Gabriela Bettini

Artist selected by Duero, Javier at 2010

I seek to represent everyday situations, imagined settings with real reminiscences, hiding certain obsessions, desires and fantasies. The atmospheres I create evoke calm or unease, loneliness, humour, intimacy… and blur the line between real and staged, ‘truth’ and simulation.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
It wasn’t so much of a decision as a childhood dream I always worked on. The important thing was to remain true, to keep the faith completely at difficult times. I work on art because I love it and I have fun doing it. I’ve certainly lost more than a few nights’ sleep over it, but I’m very happy when I feel I’m onto something. I like the feeling of admiring or being moved by other artists’ work and those moments when I’d like to have been the author of certain pieces, because it spurs me on to work myself.


2. How would you define your work?
My work is somewhat perverse, since it is presented as well finished, ordered, clean, but a closer reading reveals details that aren’t picked up at first sight. What in principle seems like an engaging approach gradually gives way to something more awkward with a heavy air of strangeness. It’s like an impeccable curtain that hides a great confusion.


3. What subjects are you interested in?
Loneliness, intimacy, memories, obsessions… I’m interested in representing situations where ‘something has happened’, where you can sense the presence of decisions, stirrings, dramas or minor passions. I also question domestic space as a supposedly safe environment and try to rethink it as an ephemeral, collapsible set, where the foundations shake and objects easily change shape and move around.


4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
In my recent projects, domestic objects are clearly centre stage. I modify them and take them out of context to create pseudo-realities that play with credible, simulated, monstrous, fantastical… I sometimes directly deconstruct, arrange and assemble objects and also introduce painting and drawing to stage them. Occasionally I intervene in spaces to provoke discreet, disturbing changes.


5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
One of the missions of my work is to question reality, which I never completely leave behind. I work with existing objects, but also make use of photography, the form of apprehending reality par excellence.


6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
I see art as a way of processing, analysing and understanding reality - footnotes to make you think about your own existence or sketch out lines of thought. Art creates a different kind of experience to other forms of production and its messages therefore contain a degree of responsibility. Artists have to be acutely aware of our activity’s social function, as well as the genre, class and place we’re talking from.


7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
My work plays visual tricks and twists perception, so first and foremost I hope the audience reacts by joining in. Besides that, I’d like them to find new, unexpected meanings, depending on each individual viewer’s own experience. I try to enjoy the creative process and not worry too much about the audience’s reaction. However, I do make an effort to ensure my work isn’t too personal, has a certain poetry and whispers things in the ears of people who come close enough.


8. What qualifications have you got?  What do you value most from your time in education?
I graduated in fine art and studied two postgraduate courses (Master’s) in theory and practice of contemporary art in Madrid and London. However, I see education in art, as in many other areas, as lifelong learning.
From my time in education, I value meeting some excellent teachers. I also appreciate the opportunity of going abroad to experience other forms of approaching art and how to teach it.


9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
I’ve had a somewhat schizophrenic life for the past five years dividing my time between the office and the studio. The time came when I couldn’t bear it anymore and in recent months I took the major step of leaving my office job to dedicate myself fully to art and working independently. I wasn’t under any illusions about making this decision and at the moment my income as an artist is unstable. The question is whether or not I’ll eventually be able to stabilise my situation and whether I can keep going until that day arrives. In the future I’d like to live a life in keeping with my desires and spend as much time as possible on art, be it creating, thinking about it or coordinating art-related programmes.


10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
Just as projects often have to be moulded to fit the space available to create them in, I think they also have to adapt to the budget available. Sometimes I come up with pieces that would require a major outlay, even though I’m well aware I can’t see them through at the moment. In these cases, they remain in a latent state whilst I work on other more feasible projects, until the opportunity presents itself to carry them out – perhaps thanks to a prize, space, etc. So I’d say economic factors have a bearing in that they slow down certain ideas, but they don’t paralyse me.


11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
I get the impression that there are lots of artists and few opportunities. The competition for finding a space for yourself is tough and this strengthens the idea that the legitimising process only runs in one direction: cultural agents ‘select’ an artist, who is at a disadvantage because their visibility depends on this selection. I’ve met people who only go for safe bets, but I’ve also been lucky enough to find promoters and curators willing to support up-and-coming artists.


12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
I don't think Madrid has managed to position itself as a cultural capital representative of a major arts scene. In terms of artists and cultural agents, I’d say at the moment we haven’t managed to create an intergenerational network to bolster and support us, although there are promising initiatives, especially in terms of new spaces.


Curriculum vitae

Gabriela Bettini Loyarte
Madrid, 1977.
Vive y trabaja en/Lives and works in: Madrid.

