Along with the rest of Europe, the beginnings of video art in Spain are determined by the approach of plastic arts to this new medium, as the possibility of innovation within its aesthetic explorations gets underway.
Image in movement biennial ’90 exhibits a selection of works made between 1988 and 1990 whose common denominator is the use of video, film, television or computer, both as a support, and as a medium. The exhibition brings together a wide and varied set of works that are involved in some way with the term "image in movement" in its most extensive sense.
With the desire to give continuity to the project initiated at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía two years ago, Bienal de la imagen en movimiento ´92. Visionarios españoles repeats a similar call to the previous exhibition, but with the difference that all the selected, displayed and projected works are creations by Spanish artists. Even though the biennial has been designed as an exhibition, it is complemented by a series of film and video screenings, "which are a logical expansion of the exhibition", as noted by the curators of the exhibition, Carlota Álvarez Basso and Joseba M . Lopezortega.
Pre-eminent in the wave of conceptual art that emerges in Catalunya at the end of the Sixties, Eugènia Balcells (Barcelona, 1943), forging her career in New York, is one of the Spanish pioneers in the use and adoption of video as her primary medium and artistic support. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents Sincronías, five installations that explore video art practices but differ from the artist's previous projects involving social, cultural and anthropological order, instead placing humans at the very centre. Out of the five works, the piece that lends it name to the exhibition has been created exclusively for the occasion, while the rest date back to 1993. The exhibition is concluded with the projection of her first films, shown within the experimental Cinema Exhibition organised by the Museum, a presentation of two sessions with performances of her visual scores, in collaboration with the musicians Peter Van Riper and Llorenç Barber.
The exhibition El arte sucede. Origen de las prácticas conceptuales en España (1965-1980) (Art Happens: The Origin of Conceptual Practices in Spain 1965-1980) takes its title from James Whistler's saying “Art happens”. Whistler was an habitué to Stéphane Mallarmé's circle and worked in close proximity to his line of thought, the reflections of which contributed to establishing the basis of the interdisciplinary and supranational conception of art. The exhibition explores the appearance and development of Conceptual Art in Spain, bringing together an anthology of works realised by diverse artists with their own traits, linked by their experiences and interests whilst also sharing approaches with their international counterparts. These traits are defined by the multifarious relationship with popular culture, the social, the political, the subjective and the body itself.
This exhibition is an overview to understand how the recording, transmission and reproduction technology of sound and images born in 1950, and technically different from cinema, became artistic media. It examines the influence of technology and mass culture in social and artistic changes in an era of cultural acceleration and proliferation of ideas. In this way 1968 marks a before and after, as that was the year when a relatively affordable portable television appeared on the market, opening up the media to a vast new group of people.