos, Daniel Lara, Damián Ontiveros or Yolanda Gutiérrez. Here visitors will find the galleries GARASH GALLERY, ART & IDEA, MYTO ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO, ALTERNATIVA 11, ESPACE D'ART YVONAMOR PALIX and EMMA MOLINA, whose stand will be entirely dedicated to the surprising work of Ariel Guzik, a multi-disciplinary artist who combines music, technology and interactivity. The MEXICO AT ARCO programme, which is sponsored by the BBVA bank, is supported by the main Mexican cultural institutions, including the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA), the National Institute for Fine Arts, the Secretariat for Foreign Relations and the Mexican Embassy in Spain.
But this year, the Special Guest Country at ARCO will be present elsewhere besides these selected galleries. The institution CONACULTA has prepared a wonderful stand that will be exhibiting the masterpiece Las Dos Fridas (The Two Fridas), an impressive self-portrait by Diego de Riveras wife, Frida Kalho. The Mexican area in Hall 7 will be completed by the Inutero Chill Out space, one of the projects selected by the Arch Lab venture, and designed by the students Héctor Luis Hernández Carrillo and Neyra Villamar Téllez from the National Independent University of Mexico (UNAM)s School of Architecture - who won the competition sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Housing - and coordinated by the architects Pablo Berzal and David Pastor.
The Mexican Tourist Board will also be at ARCO05, with its large glass pavilion, CASA MÉXICO - México a través de los Sentidos (HOUSE OF MEXICO - Mexico through the senses), located in the main avenue of the Juan Carlos I Exhibition Park. This ephemeral architecture project, displaying the many faces of Mexico, will house a number of events, presentations and video screenings, as well as Mexican music concerts by artists such as Carlos Vértiz, Professor Angel Dust or Ariel Guzik.
Music will, in fact, play a crucial role in the wide range of Mexican cultural proposals being brought to Madrid by ARCO. For the first time, musical creation will have its own programme, Mexican Music at ARCO05, which will contain interesting performances at various venues both at the fair itself and elsewhere. Among the artists we shall see in this programme is Colectivo Nortec, the legendary solo singer Sasha Sökol, a selection of DJs from Radio 3 of Spanish National Radio (RNE) and a Mexican electro-acoustic performance by Anna Margules, Roberto Morales and Manuel Rocha.
To reflect artistic creation on the Mexican border, a wall will be set up on the edge of the entrance to the IFEMA Exhibition Park, displaying graphic work by various artists living in Tijuana, as part of the project Tijuana, la Tercera Nación. (Tijuana, the Third Nation). With the overall theme No wall can stop ideas, curators Marco Granados and Norma Iglesias have selected 35 artists to illustrate the wall. Their work is marked by the fact that it was produced at the most visited frontier in the world, where 90m people cross over every year.
Theoretical discussion of Mexican art will also have its place at the Third International Contemporary Art Experts Forum, with a panel debate entitled MEXICO, PUNTOS DE ORIGEN Y PERSPECTIVAS. This panel comprises four sessions, all of which will be chaired by Pablo Helguera, a visual artist and Head of the Educational Programme at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Also, in the panel debate EL ARTE DE COLECCIONAR ARTE. COLECCIONISMO Y PATRIMONIO ARTÍSTICO CONTEMPORÁNEO, which is supported by the Santander Central Hispano Bank Foundation, the first panel will deal with the situation of Collecting in Mexico and will be chaired by the independent curator, Víctor Zamudio-Taylor.
This overview of Mexican contemporary and modern art will be completed by various parallel exhibitions that will be taking place alongside ARCO05 and organized by CONACULTA at different venues in Madrid. A total of 16 art centres, including institutions such as the Reina Sofía National Contemporary Art Museum (MNCARS), the Conde Duque Cultural Centre, La Casa Encendida, Casa de América or Alcalá 31, will house exhibitions brought to Madrid from Mexico for the first time. It will be a huge artistic and cultural explosion that will even take to the streets in the form of spectacular proposals by Arte Público which will be projected from and onto some of the most symbolic landmarks in the city, for the second MADRID ABIERTO (Open Madrid) programme.