May 25, 2020

The 5 ARCO controversies (before «Ninot»)

The 5 ARCO controversies (before «Ninot»)

That ARCO is a fair that gives headlines is a truth as a temple and that every year there is a work that stands as a protagonist, too. The already outgoing Carlos Urroz knows it well after having experienced first-hand some of the most talked about controversies, such as "Ninot", by Santiago Sierra and Eugenio Merino, which undoubtedly has been the subject of controversy these days.

These are some of the most talked about:

«Starway to heaven» (2010):

Eugenio Merino provoked the wrath of several religions with this "Ladder to Heaven", a sculpture in which an Arab could be seen praying, a Catholic priest on it and on the top a rabbi. The Israeli embassy in Spain complained.

«Always Franco» (2012):

Again Eugenio Merino at the center of the controversy. It cost him a lawsuit with the Francisco Franco Foundation he won. In it the caudillo, a figure made with enormous verisimilitude, appeared inside a freezer. He took headlines and "selfies."

«There is no bread for so much chorizo» (2015):

The indignant work of such an explicit headline was signed by Antoni Miralda. The 15-M was in full swing and it was time for the protest works. The piece was made on a dough that was similar to cookies and the letters were edible ink.

«Congress topless» (2014):

The Frenchman Yann Leto formed this installation-performance, not suitable for children under 18 in which two strippers danced in a bar. There were two passes per day that were overcrowded. It could be seen in the T-20 gallery in Murcia, which was not selected the following year.

«Political prisoners» (2018)

Santiago Sierra was the author of the work that Ifema withdrew last edition of the fair. Presented by the Helga de Alvear gallery and retired to "avoid controversy", it identified the Jordis and Junqueras as political prisoners. The work (24 pixelated photographs) was sold as a unique work before opening ARCO 2018 for 80,000 euros. Tatxo Benet, its owner, has just walked around Madrid.


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