Articles and Features

LOOP Fair 2020. Highlights Of The Fair Of The Moving Image

Festival Loop Salon 2020. Credits: Marí E. Berenguer courtesy of LOOP Fair
Festival Loop Salon 2020. Credits: Marí E. Berenguer courtesy of LOOP Fair

LOOP-Barcelona 2020 is now open, consisting of the world’s leading art fair specialised in video art and art of the moving image, and a related series of events throughout the city of Barcelona. Extended until November 26th, the various happenings are open and not impacted by covid-related restrictions, the full program for which can be found here. This year’s edition of the fair is also being hosted online at Artland, as well as on LOOP’s own website. Consisting of 28 exhibiting galleries, each of which is invited to participate with a single film by one artist, this year’s entrants represent a diverse group of outstanding international galleries. We paid an online visit to the fair to sample the works on offer, finding an impressive array of works to watch, consider and enjoy. Common themes to emerge were works regarding the parlous state of the environment, and delicate geopolitical situations, especially that of the Middle East. You can see all of the works on both Artland and LOOP, and you can get a taste of some of our highlights below.


Rush Hour, Nicolaj Larsen

Rush Hour (still), 2007-2020, Nikolaj Larsen, Video HD, single channel, sound. © Nikolaj Larsen, Image Courtesy Galeria Presenca, Porto
Rush Hour (still), 2007-2020, Nikolaj Larsen, Video HD, single channel, sound. © Nikolaj Larsen, Image Courtesy Galeria Presenca, Porto

Rush Hour is a 2 minute video studying the motions and actions of a Palestinian policeman as he conducts the safe passage of vehicles and pedestrians around a busy, and otherwise chaotic, traffic intersection in the heart of Ramallah, the capital of the Palestinian National Authority. Made during a residency at Al-ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem, Larsen’s short film is an endearing portrait of both a quirky individual, his place in his community and his apparent total commitment to it. The officer subject has developed uniquely stylised movements in his direction of the traffic. Part performance, part choreography, the officer mashes bodypopping, dance, humour and dedicated focus in the pursuit of his tasks. Compelling and fascinating, Rush Hour is a lesson in how to bring joy and levity to one’s place of work for the betterment of all, not least one’s self. Poignant and oddly uplifting.

Watch the video here


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Gallery contact info:
Galeria Presença – Rua de Miguel Bombarda 570, 4050-379, Porto.
Website: galeriapresenca.pt


Future Foods, Gerard Ortín Castellví

Future Foods, (Still) 2020, Gerard Ortín Castellví, Video HD, single channel, sound. © Gerard Ortín Castellví, Image Courtesy àngels barcelona.
Future Foods, (Still) 2020, Gerard Ortín Castellví, Video HD, single channel, sound. © Gerard Ortín Castellví, Image Courtesy àngels barcelona.

Future Foods revolves around the making of plastic food props at the workshops of Replica LTD, one of the few companies that still manufactures such products for films, advertisements and displays. The perception of food, its marketed image in advertising and popular culture, and how these constructs influence its appeal and and palatability, are investigated when observing these meticulous hand-crafted manufacturing processes through a camera. The footage is juxtaposed with a phone conversation with the CEO of a Finnish future foods start-up, Solar Foods, who introduces us to a revolutionary new technology, whereby protein is generated from only water, electricity and CO₂ captured from the air. The CEO explains how his product must first get defined and categorised as such in order to be granted the necessary permits associated with food production and safety. Future foods has a vaguely sinister and dystopian feel as it speculates on the prospects for food production in a near future without agriculture.

