International Contemporary Art Exhibition

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend the opening of the ARS Visibilis – International Contemporary Art Exhibition at the Museó de Almería. The opening night was to coincide with International Woman’s Day and forms part of the much larger “Enmarcada en el festival Miradas de Mujeres 2013” (Framed in the Eyes of Women 2013) festival. The objectives of the festival are stated as follows:

  1. to give visual voice to the experiences (directly or indirectly) of women artists and their perceptions / experiences of inequality in the development of their artistic career,
  2. to ask what is socially acceptable. Art in equality has to be envisaged as one of the main engines of social progress, to show that we have advanced socially and finally,
  3. to share experiences.

A very interesting and diverse project with a stunning realisation of goals. There were some incredibly strong messages being delivered yesterday, some obvious and some that required a little more thought.

The opening ceremony included readings from poets Quirosa-Cheyrouze Pilar, Maria Angeles Lonardi and Magda Robles with the final poem (I thought) being quite moving. ALL poems of course were nice to hear but the simplicity of the last one and the metaphors used touched me most… because that’s the sort of sensitive soul I am!!

Now to begin the walk around the exhibits. I have tried to name the artists in each of the photographs of their work and I hope I have it right. If there are any errors, please somebody tell me and I’ll correct them ASAP!!

The first exhibit to greet you was this installation by Marie-Pierre Guiennot using burnt & painted x-rays. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of the signs for the fire hydrants. To my shame whilst I was talking to this artist, I accidentally stepped on her work – perhaps not the best way to endear myself but I guess she won’t forget me for a while🙂 UPDATE: It seems I am forgiven :-S

Recycled "burnt" plastic bottles

Marie-Pierre Guiennot

Photography by Gordon Maddock

Photography by Gordon Maddock

Without meaning to do a disservice to other people’s art and in order to keep this to at least a moderately “small” blog post, I am only posting photographs of exhibits that really stood out for me. One thing you must appreciate is the powerful impact of the exhibition as a whole plus people’s reactions to it. These are ideas that would be very difficult to convey with a few pics from my mobile phone so I’m not even going to try.

The next exhibit that stood out for me with perhaps one of the more subtle messages, is this series of bird-houses nailed shut – make of this what you will!

Bird-Houses

Blanca Rodríguez

The exhibition was not without tongue-in-cheek humour and I loved this next piece, although I also appreciate the message behind it – one of the more obvious exhibits.

Wedding dress

Belén Mazuecos

Heads & Profiles

Golnar Tabibzadeh (painting) Concha Argüeso (cut-out books)

Heads

Photography by Gordon Maddock

For me, the darkest and most hard-hitting of all the exhibits was the one depicted below. Unfortunately there was no way I could show all of the exhibit effectively and with the same impact, so I have tried my best to show a good representative section. I will attempt to describe this and you can draw your own conclusions. The exhibit featured a number of cut out princesses standing either side of a TV & DVD player showing the cartoon film of Sleeping Beauty singing Once upon a Dream. This was off-set by a column of newspaper cuttings running vertically up the wall behind the TV and across the floor in front of it. The news cuttings were about women who’d been beaten and / or murdered. A very harsh but powerful exhibit made all the poignant by the song that was being sung.

Cinderella

Art al Quadrat

During the evening there was an exhibit of performance art which was later incorporated into a dance routine. The multimedia installation is by Angeles Martinez and the dancers / performance artists are Cecilia Montenegro and Rocio Asensio. This had to be seen to be believed; one of the dancers was slowly writhing around inside a semi-opaque cylinder with a number of pairs of scissors suspended above her head and a question mark on the wall next to the cylinder. After a little while she was joined by a dancer moving freely around the hall, pushing people from out of her way and now and then, appearing to mimic the dancer inside the cylinder. The music that accompanied the dancing was very abstract and similar in style to a composer called Varése but I don’t know who it was. I thought this was quite moving and for me anyway, I could see representations of freedom and entrapment.

Scissors

Scissors (Ángeles Martínez) – photography by Gordon Maddock

Entrapment?

Ángeles Martínez & dancers Cecilia Montenegro and Rocio Asensio

I have included a mini-gallery below of photographs of this performance for your unequaled pleasure🙂

The next photograph is one of a series of cut-out butterflies flying upwards towards a cage.

Butterfly

Cecilia García Giralda

Butterflies

Butterflies (Cecilia García Giralda) with dancers Cecilia Montenegro and Rocio Asensiophotography by Gordon Maddock

And for my final photograph… there were a few installations similar to this made from discarded plastic. Aesthetically and in the context of the surroundings I thought they looked good but if I were to be honest, I didn’t “get” the significance of them.

Recycled "Globe"

Recycled “Globe”

And so, the biggest surprise of the evening for me was well… do you remember me writing about one of my photographs being selected for a book on lighthouses? It was actually mentioned in the post called People and their phones, last night the author of the book was also at this exhibition and presented me with a copy of the finished article! The book is Lo demás es Oscuridad by Mario Sanz Cruz. There is a public presentation of the book at Castillo de Santa Ana, Roquetas de Mar, on the 24th of April – watch this space for further details!

Me with book photography by Gordon Maddock

Me with book – photography by Gordon Maddock

Lastly now, I would like to mention all the artists that represented Spain, Germany, Austria, Brazil, France, Holland, Iran, Oman, Romania, Argentina, Chile, Sweden, China, Turkey and Colombia.

The artists:
Adela García, Adele Raczkövi, Amalia Ortega Rodas, Ángeles Martínez, Anna Jonsson, Art al Quadrat: Gema y Mònica del Rey Jordà, Asunción Lozano, Bea Sánchez, Belén Mazuecos, Bettina, Blanca Rodríguez, Carmen Sicre, Cecilia García Giralda, Concha Argüeso, Cristina Ciobanu, Elena González, Elena Marrero, Emmanuelle Potier, Eva Quesada, Fátima Conesa Oliva, Gitta Pardoel, Golnar Tabibzadeh, Inmaculada Parra, Itziar Ruiz Mollá, Janine Kortz, Laia Arqueros Claramunt, Laura López Balza, Laura Segura Gómez, Li Zhao, Lola Calzada, Lola Zehínos, Lorena García Mateu, Mar García Ranedo, Maria Balea, María Cañas, Maria del Mar García, María Dolores Gallego, María Jesús Pírez, Marie-Pierre Guiennot, Mariló Entrambasaguas Garrido, Martina Marques Fédelich, Miriam Pires Vieira, MK BALINT, Nadira Mahmoud, Nuria Vargas, Patricia Ruiz, Paz Tornero, Pilar Villegas, Raquel Fayad, Regina Carmona, Rocío Arregui, Romina Bassu, S. Luke Maroto, Sara González Arjona, Sonia Salmerón, Tania Ruzs, Toña Gómez, Verónica Ruth Frías, Yolanda Martín and Zaida Cordero.

The exhibition is on until 30 March and I highly recommend it. It is at:
Museo de Almería
Ctra. Ronda 91
Almería

Yesterday I only had my mobile phone camera so apologies if the “quality of image” is not up to your usual standard, I have tried to enhance the photos to make them look better. Thank you to my good friend Gordon Maddock for being on-hand with his much better class of camera and sharing some of his photographs with me!

Here is a short video made by Gordon.

5 responses to “International Contemporary Art Exhibition

  1. A wonderful entry about the whole exhibition. I also wanted to say “thank you” for the wonderful words devoted to my poem, I really appreciate them!

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