As part of the celebration of the activities to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of ARCOmadrid, the exhibition ARCO. Recorridos Fotográficos (ARCO. Photographic Tours) is presented at the Centro Cultural Conde Duque. Curated by Rafael Doctor Roncero, the project brings together images produced by over eighty artists throughout the successive editions of the ARCOmadrid Art Fair, founded and inaugurated in 1982.

The exhibition is the product of a unique documentation programme that ARCO and IFEMA have been carrying out since 1988, conceived by the Friends of ARCO Association as an activity to commemorate the 150th  anniversary of photography invention. After that first edition of what was called Recorridos Fotográficos, the activity was carried out at each edition of the art fair, generating an original archive of the evolution of ARCO and the Spanish art scene. Until this year the archive had not been exhibited. "Each artist was invited to work in a personal way on ARCO as a field of action, looking at it or interpreting it from the point of view they considered", explains Rafael Doctor Roncero, curator of the programme from 1997 to the present —role occupied by Myriam de Liniers between 1988 and 1996. And adds: "There was no other type of premise, only that they used the photographic image as the basis for their work".

"Sin título", de Cristina Lucas (Jaén, 1973), 2004. Ph: Institución Ferial de Madrid (IFEMA)

All the photographs that complete this essential collection of more than 450 artworks that have been accumulated over 32 years are now visible thanks to a deposit-commodatum signed in January 2021 by IFEMA and Madrid City Council. In short, this agreement meant that the Recorridos Fotográficos became part of the collection of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Madrid for a period of fifteen years, with the possibility of extension. Until now, the works were kept at the Artium Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, in Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Inaugurated on February 4th in Room 1 of the Exhibition Hall of the Conde Duque Cultural Centre, ARCO. Recorridos Fotográficos has two main values that are complementary. On the one hand, the exhibition can be understood as a fundamental documentary archive of one of the art fairs with greatest impact and trajectory on the international contemporary art scene. On the other hand, it is also an artistic collection: each of the images —taken by more than eighty artists— offers a unique perspective of ARCOmadrid, forming a photographic anthology that goes beyond a testimonial or journalistic nature. 

These two axes that run through the collection end up interweaving a body that oscillates between documentary photography and fine art photography. In a context of hybridisation of photography in particular and the arts in general, the patience and care with which IFEMA and ARCO have taken on this project to exhibit it until now is admirable and demonstrates the capacity that these institutions have for understanding the cultural environment and the interests of the public and various agents of the art industry.    

Finally, the exhibition is of exceptional value for those who wish to deepen their understanding of the photographic device. Always dealing with the same object of observation —the art fair— each of the photographs exhibited addresses the work commissioned by the programme Recorridos Fotográficos from very different languages and approaches. It also establishes a brief history of the medium and its evolution over the generations of artists, mainly Spanish, and their perspective in relation to contemporary production and the art market.



Exhibited artists: Aitor Saraiba, Alberto García-Alix, Alexander Apóstol, Alicia Martín, Ana Laura Aláez, Ana Teresa Ortega, Ángel Marcos, Antonio Macarro, Augusto Alves da Silva, Bernard Plossu, Biel Capllonch, Bruce Gilden, Carles Congost, Carmela García, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Cristina Lucas, David Moore, Euardo Momeñe, Enrique Marty, Fabio Paleari, Fernando Herráez, Gabriel Cualladó, Gabriele Basílico, Gerardo Custance, Gonzalo Puch, Hugo de la Rosa Paulet, Humberto Rivas, Jana Leo, Joan Fontcuberta, Jorge Galindo, Manuel Laguillo, Manuel Sonseca, Marina Núñez, Marta María Pérez Bravo, Marta Sentis, Martín Sastre, Miguel Ángel Tornero, Miguel Río Branco, Miguel Trillo, Pierre Gonnord, Raúl Ursúa Astrain, Rogelio López Cuenca, Sergio Belinchón, Tony Catany, Txomin Badiola, Urraco, Xavier Lambours, Xavier Ribas.




Exhibition: ARCO. Recorridos Fotográficos (ARCO. Photographic Tours)

Curator: Rafael Doctor Roncero, Recorridos Fotográficos programme curator since 1997.

When: 04/ 02/ 2021 - 04/ 04/ 2021

Where: Centro Cultural Conde Duque