Watch the video here


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Gallery contact info:
àngels barcelona – c/ Pintor Fortuny, 27, 08001 Barcelona.
Website: angelsbarcelona.com


Battle City Films, Chang Li-Ren

Caption: Battle City 1 - The Glory of Taiwan (Still), 2010-2018, Chang Li-Ren, video HD, single channel, sound. © Chang Li-Ren, Image courtesy Chi-Wen gallery, Taiwan
Battle City 1 – The Glory of Taiwan (Still), 2010-2018, Chang Li-Ren, video HD, single channel, sound. © Chang Li-Ren, Image courtesy Chi-Wen gallery, Taiwan

Chang Li-Ren creates his videos predominantly through stop-motion animation. In the works Battle City 1 – The Glory of Taiwan and Battle City 2 – Economic Miracle, Chang films his protagonists in a complex model of a South East Asian metropolis of indeterminate geographic specificity. Modelled over several years, the small scale city construction used as a set was based on his impressions and recollection of various cities as a child. The storyline follows a character, Zhi Qiang, a humble everyman, who becomes a terrorist following his jilting by a woman he admires, and whose resulting despair prompts him to try and destroy the world. His situation is one of extreme entropy as the incident escalates from a local to a global emergency – he intially becomes the subject of a manhunt initiated by the ‘President’, but then becomes the main person of interest to U.S special forces who, as the Protector of Taiwan and wider, delicately poised, international relations, parachute in to save the day. An international chain reaction ensues. Chang’s films succeed partially because of their absurdity, both of the characters and the narrative arc itself. Geo-politics, incompetent leadership, capitalistic extremes, collective hysteria, the economic motives of nations, and the subjugation of the individual to those overarching imperatives, are all perceptively and mercilessly skewered.

Watch the video here

Gallery contact info:
Chi-Wen Gallery – No. 32號, Lane 2, Section 6, Zhongshan North Road, Shilin District, Taipei City.
Website: chiwengallery.com


Lightroom, Sigurður Guðjónsson

Caption; Lightroom, (Still), Sigurður Guðjónsson, 2018, Video HD, single channel, sound. © Sigurður Guðjónsson. Image courtesy berg contemprary, Reykjavík
Lightroom, (Still), Sigurður Guðjónsson, 2018, Video HD, single channel, sound. © Sigurður Guðjónsson. Image courtesy berg contemprary, Reykjavík

An excercise in abstraction through incredibly high definition filmic precision, Guðjónsson takes us into the inner workings of an old slide projector as it performs its functions. Through the interaction of almost-painterly images and elegaic sound, the viewer is entranced and enchanted by the core activities of the vintage machine, processes that are usually obscured and not a part of a viewer’s experience of them. Through the technical sophistication of the artist’s contemporary camera equipment, the old and outdated device undergoes a transformation and is given a new and poetic life. The film extracts a lyrical beauty from the mechanism, whilst musing on the ways old meets new.

Watch the video here

Gallery contact info:
BERG Contemporary – Klapparstígur 16, 101 Reykjavík.
Website: bergcontemporary.is


Boothworks, Cristina Garrido

Boothworks, (Still), 2017, Cristina Garrido, Video HD, single channel, black and white, sound. © Cristina Garrido, Image courtesy The Goma, Madrid
Boothworks, (Still), 2017, Cristina Garrido, Video HD, single channel, black and white, sound. © Cristina Garrido, Image courtesy The Goma, Madrid

Boothworks by Cristina Garrido is an earnestly-toned pastiche of a documentary about a new genre of international art that emerged in parallel with the era of the art fair. Evolving in tandem with the relentless art fair calendar, Boothworks bears witness to the birth of ‘booth art’, as it is called by the narrator, an art form executed by gallerists with the work of other artists, where the booth and art fair environment are the exhibition space. Created by splicing together film footage from art fairs from around the world, and by appropriating quotations from well know art world and curatorial professionals, ‘booth art’ is critiqued and problematised as a symptom of art practice moving its focus from the art object itself to the context of its display and consumption. Both amusing and thought provoking, Boothworks is simultaneously a spoof and sombre commentary on the trajectory of the international art market and its fundamental tenets and priorities.

Watch the video here

Gallery contact info:
The Goma – C/ Fucar, 12, 28014 Madrid.
Website: thegoma.com


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