Under the heading: What is going to happen is not "the future", but what we are going to do, the space will be designed by Andrés Jaque and conceived as an open presentation of the different works by the selected artists. Thus, it will also seek to surprise through the aesthetics and conceptual qualities of how it is staged, addressing the complexity of the artistic minds represented.
Around twenty artists will be present in this space, reflecting a diversity in both the generations and the artistic language set to propose the idea of the future as a form of training to get closer to the mindset of the artists and their issues and challenges. The Future conceived as an effort, an ongoing exercise of acknowledgement, producing space, imagining difference and avoiding the platitude of standard views of life.
In addition to the exhibition space dedicated to this concept in the Fair, the curators will also direct the Seminar Caressing the future. A tribute to the great Bola de Cristal, a day of theory organised into two sessions: a morning session with artists and professionals, and an afternoon session which will begin with an intervention by Timothy Morton. They will also benefit from the participation of international curators, critics, philosophers and scientists who will raise awareness of relevant research to move closer to the future, in a setting created by the artist, Álvaro Urbano.
The city of Madrid will also host initiatives, events and activities revolving around The Future, extending ARCOmadrid 2018’s focus on innovation and reflection to some of the city’s other cultural areas and scenarios. Institutions such as CentroCentro, CA2M, Museo Thyssen and MNCARS, among others, join this analysis with specific projects to coincide with ARCOmadrid.
What is going to happen is not "the future", but what we are going to do
The ARCOmadrid 2018 edition will not have a guest country, but rather a concept as a guest: the future. A notion that everyone is talking about, yet one that’s hard to elaborate on as it is not, as the Borges quote I’ve used for the title claims, a reference to what has yet to happen, but rather our ability to intervene in it. To create a space for the future within an encounter like ARCOmadrid is doubly complex.
It could, in this context, be misinterpreted as an exercise of prospection in the future of the art market rather than the future of our actions and responsibilities to art and culture. But to address the nature of artistic, institutional, media and educational language when speaking of the future as if it were a miracle about to happen within an edition of ARCOmadrid may turn out to be as productive as it is strange, precisely because of the complex and intangible nature of this event within the history of our relationship with contemporary art and its worlds. By choosing to speak of future without futurology implies a tentative endeavour to address what currently feeds art and society: economy, nature, technology, gender, coexistence, privatisation, education, protection of the cultural sphere, autonomy and form of the institutions, interaction between the rural context and its development with urban life… To speak of it at ARCOmadrid is certainly a challenge, but a challenge that makes sense as since its beginnings, and for many professionals, it has provided a forum for meeting and debate.
Accompanied by two knowledgeable professionals about the possibilities and problems faced by artists and professionals of the public and private sectors, Elise Lammer and Rosa Lleó, our idea is to garner a space that allows us to imagine, produce and propose a vision of the complexity that awaits us.
ARTISTS GALLERY CITY
OPAVIVARÁ! A GENTIL CARÍOCA Río de Janeiro
Regina Gimenez ANA MAS PROJECTS Barcelona
Barbara Kasten BORTOLAMI New York
Petrit Halilaj Álvaro Urbano CHERT LÜDDE Berlin
Adriana Minoliti CRÈVECOEUR Paris
Lili Reynaud Dewar EMANUEL LAYR Vienna / Rome
Július Koller GB AGENCY Paris
Goran Trbuljak GREGOR PODNAR Berlin
Lin May Saeed JACKY STRENZ Frankfurt
Teresa Solar Abboud JOAN PRATS* Barcelona
Maryam Jafri LAVERONICA Módica (Sicily)
Ramaya Tegegne MARIA BERHEIM Zurich
Dalí MAYORAL* Barcelona
Eduardo Navarro NARA ROESLER São Paulo
Lin May Saeed NICOLAS KRUPP Basel
Patricia Domínguez PATRICIA READY Santiago de Chile
Eva Fábregas TENDERPIXEL London
Pedro Neves Marques UMBERTO DI MARINO Naples
Jan Kiefer UNION PACIFIC London
Hugo Canoilas WORKPLACE London
*Galleries also participating in the General Programme
