ARCO Madrid 2023

22 - 26 February 2023 

For the 2023 edition of ARCO, Hua International proposes to exhibit a booth with new works by Alfredo Aceto, Rafael Domenech, Fanny Gicquel, Gordon Hall and Tong Kunniao. The artists in the presentation share an impulse to “de-center” and “destabilize” the art object: to take it down from its pedestal or off the wall and open it to transformation and flux. According to such an approach, artworks are not simply objects to behold—to look at—but instead something to be with, thereby transforming the object into a field of relation.

Alfredo Aceto’s practice includes film, installation, photography, text and sculpture, and is mainly concerned with the body and the biography. Using among others sculpture, film and sound, Alfredo Aceto creates spaces suspended between fiction and reality. His environments are places to live, in which one can find a sort of melancholy, artificial time alteration and image saturation. The objects he produces are traces, functional elements for the construction of the space where the blurred boundaries between his personal timeline and the collective one express the way chronology can be manipulate. His work arises from the will to create a place where would mix together the various strata of a linear form of time, turning into a platform from which signs of different ages emerge.

Rafael Domenech’s interdisciplinary practice utilises and explores notions of architecture, urban design, and publishing as research tactics for the production of different typologies of objects and spaces, such as experimental publications, pavilions, installations, and public programs that draw upon methodologies like cutting, redacting, revising, and circulation. He conceives of the exhibition space as an active site of production and exchange rather than a repository container, thus Domenech’s presentation at ARCO will garner the engagement of its visitors to enact the myriad installation possibilities of his works.

Fanny Gicquel primarily works in sculpture and installation, typically incorporating her artworks into non-hierarchal choreographed performances that address ephemerality, fragility, and the inherent plurality of the self. A constant flow of movement and flux extends through her objects, which subtle performances unfold with and through: thermotactile painting functions as a portal between worlds, words appear and disappear in multi-lingual anagrams and palindromes, glass vessels are activated by human breath and smoke. As Gicquel herself notes of her performative sculptural constellations, “they are all active, changing, escaping a definitive form to highlight the impermanence of things around us and to testify to the fragility of the world.”

Gordon Hall’s sculptures and performances bristle with a dual sense of familiarity and strangeness. His sculptural works recreate and “unmake” objects that typically recede into the background, recasting commonplace yet peripheral things in ways that compel those who witness them to consider the poetics of everyday objects: how they affect us emotionally, socially, and physically. The installation of his works at ARCO will call attention to their performative capacity, how motionless things might nonetheless possess a choreographic language. Often low, floor-skimming constellations, they draw the eye towards places that might otherwise be ignored or overlooked—and the resistance these spaces might offer in return.

Humor and absurdity are central concepts in Tong Kunniao's mode of presentation which he utilizes to challenge established social laws and the prevailing social status. His oeuvre consists of kinetic sculpture, painting and mixed-media installations, paired with his eccentric, mechanical object performances. He characteristically uses mass-produced goods, recyclable second-hand materials and found objects as elements to create installations. Tong’s work, on the one hand, is a reaction to rampant consumerism and the living conditions of industrial nations. On the other, it acts as a window to the spiritual world of the younger generation in China. His unique style and the impactful visual effects of his works allow the audience to become immersed in his world, whilst also encountering the novelty of familiar experiences. Freedom, balance, and gravity, are central themes in the artist’s idiosyncratic body of work.