Patronage, art and production

The aim of this post is to explain how some initiatives can continue go on thanks to private support

Published: Feb 24, 2015
Patronage, art and production

Sam Kronick. The Slow Internet Café

By Semíramis González (@semiramis_glez), Semíramis en Babilonia.

In a time when public aids are reduced in terms of cultural support and production grants, the private sector becomes an indispensable ally for the continuation of many projects. We can see this in any museum or art centre in Spain (and abroad). This close collaboration takes place in the case of friendly entities that support educational and cultural programmes. The list is long and would deserve a thorough analysis, however, here I will just mention some of these projects.

One of the most interesting in my view is Entreacto, a programme where students of the fine arts school of Universidad Complutense showcase their works at contemporary art galleries in Madrid during an afternoon. It is defined as follows: “Entreacto is an educational project aimed at showcasing in spaces provided by galleries of Doctor Fourquet street—during a day and taking advantage of the time between dismounting and mounting— projects by students of the fine arts school of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid”. The curator is Emilia García-Romeu with the support of Fundación Banco Santander. Thanks to this support, the third edition of the project will take place next May, showcasing the pieces of eleven artists in galleries such as Bacelos, Louis 21, Fúcares, Moisés Pérez de Albéniz, Maisterravalbuena or NoguerasBlanchard, among others.

Pablo García de Durango. Coma, bea, vea.

Elisa González. El orden de mi habitación

The relationship between the patron of art and the institution becomes essential when museums do not wish to lose many of their programmes. Especially in the case of grants and production aids. We can see this in the Museo Es Baluard in Palma de Mallorca with the support of DKV Seguros and the audiovisual production grant that awards the production of a work in video format.

In the case in question, LABoral, it is important to emphasise that production support plays a main role in the programme of the centre. As a venue devoted to creation, it is essential to have a production grants and residencies programme that makes this center not only a space for exhibition, but also for production and creation activity.

LABjoven_Experimenta is a call offering a production and exhibition residency at LABoral. It is the oldest residency programme of the centre (2014 was its seventh year) and the most consolidated one at local level (it is addressed to artists born or residing in Asturias). It is aimed at producing artistic projects designed specifically for the premises of the centre. It has been brought back this year thanks to the collaboration of the collector Jaime Sordo, Chairman of Asociación de Coleccionistas Privados de Arte Contemporáneo 9915, and owner of the collection Los Bragales. The artist Pablo de Soto was the first one to receive this grant in 2007, with Situation room, an installation that reflected upon power and control in times of crisis. In 2008 Crisálidas by Fernando Gutiérrez, filled the halls of LABoral with anthropomorphic beings coming out of the shadows, as dancing beings glowing in the dark. The interest of Gutiérrez for the biological through parallel universes drawn by him is one of the main characteristics of his work. He was followed by Alicia Jiménez in 2009, with En barbecho, an installation that included a harvesting field with grooves and an irrigation system inside the hall Plataforma 1, which had two opposed types of land: a fertile and productive area, and a waste land, without crops, in a fallow period. In 2010 Adrián Cuervo was awarded the residency and exhibition with Dédalo España, a project about the labyrinths of the current economic system where great corporations look for strategies to deceive customers.

Lights and shadows were also the keystone of the piece by Cristina Busto, who exhibited Generadores de sombras in 2011; this artist created a shooting set within the exhibition hall with the purpose of shooting a live video piece, a live long take. The movement and the importance of viewers were also essential in this work.

More recently, in 2012, David Martínez Suárez was awarded LABjoven_Experimenta once again with Inercia, a project that made use of certain physical conditions of objects opposed to movement, the inertia, to make a social and economical criticism of the current situation in Spain and Greece.

Some images of Crisálidas by Fernando Gutiérrez

View of En Barbecho, by Alicia Jiménez

Frame from the video included in the installation by David Martínez Suárez.
Photo: Courtesy of the artist


Telefónica I+D is the R&D concern of Grupo Telefónica; The collaboration with LABoral is directly related with the interest of both institutions for combining art and technology. Artistic creativity linked to technological development was evident in Mapocci, a project by Laura Malinverni and Lilia Villafuerte, as well as in Sam Kronick,’s The Slow Internet Café (already commented on this blog), or the first prototype of Flone, The Flying Phone, by the team made up by the multidisciplinary artist Lot Amorós, the technical engineer Cristina Navarro, and the industrial engineer Alexandre Oliver; They made a device that turns the mobile phone into a unmanned flying device, that flies up to 20 metres high. This call will be launched again this year under the name Next Things 2015. Fourth Global Challenge on Art and Technology.

Sam Kronick, The Slow Internet Café

An in line with the beginning of this post, it is important to mention the presence of DKV at LABoral. The production grant DKV Seguros-Álvarez Margaride is a call for a production and exhibition residency. It is an annual call and is awarded to an artist that is either Spanish or a Spanish resident, born after 1972, to carry out a project during his/her residency (between April and June) and then exhibit it at LABoral. The resulting work is acquired by the collection of DKV Seguros, co-producer of the piece. In 2013 Karlos Gil obtained this grant with The Moon Museum, an alleged secret project developed by NASA in 1969 to shoot on the surface of the Moon six works by several American artists of the 1960s. Gil’s installation, that superposed narrative, photography and audiovisual and technological, recreated one of these works, that would be the first one on the Moon.

View of The Moon Museum by Karlos Gil

In 2014 the production grant DKV Seguros-Álvarez Margaride was awarded to David Ferrando Giraut with Prótesis discursiva (Una conversación alquímica), where anthropology, history, social and artistic criticism was combined in an audiovisual installation – a large-scale mural projection with quadraphonic sound – and a digital animation piece for monitor.

View of the installation by David Ferrando Giraut at LABoral

The projects of LABoral are just a few examples of projects with private support in public centres and museums. The management model, which has been undergoing a transformation process over the last years, clearly needs a balance between the private and public support. With an Art Patronage Act still pending, and with a V.A.T. for art similar to that of luxury products (as if art would be a luxury), the support of private entities becomes necessary and generous for artistic proposals and programmes to stay alive, showcasing the best current art.

Patronage, art and production

 

 

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