Cristina Garrido (esp)

#JWIITMTESDSA? (Just what is it that makes today´s exhibitions so different, so appealing?)
Mixed-media installation and HD video
(Project sponsored by Fundación Montemadrid for the prize Generación 2015)

Today, what criteria must a work of art fulfill in order to experience success on the international art scene?

I combed through well-known art magazine blogs as well as galleries and social media websites and gathered more than 2500 photos of art exhibitions from all over the world, dating from the past four years. I evaluated the picture archive looking for formal trends, and identified 21 categories, which constitute a kind of canon of the contemporary international exhibition business. This includes motifs, objects, materials and forms of presentation: ´Birds´, ´Bottles´, ´Canvases hanging directly on the wall´, ´Cardboard boxes´, ´Circles and spheres´, ´Classical antiquity´, ´Creased things on the floor´, ´Fans´, ´Folded things on the floor´, ´Grids´, ´Monoliths´, ´Neon´, ´Plants´, ´Quadrangular shapes on the floor´, ´Rocks´, ´Rugs´, ´Squared TV monitors´, ´Stands with hanging elements´, ´Things leaning on the wall and the floor´, ´Vertical flags´ and ´With wheels´.

I confronted 36 agents involved in the art world (artists, curators, art critics and historians, gallery directors, institution staff and collectors) from diverse countries with this canon and asked them questions about its possible causes and consequences: Is there a real democratization in the use of digital technologies? Who controls these legitimation devices and how far their influence can reach? What role do the various actors of the art system play in making these decisions?

This research took two independent forms: of a video and an installation consisting of a spatial collage of objects and materials loosely representing the various categories. They are set in relation to a soundtrack with representative reactions from the creatives I questioned.

As a continuation of this project, I configured a set of guidelines to be entirely interpreted by the curator/s of the exhibition where the installation is presented in the future.


• Spekulation und Gegenspekulation. Modelle sum Denken der Gegenwart, Joshua Simon (07/16) Springerin (Issue: Endlose Gegenwart?, 3/16) [German]
• An International Style of Contemporary Art?, Jürgen Tabor (04/15) Exhibition catalogue/ Worlds in Contradiction – Areas of Globalisation, Galerie im Taxispalais (Innsbruck, 2015) [English]
• #JWIITMTESDSA? Daniel Garza-Usabiaga (04/15) GASTV [Español]
• Cristina Garrido and the Aesthetics of Speculation, Joshua Simon (01/15). Exhibition catalogue/ Generación 2015, La Casa Encendida (Madrid, 2015) [English] [Español]
• Unfair Show. Francesco Giaveri (07/17) Exhibition text/ Unfair Show, : BARIL (Cluj-Napoca, 2017) [English] [Español]