Presentation of the catalog "Ecos de la memoria 2016", third project carried out for the city of Valencia and end of the first cycle of projects.
This February we had the pleasure of knowing the new catalog of the Fondo Arte-AS of the project "Echoes of the Memory 2016" of the Belgian artist Bob Verschueren (Brussels, 1945), this presentation was given in the gallery Ana Serratosa (Pascual y Genís, 19). It was a meeting where most of the curators and artists from all the projects carried out so far gathered, honouring the end of a cycle of artistic projects.
The evening included the presence of new works by Javier Riera, artist of the project Alameda Llum 2012, and Veske & Spänle, artistic couple that carried out Eclosión in Valencia 2014. With it, three open-air exhibition projects offered to Valencia will be closed.
Curators and artists gathered to talk about the works in a night that brought together the ambition of three recognized projects with international visualization. Quoting Ana Serratosa’s words "After all the work done, today we present the catalog of the project Echoes of Memory 2016, a project that imprints the essence and the way of being of the gallery, which every day makes more effort to make each art project more participatory. More than 6.000 people have participated in this project and many guided visits have been made to schools, associations, families and friends of contemporary art".
"Bob discovers things that had remained hidden and takes them to the field of art. It is based on the transformation of nature by taking in elements or materials that went unnoticed and help to transform the way we look at the natural world," began Pedro Medina, Director of the Cultural Area of the European Institude of Desing in Madrid (2006-2013) and current curator of the project with Canadian John K. Grande. This last one has develop his career as writer and art critic since the 1990s for different publications and media.
"Within environmental art, there is no art that involves artificiality". With this, Pedro Medina highlighted the ephemerality with which the artist Bob Verschueren works on the subject. Let's remember that this artist, in his work process, reflects on the course of time as a connection between human beings and nature, both of them constantly in movement. References to life and death are constant in his work, created from native material based on the history of the place.
To conclude the discursive context in which Echoes of Memory 2016 is found, Pedro Medina explained in which artistic movement we can include Bob Vershueren. "Bob maintains his roots in Natural Art, an artistic movement that marks the confluence of aesthetics and beauty together with landscape and nature. These artists profess an admiration for the physical world that surrounds them and makes them always go in favor of matter and the connection of the human being with his territory".
As the night progressed, Ana gave way to the beginning of a round table discussion with new questions. That made critics and curators ramble on about the role that galleries play within the new paradigm of the art world. "Currently, the galleries are the link between the artist and the institutions, the bridge. They provide a platform, they seek sponsors," commented the curator of the Alameda Llum 2012 project Anne-Marie Melster, Director of ARTPORT-making waves, an initiative of artistic projects for the environment.
Pedro Medina, the next one to speak, "The gallerist keeps the passion for art alive" referring to the fact that galleries are currently the ones who seek and find the means to achieve an end. An end that has to do with the very essence of the art world from the Vanguards. Taking the artistic experience beyond the museums or institutions and transfering the art to the street. On this way, the importance is given back to the performance, the happening or the installation.
In this sense, Marc Wellmann, curator of the project Eclosión en Valencia 2014, current Artistic Director of the Berlin Museum - Berlin kunstverein - reinforced, with his speech, the previous opinions. "The galleries are reconcilers between art and the public. They are responsible for teaching and showing contemporary art to the general public in order to promote a rapprochement between both.
Through this intervention, we were able to discover that galleries are currently fundamental in the national and international art scene. They provide opportunities to artists, emerging and consolidated. In addition the art can evolve into new forms without remaining in the standards of the Beautiful and the Sublime, but also in the world in which we find ourselves.
Throughout these years, we have seen Fondo Arte-AS evolve as a manager of outdoor projects. In that sense, Marc Wellmann illustrates again exposing its positioning to temporary projects. "There are two positions towards the creation of the project: the permanent projects and the ephemeral ones. A distinction must be made between the negativity and positivity that these two types can bring to the public. While the permanent projects create a negative awareness for the viewer, the ephemeral creates a positive one. They make the spectator to bealert, observing the territory, realizing what is in the place they live in, establishing connections between them and the environment.
