Arts & Entertainment

Arco fair marks 40th anniversary

Madrid, Feb 23 (EFE).- The Arco fair launched Wednesday in Madrid for a belated 40th anniversary edition with plenty of provocative artworks and the familiar stalwart of galleries showcasing the latest in contemporary visual arts.

After a paired back edition in 2021, the Spanish Art Fair has returned in full force to showcase 185 international galleries from 30 countries and a special programme to mark the institution’s birthday.

“ARCO is in very good health,” said Maribel Lopez, the fair’s director. The official inauguration will be on Thursday featuring the King and Queen of Spain.

“We will have a fair that is reminiscent of 2020, the last edition, but I like to think we have learned from this process,” López told Efe.

Latin American art will play a central role at the fair, including ‘Cerrar Para Abrir’ by Peruvian visual artist Wynnie Mendoza, an exploration of the surgery she underwent in order to close the opening of her vagina.

“We cannot simply conceive of sexual relationships in just a binary way, more things can be created through advances in medicine. The issue is why don’t we start to imagine bodies and minds and identities in a different way?” said Mendoza, who is represented by the Ginsberg gallery.

“I invented the surgical procedure that I had,” the artist added. “It consisted of closing three quarters of the opening of my vagina to make it obsolete. It was already obsolete in my mind because I don’t use it to have sex or think about the idea of motherhood as an option for my life”

For Mendoza, the surgery and the vast canvass she produced exploring how it made her feel was a form of protest.

“Living in a place where the climate of violence was so dense, I always refused to try to investigate and approach my own sexuality.”

According to the artist, every physical alteration also alters your mind.

“Undergoing surgery has given me confidence,” Mendoza said.

Arco Madrid will run until February 27. EFE


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