Maribel López, director of the fair: “Last year’s edition will not mark us negatively”


ARCOMadrid will return on July 7 with a face-to-face edition, after being one of the last cultural events to be held before the coronavirus pandemic, and it will do so with a renewal: the obligation of masks, around the 40,000 daily capacity and with an ‘extra’ day for the professionals.

For this new edition, which was on the air in the worst moments of the pandemic, the director of the fair, Maribel López, has reiterated in an interview with Europa Press the importance of the place where it will be held, Ifema Madrid, a space “very sure”. ARCOMadrid will reduce its usual capacity by half and masks will be mandatory, with three days for professionals – usually there were two. Saturday and Sunday will remain days for the general public.

Precisely, in the case of capacity, the maximum allowed would be up to 75%, but due to “a security decision”, this year’s edition will be able to host a maximum of about 40,000 people every day. In addition, there will be temperature measurements, although other measures such as the requirement of a test have been ruled out.

“The legislation does not oblige us to present tests or anything like that so we are not going to do it. Of course, what has happened and the current situation has made us think things differently,” Lopez acknowledged, who points out that the recent celebration of Fitur has already “verified the security of the venue.

“The fair was in a very good place when I took it and my decision was to take things easy. But this is unsettling and we have to rethink, although there is an immovable base: the galleries must be good and present good projects,” he pointed out. López did not want to point to any in particular, but he did acknowledge that for this edition, even with the pandemic present, “galleries will be missed.

Precisely, the director of ARCO has recognized that this health situation has led to the celebration planned for the 40th anniversary, since the fair is “going to take a while” regarding this. “Next year we will celebrate 40 + 1, we will extend the birthday celebration and what we will do is re-celebrate,” he added.

“Here there were some galleries that had to be and could not come and that is what we postpone for next year,” said López, who also recognizes that since the fair they are working with “broader geographical ideas” in the face of to the guest country. “Yes we are going to places, but I do not know if so much to a country,” he added.

In any case, the director of ARCO has ensured that the celebration of this event last year – the days before the outbreak of the health crisis due to the coronavirus – has not meant “a negative mark” for the fair.

“Definitely no, it has not marked us in a negative way nor will it in any case. In fact, the possibility of doing this new edition in person has been highly celebrated by galleries and collectors from the world of art,” he explained in a interview with Europa Press the director.


Asked about the situation in the sector, she qualifies as “exceptional news” that most of the galleries “are there” and that “they are not closing after a year and a half” of crisis due to the coronavirus. “This shows that it has grown economically and in relationships to be able to keep working with clients and inventing things. I would highlight the great resistance and adaptation they have shown,” he said.

For López, the aid is “fundamental” this year, especially for galleries and for participation in international fairs. Looking back at ARCO’s news, he believes that in this edition questions about “the sustainability of the sector or learning more about what the future of creation will be like” will be “very important”.

ARCO will also have spaces for projects by women artists, something that “we must insist on and not leave it in a gesture”, in addition to a common ‘telematic’ space for the Latin American galleries that requested to participate and have not been able to attend finally by The restrictions. On the controversy that usually exists in some editions, López asks that “stay away.” “It disperses the attention of what is important, because art needs to be seen calmly,” he concluded.

By Editor

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