At this point in the round table, Ana invites the artists to talk about their previous projects. Javier Riera, artist of the project Alameda Llum 2012, the first to take the floor, gave us his opinion about the gallery with which he has worked throughout his artistic career. "Fondo-Arte -AS has had a great evolutionary process in all these years. The kind of art that is not usually welcome in galleries has a special place here. That allows Fondo Arte-AS to take a big distance with other galleries by making an important point: involving the city and their citizens in the art process”.
In the same question, Venske & Spänle, artistic couple for more than a decade and in charge of carrying out the project Eclosión en Valencia 2014, tell us the honor that has meant working for Fondo Arte-AS since it has allowed them to colonize Valencia with their Smöfs: marble creatures conceived to incur in already inhabited places and to settle there where something was missing. "There is a coherence between the three projects, having as a common thread the place where they are, after all, they are three different interpretations of the park" they told us.
The round table ended and Ana Serratosa mentioned those who were part of it: "Many people have been involved in bringing this project forward. Among them, the parks and gardens department of the Valencia City Council, providing pruning remains with which the sculptures have been built, as well as the Belgian Embassy, which has subsidized part of the project." The honorable Belgian Consul in the city of Valencia was delighted that the artist Bob Verschueren was able to be known in Spain for the first time.
"I would like to put a face to those who have made this project possible, therefore, I think that giving voice to the sponsors is fundamental since they tell us their experience and their vision regarding contemporary art". This is how Ana Serratosa thanked all the sponsors of Echoes of the Memory 2016 for their collaboration: Dr. Luz Aguiló, founder of the dental clinic Dr. Gandía Aguiló; Mario olivares, founding partner of Olivares Consultores; Raúl Mir, director of the Territorial Private Banking and Premier of La Caixa C. Valenciana; Guillermo Martorell, owner of Joyería Siete; Federico Varona, managing partner at Varona Asesores SLP; Sergio Sanchís, marketing manager Valencia at Cabify; Bernardo and Pedro, owners Joyería Stones by Bernardo; Pablo Herrero, CEO Nuts4go; Antonio J. Pérez, CEO compañía cia del trópico; Pedro Hernández, owner Hernández Arquitectos; Enrique Peláez, international managing director of Ecisa.
"Ecos de la memoria 2016 is contemporary art, art that seeks out people, walks around and lets itself be known by a wide, diverse, national and international audience. I wanted to participate immediately," said Luz Aguiló, during the presentation of the catalog. "Going by foot, looking up from your cell phone and finding works of art in the street is a good broadening of horizons, a good oxygenation of ideas, a good detoxification of written words and emoticons. I couldn't choose one, I liked all the works in the project".
So, to the question of what they liked most about the project of the Art-AS Fund, Raúl Mir, answered: "I am very impressed by the interrelationship with the children. I have been able to observe in several visits how the children turn some of the works into part of their games, and the sounds of simulation of a riverbed take their imagination to places that one could say are created by the artist in the minds of these involuntary spectators. Echoes of Memory 2016 has a direct and inevitable contact with the city and with people through the normality of the day to day life in the Riverbed, so this symbiosis of art, society, people, fulfills the priorities we seek in our collaborations.
On the other hand, Mario Olivares, was delighted that the city of Valencia had outdoor art exhibitions "a project for the connection with the Valencian landscape, inspired by this land and so beneficial for the environment.
Guillermo Martorell explained to us the reasons why they were part of Fondo Arte-AS project: "Art is part of our trade and way of seeing life. Ana's approach to this discipline coincides with our interpretation of art. We consider that it is an endearing theme for our city, which takes up again the experiences of the Turia riverbed, and this is reason enough to be part of the project". The last intervention came from Federico Varona, who invited politicians and businessmen to participate because they see the support of contemporary art as fundamental: "art generates social culture, today we need more initiatives that help to reorganize our way of connecting with the environment, art is necessary to change the vision and awareness and, in that sense, Fondo Arte-AS is pioneering and fundamental".
With this, the presentation of the catalog Echoes of the Memory 2016 ended. A night that will mark the beginning of another stage of artistic projects in Fondo Arte-AS. An artistic space on the street, concerned with teaching contemporary art to the citizen who wants it, since, according to its Director Ana Serratosa, "What is understood, is easier to love".