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Irene Abujatum at Arco 2020: “chilean participation is very limited”

The director of AFA gallery and Artes Visuales Asociadas foundation (FAVA), is one of the guests to Arco, the international art contemporary fair, which started today in Madrid and will finished on march 1st. In Madrid, Irene was attended to “Gran Sur: Arte contemporáneo chileno en la Colección Engel” exposition inauguration, and she will participate on the different instances of fair during these days. We talked with she about how has been her experience at Arco until now.


By Ch.ACO team


Die Ecke in Arco 2020 (photography by Irene)


How “Gran Sur: Arte contemporáneo chileno en la Colección Engel” exposition inauguration was?

“Gran Sur inauguration was very good because was a great representation of chilean contemporary artists, artists who live and don’t live in Chile. The montage was good, consistent, Christian Viveros Fauné’s work was very well. I felt very proud about have many well represented chilean artists in a great exposition.


The inauguration was crowded, there was many curators from different countries, like Gerardo Mosquera, who edited “Copiar el edén: arte reciente en Chile”, a very important book at the history of chilean contemporary art; Agustín Pérez Rubio, who curated Voluspa Jarpa’s artworks at Venice Biennale; Arco’s director Maribel López, was in the exposition too.


"This is the first time which Claudio show his collection in a big way, were 200 artworks and 39 artist. All we were in the exposition are very proud of he"

There was collectors from Colombia, Perú, some chilean collectors who come to congratulate and support to Claudio in his great collection presentation. This is the first time which Claudio show his collection in a big way, were 200 artworks and 39 artist. All we were in the exposition are very proud of he”.


How are you seen chilean participation in Arco this year?

“Chilean participation is limited to 3 galleries, Isabel Aninat Gallery with artists who are not chilean, Patricia Ready Gallery with 2 wonderful artists, Josefina Guilisasti and Livia Marín who lives in London. Both did a great montage, beautiful with a good installation, Die Ecke with Copello and Francisca Benítez, are present too.


I think is very representative, except Isabel Aninat, because it have international artists in a chilean stand, isn’t representative but are great artworks. Fernando Casasempere with a english gallery (Parafin) is at the fair too”.


"Many of us insisted to Chile would be invited, because Colombia (2015), Argentina (2017) and Perú (2019) already were have been guests of honor, and all of them had a good installations at Arco"


What do you think about Chile's decision to refuse to be the guest of honor at Arco 2021?

“As all of people in the art industry, I think Chile’s decision about don’t participate in Arco 2021 was a very bad decision, especially because the next year would be 40 years of Arco. On the other hand, many of us insisted to Chile would be invited, because Colombia (2015), Argentina (2017) and Perú (2019) already were have been guests of honor, and all of them had a good installations at Arco. Not only artists and galleries became known, but collectors and institutions too. It would be very interesting for all chilean art industry, so is an awful decision.





Fernando Prats in Arco 2020 (Photography by Irene)


"Today Peru’s stands in the fair are one of the most important, but in the case of Chile, the stands are smaller and aren’t located in the middle, are in the edges of the fair”

Galleries from Perú, which was the guest of honor last year, now have spaces in the middle of the fair with fantastic art installations, it means this galleries had a good repercusion after been the guest of honor. Today Peru’s stands in the fair are one of the most important, but in the case of Chile, the stands are smaller and aren’t located in the middle, are in the edges of the fair”.


How would you define your experience at Arco?

“Arco is a very professional fair, which gathering all of people from Europe and USA, even Asia. Is a fair where you find professionals from differents parts of the world. From this point of view, Arco is very important, is 40 years old, is a part of foundation which give it much support from spanish environment. Is a referent, the Spain king inaugurated the fair, also the president or prime minister assisted to inauguration, it means politically is a fair which have a repercussion”.


Next, some Arco pictures Irene sendt us:






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