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19 junio 2024

Four artists will represent Aragon at the Manchester Contemporary Art Fair

The Aragonese presence at the fair is the result of a call for the internationalization of culture by AREX and the General Directorate of Culture.

Natalia Escudero, Jorge Fuembuena, Jorge Isla and Cecilia del Val will represent Aragonese contemporary art at The Manchester Contemporary fair, to be held from November 4 to 6 in the British city. The presence of these artists is the result of a contest organized by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports of the Government of Aragon, in collaboration with Aragon Exterior (AREX), to take to Manchester a selection of works by four artists from the Autonomous Community. The art curator Daniel Silvo, together with Olga Julián, head of the artistic area of Fundación CAI, and Javier Azaña, head of internationalization of cultural projects in Aragón Exterior, have selected these four artists from among more than 40 candidates. The curatorial concept of the selection and arrangement of the works proposed by Silvo revolves around the misinformation generated by the excess of image and text.

In their works, these four artists take this destruction of information to the extreme, either as a fade to black or blackout or as a flood of light and white.This exhibition will occupy a prominent space at The Manchester Contemporary fair, at the Manchester Central Convention Centre, the city’s former railway station built in 1880. The Manchester Contemporary is the region’s leading contemporary art fair and attracts collectors and art professionals from across the country.

Cecilia del Val’s liquid, fragmented and floating work presents the image of an architecture that cracks and highlights the fissures hidden under the idea of progress. Jorge Isla, in line with this rupture of the contemporary image, offers dozens of broken and dark smartphone screens, like a polished and broken lapis lazuli stone that gives us back our shattered image.

The same destruction of the image is shown in Fuembuena’s photography. In his work ‘Blackout’ we discover forms whose meaning escapes between the fissures and textures of surfaces that could seem stony. Natalia Escudero, on the other hand, hides her information inside old books rescued from her grandfather’s house, giving a new form to texts whose meaning is hidden among pieces of marble and apparently playful objects.

The Department of Education, Culture and Sports of the Government of Aragon works together with AREX in the internationalization of Aragonese culture through a line of grants, endowed with 150,000 euros, which are aimed at publishers, performing and plastic arts companies, and audiovisual creators. The grants will cover between 50 and 70% of the cost of actions related to the establishment of contacts with potential buyers, the attraction of audiovisual producers and distributors, international online promotion, as well as participation in international fairs and festivals or in prestigious contests.

Natalia Escudero

Escudero was born in Zaragoza in 1991. She has won many awards such as the MECD Grants for research, creation and artistic production, the Acquisition Award VII International Art Prize María José Jove Foundation, the INJUVE Grants for Mobility of Artists and Work, the Young Artist Book Foundation Ankaria Award or the Production Award Joan Miró Foundation of Mallorca and Sotheby’s, among many others. He has also had solo exhibitions at the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas, Galería Nueva (Madrid), Youkobo Art Space in Tokyo, the Sala Lateral of the IAACC Pablo Serrano (Zaragoza) or in art spaces in the city of Kassel (Germany). He has participated in group exhibitions in Japan, France, China, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, as well as in countless galleries and art centers in Spain, where his work arises from the observation of his surroundings. This approach to spaces and objects of common use awakens in her an interest in uncovering the hidden side of the motif in question. Natalia Escudero translates this interest through artistic creation in the form of assemblages; she combines everyday objects with graphics of earthly movements, plays with space and time, arranges and sets up installations that she conceives as nuclear groupings, illuminates, projects images and sounds on organic surfaces… all with the aim of creating an atmosphere, an intimate moment open to the public, shared.

Jorge Isla

Jorge Isla is an artist born in Huesca in 1992. He has received the VEGAP 2015 grant, the residency at the College d’Espagne à Paris, a residency grant from the Bilbaoarte Foundation, the first prize at the Muestra de Arte Joven de la Rioja (2019), the La Térmica residency (Málaga), the Aid for research, creation and artistic production from the MECD or the Scroll award from the Centro del Carmen in Valencia among others. He has had solo exhibitions at Las Cigarreras (Alicante), Arte Santander, SC Gallery (Bilbao), Antonia Puyó, Galeria Presente de Oporto, Photoespaña, the XV Biennial of Photography of Córdoba and Centro Cibeles, as well as in various group exhibitions including La Capella (Barcelona), Fran Reus Gallery (Palma), Mislata Biennial, Diputación de Huesca, La Térmica, CDAN (Huesca) and in national and international fairs.His work has a strong sculptural character. The accumulation of mobile screens generates a shiny black surface, like a mirror, which becomes a perfect metaphor for the reflection of contemporary society that, through its waste, proposes a digital black hole, trapping and fragmenting the reflection of the viewer inside, dispossessing it of its essence and reflecting on the modes of production and consumption that this object poses today.

Cecilia del Val

This artist, born in Zaragoza in 1975, has received awards and grants such as the Zaragoza Cultural 2020 Grant for the creation of Plastic Arts, the First Viphoto Award in Vitoria, the Zaragoza Cultural Grant for artistic production or the Acquisition Award at the Estampa fair, and has been a finalist in the Pilar Citoler Award, the Banca March International Award or the Purificación García photography contest, among many others. His work has been exhibited individually at the Centro de Arte y Tecnología in Zaragoza, the Sala Amarica in Vitoria, the Antonia Puyó and Carolina Rojo galleries in Zaragoza, T20 in Murcia and Cámara Oscura in Madrid. She has participated in group exhibitions in Braga (Portugal), Photobasel (Switzerland), the Olor visual collection in Barcelona, the Vimcorsa gallery in Cordoba and the DA2 in Salamanca, among others. The artist works on the relationship between matter and history, specifically on photographic matter and the important physical mutation it has undergone since its invention, analogous to the important social, cultural and historical mutations of the contemporary world.

Jorge Fuembuena

Born in Zaragoza in 1979. He has been a scholarship holder at La Casa de Velázquez (Acadèmie de France à Madrid) and currently at the Spanish Academy in Rome. Among others, his work has been awarded with the Biennial Award of Contemporary Photography Pilar Citoler, the first prize of the Enaire Foundation, Generations Caja Madrid or the Foto ARCO 2010 Award among others. He has participated in the Plat(t)form program of the Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland), and has shown his work at Head On Photo Festival (Australia), Imago Lisboa, Kranj Photo Festival (Slovenia), Photo Zurich International Art Festival (Switzerland), Grand Prix Lodz Fotofestiwal (Poland), Athens Photo Festival (Greece), Kaunas Photo(Lithuania), at Arlés Voies Off (France), Paraty Em Foco (Brazil), at the Pingyao International Photography Festival (China), at the Festival Encontros Da Imagem Braga, Portugal), at Photoespaña, Bitume Photofest in Lecce (Italy), PalmaPhoto (Palma de Mallorca), Austro Sino Arts Program (Beijing, China), Lentos Museum Linz (Austria), MataderoMadrid, La Casa Encendida de Madrid, MUVIM (Valencia), Getty Gallery (London), FLORA Ars and Natura (Colombia), Es Baluard (Mallorca), Bòlit (Girona), Arts Santa Mónica (Barcelona), CDAN (Huesca), Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Madrid), Centro Niemeyer (Avilés) or Museo Barjola (Gijón). His work seeks to investigate artistic photography as a political position, with an ethical and anthropological dimension related to the very possibility of human freedom in the dichotomy between control and chaos in today’s world.

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