Born in Spain, Chus Martínez has a background in philosophy and art history. Currently Chus Martínez is the Head of the Institute of Art of the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel, Switzerland. She has been the Chief Curator at El Museo Del Barrio, New York. She was dOCUMENTA (13) co-curator under the artistic direction of Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev as Head of Department, and Member of Core Agent Group. Previously she was Chief Curator at MACBA, Barcelona (2008 to 2011), Director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2005–08) and Artistic Director of Sala Rekalde, Bilbao (2002–05). For the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015), Martínez curated the National Pavilion of Catalonia, with a solo project of filmmaker Albert Serra, and for the 51st edition the Cyprus National Pavilion (2005). In 2014/15 she served as curatorial „alliance“ for the current edition of the Istambul Biennial (2015); in 2008 served as a Curatorial Advisor for the Carnegie International and in 2010 for the 29th Bienal de São Paulo. During her tenure as Director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein she curated solo exhibitions of Wilhelm Sasnal among others; and a series of group exhibitions including Pensée Sauvage and The Great Game To Come. She was also the founder of the Deutsche Börse Residency Program for international artists, art writers and curators. While at MACBA Martínez curated the Thomas Bayrle retrospective, an Otolith Group monographic show, and an exhibition devoted to television, Are you ready for TV? In 2008 Martínez was the curator of the Deimantas Narkevicius retrospective exhibition, The Unanimous Life at the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, which traveled to major European museums. Among her recent projects are the exhibitions The Metabolic Age in September 2015-February 2016 at Malba in Buenos Aires and Undisturbed Solitude with Flora Klein, Emil Michael Klein, Tiphanie Mall and Johannes Willi at Kunstler Haus Hamburg from February to April 2016. She is also in charge of the art commissions program at der TANK, the exhibition space of the Art Institute in Basel where she produced a project by Mathilde Rosier (June 2016), a site specific sculpture-installation by Julieta Aranda (November 2016) and is currently working on two more new pieces by Ingela Ihrmann (June 2017) and Eduardo Navarro (November 2017). In 2016, she curated Idiosincracy. Anchovies Dream of an Olive Mausoleum, a one-year exhibition at the Helga de Alvear Foundation in Cáceres, Spain. For 2017 She is currently preparing a project for the Sculpture Park in Cologne, opening October 2017 and a group show under the title Metamorphosis opening in February 2018 at Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy. Martínez lectures and writes regularly including numerous catalogue texts and critical essays, and is a regular contributor to Artforum among other international journals.
Rosa Lleó (Barcelona, 1980) is an independent curator and since April 2014, she has been directing The Green Parrot in Barcelona. She has also collaborated with institutions including MACBA, and during 2013 she formed part of the research programme Curatorlab (Konstfack University, Stockholm). In addition, she has also curated exhibitions such as Cas d’estudi (Can Felipa, 2013), 15 piezas en 3 actos (Sant Andreu Contemporani, 2011), Everything is Out There (La Casa Encendida, 2010) or A Fine Red Line, Live! (176 Project Space, London, 2009). Previously, she had worked as an editor in Actar and an editorial assistant in Afterall (London). She is an assiduous writer for the supplement, Cultura/s de La Vanguardia, A*Desk, Bonart, and occasionally for AfterallOnline (United Kingdom) and Art-Agenda (USA).
Elise Lammer (born in Lausanne, Switzerland, lives and works in Basel and Berlin) was trained as a fine artist in Barcelona and holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths College, London.
She is curator at Kunstverein SALTS in Basel, as well as the host and founder of Kunsthalle Roveredo, an artists residency programme and exhibition space located in Graubünden, Switzerland. Between 2014 and 2016 she was responsible for the exhibitions at APRA, the Adrian Piper Research Archive in Berlin while preparing Piper’s upcoming retrospective at MoMA.
She has participated in exhibitions as an artist, curator and writer in institutions and galleries internationally, including MAMCO, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain (Geneva); The Schinkel Pavillon (Berlin); The Goethe Institut (Beijing, Hong Kong); Les Urbaines Festival (Lausanne); The South London Gallery (London), autocenter (Berlin); Centre Cuturel Suisse (Paris); Kunsthaus Lagenthal (Langenthal, CH); MCBA (Lausanne).