The LOOP Fair opens the doors of its 21st edition on September 21 at the Almanac Barcelona hotel, an original and immersive format that uses the rooms of this hotel to exhibit the works and facilitate a meeting point for the community of video art professionals.
Forty-two artists , represented by their galleries, have been selected in this edition by an international committee made up of collectors Jean-Conrad and Isabelle Lemaître (promoters of the StudioCollector Prize for video creation), Josée and Marc Gensollen (founders of La Fabrique de Marseille), Haro Cumbusyan (founder of Collectorspace, in Istanbul) and Renée Drake (collector from the Netherlands). With the aim of encouraging collaboration between artists, galleries, collectors and other moving image professionals, the fair also offers an online window with LOOP Virtual , available exclusively to this community before the event, which from today until Friday expects to receive 4,000 professionals.
One of the most outstanding proposals of this edition comes from the prestigious gallery Sadie Col·les HQ in London. He will present Black Cloud, the latest work in the constantly growing futuristic universe of artist Lawrence Lek . From the subjective perspective of artificial intelligence, the piece is a poignant exploration of technological consciousness and the capacity of non-human life to experience joy, suffering and power, based on the story of a lone video surveillance system AI in the abandoned smart city of SimBeijing, a replica of the Chinese capital built to test autonomous cars.
Eunhee Lee, winner of the Loop Barcelona 2023 video art production grant
As part of the fair's presentation press conference, it was announced that Eunhee Lee (South Korea, 1990) is the winner of the Videoart Loop Barcelona 2023 Production Grant , promoted by the Han Nefkens Foundation in col collaboration with the Joan Miró Foundation , the MoCA Museum in Taipei, the ILHAM gallery in Kuala Lumpur, the Art Hub in Copenhagen and the Inside Out Art Museum in Beijing, institutions that will also host the work. The grant is a tool to increase contemporary production in the field of video art and is aimed at emerging artists of Asian nationality or residents in Asia. The jury has unanimously praised the poetic approach to Lee's work, as well as "the precision and care with which he observes and analyzes our contemporary world". The Korean artist will receive $15,000 for this work, which he will have to create in nine months.
The video art fair will award three prizes in this edition: the LOOP Fair Prize , the Fair Acquisition Prize (the work will be deposited in the MACBA collection) and the CIFRA Prize (in recognition of originality in artistic expression , which pushes the limits of video distribution technologies). The first two will be awarded by an international jury formed this year by Elvira Dyangani Ose (director of the MACBA), Helena Kritis (curator of WIELS, Brussels), Andrea Lissoni (artistic director of the Haus der Kunst Munich), Benjamin Weil (director of the Centro de Arte Moderna Gulbenkian in Lisbon) and Daniela Zyman (artistic director of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary TBA21).
LOOP Talks, the future of video art up for debate
Six LOOP Talks , open to the public on November 22 and 23 at the Almanac Barcelona hotel, will allow you to explore video art through round tables, conversations and professional meetings. International experts will analyze audiovisual practices from a formal and conceptual point of view, addressing issues such as the perception, production and circulation of the moving image inside and outside the gallery space, the challenges presented by digital culture or the role that collectors play.
This edition will pay tribute to Guada Echevarría , passed away this year and founder of the legendary Sant Sebastià Video Festival, and will feature the participation of artists Lawrence Lek , Antoni Muntadas and Rafael Ortega ; curators Carly Whitefield (LAS Art Foundation), Lisa Long (Julia Stoschek Foundation), Eugeni Bonet , Anne-Marie Duguet , Amira Solh and Carolina Ciuti ; the directors and managers of museums Miguel Zugaza (Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao) and Andrea Lissoni (Haus der Kunst Munich); and the collectors Dorith Galuz and Jean Phillipe Vernes .
Back to nature
Films, animations and virtual reality videos explore various themes in this edition, in which the approach to nature takes on a special force. The Esther Schipper gallery in Berlin returns to the LOOP Fair with a video by Ugo Rondinone , Burn to shine, an unusual format in the renowned artist's career. The film combines an ancestral transit ritual from the Maghreb with the gestures of a contemporary dance, to delve deeper into natural phenomena and the conditions of human existence, recurring themes in Rondinone's work.
The animal kingdom and the landscape are also in the spotlight. This is the case of Eugenie Touzé and her Des bêtes effleurées, shot with domestic and wild animals on an old farm in Burgundy-Franch Comte, by Cheng Xinhao , with his March of the Elephants, delving into the historical and cultural importance of elephants in the Lancang river basin, or the short film Tous les Oiseaux du Monde, in which Xavi Bou wonders if in the future it will reach the point of having all the living beings on the planet registered. With an intimate view, connections with nature are very present in the works of Seba Calfuqueo , who reflects the Mapuche worldview with his performance Tray Tray Ko, or in Jura Shust's multimedia project, Neophyte III: On the Eve of the Shortest Night, a journey to the Belarusian border to deepen the connection between the human psyche and the natural world in socio-political crises. Finally, four authors warn about the climate emergency and the abuse to which we subject the earth: Mimiko Turkkan with Earth Fight, Fito Conesa with El Reparo, Kent Chan , with Solar Orders and Delaine Le Bas with St Sara Kali George.
Archive images and review of the past
Other proposals at the LOOP Fair 2023 delve deeper into the essence of time, addressing reflections on memory and archives. This is the case of Alexandre Farto , alias Vhils, in Rust Belt #07, who remembers, with old images of a factory in Barreiro, a city located on the southern bank of the Tagus river, the ephemera of the colossal industrial infrastructures, at the same time which pays tribute to its 30,000 workers. Maya Schweizer , known for her cinematographic works, explores themes such as memory, identity and the socio-political dimensions of urban space in Errant Gestures. Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi , in The Same Track, uses a set of archival images of Commonwealth Games athletes, spectators and organizers combined with images of economic and promotional activity in various British colonies to highlight that the Games they are part of a political project that has been developing for centuries.
Carlos Casas , who will represent Catalonia in the next edition of the Venice Biennale, presents in LOOP Grotta, filmed in the cave, close to Mont Verità, where Herman Hesse spent a few days meditating and fasting in 1907. The visions what he experienced there during those days powerfully influenced his thinking and shaped some of the most important works of his career. Also Família Guerra, by Pere Noguera , establishes a dialogue with the past, in this case based on recordings from the Second World War made by a soldier and found in the Empordà, juxtaposed with the domestic images of the same person in their family environment.
In addition, some works stand out for denouncing and addressing issues related to protests and political conflicts, offering an artistic perspective that invites critical reflection on our past. Wang Jun-Jieh and Cheang Shu Lea (How Was History Wounded?) examines media coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre to address the politics of image, media control, consumption and commercialism . He also revisits the traces of the past, in this case those of the First World War, Jeroen Jongeleen with his performance in Batterie 2 (collapsed tobruk @ Zuydcoote). The artist runs in circles on the warlike landscape in which the Battle of the Somme took place, one of the deadliest recorded in human history.