Millions of tourists fill the hotel rooms in the city of Barcelona every year. But this time, the Almanac Hotel will exchange some of its regular guests for works of art, until November 23. Along with the paintings and photographs that adorn the hotel rooms, the works of the 42 artists who this year present their video works during the three days of the Loop Fair 2023 were mounted, in an original and immersive format. The meeting that brings together artists and collectors of pieces in video format, expects to bring together more than 4,000 art professionals, and will be attended by prominent international artists, such as Lawrence Lek and Ugo Rondinone.
The exploration of nature and the review of the past based on archives are the thematic lines that have gained the most strength in the new edition of the fair. Lawrence Lek, the German artist living in London, brings Black Cloud, a work that questions the nature of consciousness from the perspective of artificial intelligence. The piece presents the possibility of technological consciousness and the ability to experience joy, suffering or power from a non-human life. The proposal by the Swiss plastic artist Ugo Rondinone also stands out among the works that have been selected by an international committee. In Burn to shine, the artist brings together an ancestral trance from the Maghreb with gestures from contemporary dance to investigate natural phenomena and the conditions of existence, in a format little explored for the artist, who arrives in Barcelona with the Esther gallery. Berlin Schipper.
Another of the protagonists is Carlos Casas, an artist who will represent Catalonia in the next edition of the Venice Biennale and who here presents Grotta, at the Àngels Barcelona. The audiovisual was filmed in a cave near Monte Verità, where the writer Herman Hesse spent a few days meditating and fasting in 1907. In an edition in which the number of participating Spanish galleries and artists has increased, the presence of Pere Noguera also stands out. , Ana Esteve Reig, Xavi Bou or Fito Conesa.
The fair, which seeks to be a "union point for lovers of the moving image and those who work in video art", according to Gabriela Galcerán, its director, will pay tribute to Guada Echevarría, one of the great promoters of contemporary art in Spain and founder of the San Sebastián Video Festival, who died in June of this year. Some of the participants in the tribute to the former director of the Bordeaux School of Arts are the artists Lawrence Lek, Antoni Muntadas and Rafael Ortega, as well as the directors and managers of the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao and the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Miguel Zugaza and Andrea Lissoni, respectively.
Within the activities of the video art fair, three prizes will also be awarded: the Loop Fair, the Fair Acquisition, whose winning work will remain in the Macba collection, and the CIFRA, the prize that recognizes originality in artistic expression and that pushes the limits of video delivery technologies. Likewise, Loop Talks will be held, where the future of video art will be discussed in round tables, conversations and meetings with professionals.
In addition, at the inauguration the winner of the Loop Barcelona Video Art Production Grant was announced, which this year was awarded to the Korean artist Eunhee Lee, who was unanimously chosen by a jury of experts selected by the institutions that collaborate with scholarship. The artist will receive an amount of 15,000 dollars granted by the Han Nefkens Foundation in collaboration with the Joan Miró Foundation, MoCA of Taipei, ILHAM of Kuala Lumpur, Art Hub of Copenhagen and the Inside Out Art Museum of Beijing. Then, the work, which shows "the relationship between humans and the digital and technological world, in a poetic and aesthetic way", as Han Nefkens has valued, will be exhibited in the collaborating institutions, which this year have set their sights on Asian artists .