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Interview with independent curator Virginia Torrente


Do you find your inspiration cross-border?
Hello! I can find my inspiration as curator everywhere, that means at home reading and thinking, at artists studios, talking with colleagues, at museums and kusthalles, galleries, and all kind of exhibition and non exhibition spaces, on the streets in my own city or abroad when travelling, also on the countryside, mountains and seasides, and back at home again!

Do you pay attention to what is done abroad?
Of course I pay attention to what’s done abroad, closer and far away, as nearest and further away as I can, because when it is not possible to do it in person, there’s so many other ways to stay connected to what seems interesting. Contemporary art is happening  worldwide and has so many different ways of appearing that as long as one is curious -and I consider that the base of being curator- you really have to pay attention to it, and that is endless!

What do you think about making the different artistic scenes meet with each other?
Linking this with the previous question and answer, there’s no doubt that all agents working in contemporary art -artists, curators, gallerists, museums teams and so on- we do need to stay put to each other and within each other, connected to the different artistic scenes whether they are local, national, international… each one of any artistic scene leads to another, wider or smaller, and within the effort of all people is the way to make each scene unique… the smaller the scene is, the more it needs to be linked to other one abroad… for example, as important is to artists to attend residency programs as it is for curators to visit biennals and gallery weekends and artists studios elsewhere… what I mean is, all that is part of our regular work, starting from the local to make it wider.

Would you as curator be interested in discovering European artists work?
This is a question that could be almost offensive since of course it is part of my regular job! What is local? What is European? That opens a wide spectrum for a long discussion… Culture has no frontiers and Europe, within its great diversities, needs to be strongly connected without borders. I was 3 weeks ago in Porto, Portugal, on a trip for visiting studios -and galleries too- and try to do this kind of research on field as much and often as I can.

How is it important to you to visit galleries?
Visiting galleries is as important for me as visiting artists studios an exhibitions at institutions. Many times, visiting a show in a gallery is the first step to know the work of an artist that I didn’t know before, so I also keep track of openings, not only in Madrid where I live, but in the rest of Spain, Europe, and around the world.

According to you, what is the main benefit of curating an exhibition during a GW?
To curate a show during a GW gives the curator and extra on visibility, -as it gives the same to the galleries and artists taking part of it- meaning that, being involved in a multi-opening operation, there’s more public visiting and the focus is bigger. Enthusiasm is contagious!

Would you like to travel on the occasion of a GW?
To  attend a gallery weekend is a great occasion always, as simple as to know better the local contemporary art scene and the people involved on it, indeed!

Which arts scene/gallery scene is (the most) attractive to you?
As you ask me, you can imagine that I love the art scene in Madrid, the one that I live in! It is special because is so open and so lively! It may be due to our character? When there’s Madrid GWs, attending is massive, and there’s like two different areas in the city where galleries concentrate so there’s a big flow of people coming and going from one to the other, everybody chatting and giving clues, opinions and recomendations of what is best to see… It’s a great party! Also, related to artists living and working in Madrid, many of them are not born in the city, and I have to say that they have created during past years an incredible network of shared studios, independent exhibitions, tips for making a very strong force for their job, being artist, that is hard enough without the help of colleagues!

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