Brief look at the current situation of emerging artists in Spain.

The uneasiness of emerging art
- AUG 02, 2013

It is highly remarkable the difficulties being experienced by contemporary art in Spain in the context of a system which appears to be in decline. The institutions, until now allies of the artists are seen as ferocious beings, whose weariness before a frugal economy has turned into a shift of interests. Contemporary art, war wounded deplores the events of the present and drowns its imagery with the possibility of a recurring oblivion. However, the imperative of artistic creation does not seem to cease its efforts to continue emerging to maintain its status, even through alternative means of expression.

There are many spaces for exhibition and art projection that have seen that the efforts deposited during generations, have been interrupted by the ill-fated gap of unpaid activities. A recent case is that of the gallery Valle Orti in Valencia, that after four decades of commitment to emerging art, has been forced to close its space. The lack of collectors, defaulting on institutional subsidies and lack of sales, are some of the unavoidable constraints that have affected the art market. But it would be unfair not to state that there are sadly too many cases like this, in what appears to be the trigger of a cultural collapse our country.

The uneasiness of emerging art

Artistic intervention in an unused antique stand in the Mercado de la Cebada. 

However, before such outrages, an optimistic fighting spirit that gradually sheds some light into the shadows, seems to have aroused. A generation of young professionals linked to art, that having avoided becoming permeated by lethargy, have decided to overcome, to carry out activities that are based on self-management. One of them is the platform Se Alquila (For Rent), that after three open calls on the premises of Se Aquila Burbuja, Cuerpo y Mercado (Bubble, Body and Market For Rent), propose a way to use unused space in the metropolitan area of Madrid, in order to at least try to bring ephemeral art shows, that show the lack of support in artistic practices as well as the intricacies of the art market.

However, the young artist continues to be found helpless, before a system of economic-cultural hierarchy whose betting interest only sheds light over those professionals that provided their consolidated prestige bring a positive balance to the box office. While it is true that the existence of core size open calls for creators fill the lists of cultural agendas in what appears to be the moral safeguard of foundations and spaces for artistic dissemination. But the general feeling of those interested is torn between the dichotomy of not ceasing their attempt to emerge and the disappointment that arises after being immersed in the trompe l'oeil of cultural systems.

The uneasiness of emerging art

Artistic intervention in a column of the Mercado de la Cebada.

An exemplification of the above, has been the public opne call to participate in the Simpósio Internacional Práxis e Contexto da Arte Contemporânea, organized by the Forum Eugenio de Almeida in Evora, Portugal and whose main premise was to promote the meeting between curators, critics and Institutions and Hispanic-Lusitanian emerging artists. The main focus of the meeting called for support for those who are not consolidated in the professional field of art, however, it did not meet the expectations of the participants. As usual, among the conclusions reached after two days of protracted conferences, was that the only remedy to mitigate such ill-fated economic onslaught lies in the altruism of the artist as well as on self-financing and management of their projects, in order to cover an experience that can procure or not, a future remuneration. In the end, the feedback between professionals and insiders, with which the open call was planned, was not generated. That is why, from our position, we ask: Are efforts to encourage support for the new generations of creators generated or are they mantained with a viewing of chinese shadows? What is certain is that the resignation to maintaining professional activities free, given the personal financial the efforts that imply providing quality productions, is far from being sustainable, faced with the weariness of a generation that only claims the chance to live off their work.


Violeta Esparza

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