Formación Académica/Education
Postgrado en Innovación cultural/Graduate Cultural Innovate: artes, medios digitales y cultura popular, UOC-LABoral, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón (on-line).


MA in Fine Arts, University of East London, London.


Máster en Teoría y Práctica de las Artes Plásticas Contemporáneas/Master in the Theory and Practice of Contemporary Visual Arts,, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Beca/Grant Erasmus-Sócrates, Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom.


Licenciada en Bellas Artes/Bachelor of Fine Arts, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Exposiciones Individuales/Solo Exhibitions
La casa roja, La Fresh Gallery, Madrid y Galería Mundo Nuevo, Buenos Aires.

Acentos, Museo Evita, Buenos Aires.

Algunas de aquellas historias, Casa de América Latina, Lisboa.
Un tiempo casi cercano, Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires.


Pasado presente, Galería Asm28, Madrid.


Increíble pero incierto, Espacio Kaplan DF, Madrid.


Cuarto y Mitad, Galería Arte Veintiuno, Madrid.


La vida no vivida, Teatro Auditorium, Mar del Plata, Argentina.
La mirada rota, Fondation Argentine, Paris.
Dislocar la memoria, Centro Cultural Islas Malvinas, La Plata, Argentina.


Paisajes del Tránsito, Centro de Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid.


Exposiciones Colectivas/Group Exhibitions
Premio de Pintura Focus-Abengoa, Fundación Focus-Abengoa, Sevilla. 

Los siete fantásticos, Galería Asm28, Madrid.

Just Madrid, Galería Asm28
Escala 1:1. Archivo de Creadores, Matadero Madrid.
The noise of bubbles. Red Bull Music Academy, Matadero Madrid.
Feria Espacio Atlántico, Galería Asm28, Vigo.
Anacronías, Fondation Argentine, Paris.


Lenguajes en papel, Galería Fernando Pradilla, Madrid.
Casa abierta / Open house 2010, Embajada de Argentina, London.
URRA - Estudios abiertos, Talleres BSM, Buenos Aires.
URRA - Artistas en Residencia, Delinfinito Art, Buenos Aires.
Art Madrid 2010, Stand de Conmemoración de los Bicentenarios, Pabellón de Cristal, Casa de Campo, Madrid.


Domésticos '08 (El papel del Artista. Uno más uno: multitud), Madrid.


El jardín, Jardines del Descubrimiento, La Noche en Blanco, Madrid.
5ª Bienal de Arte Contemporáneo de Vic, H.Associació per les Arts Contemporànies, Vic, Barcelona.
30 años: Estéticas de la Memoria, Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires.
Muestra de Arte InJuve, Sala Amadís, InJuve, Madrid.


Reflections on distance, University of East London, London.


Recuerdos inventados, XV Edición Circuitos de Artes Plásticas y Fotografía, Sala de Exposiciones del Centro de Arte Joven, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid; Centro Cultural La Asunción, Diputación de Albacete; Capilla del Oidor, Fundación Colegio del Rey, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid.


El umbral de la memoria, Ponencia en el ciclo de conferencias Performances of Memory in the Arts. International Conference, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nederland.
Nada es más real, Estudio abierto, Madrid.


Reflex, Estudio abierto, AVAM, La Noche en Blanco, Madrid.


Actividades Acacémicas Relacionadas/Academic Related Activities
Taller de Autoestima para Artistas, Extensión Universitaria, Facultad de Bellas Artes, UCM (impartido junto a Elena Almagro).

Recuerdos Inventados, Seminario de investigación sobre la Postmemoria. Invitada por el Proyecto de investigación del CSIC “Filosofía después del Holocausto”.


El umbral de la memoria, Ponencia en el ciclo de conferencias “Performances of Memory in the Arts. International Conference”, Radboud University Nijmegen (28 y 29 de mayo), Nederland.

Otros Proyectos/Other Projects
Nada es más real. Estudio abierto, Madrid.


Reflex. Estudio abierto, convocatoria de AVAM para la Noche en Blanco de Madrid.


Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
II Premio de dibujo del Museo ABC, Feria JustMad3, Madrid. (Finalista/Finalist)

URRA – Residencia Internacional de Artistas en Buenos Aires, Beca del Centro Cultural de España en Buenos Aires. (Selección/Selected)


Beca Taller de Artes Visuales InJuve, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid. (Selección/Selected)


Premio de Creación Artística de la Comunidad de Madrid, Consejería de Cultura y Turismo, Comunidad de Madrid. (Selección/Selected)


Muestra de Arte InJuve, Instituto de Juventud, Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales, Madrid. (Selección/Selected)
El Mal de Archivo, Jornadas de Estudio de la Imagen, Sala de Exposiciones Canal de Isabel II, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid. (Selección/Selected)
Certamen Jóvenes Creadores, Ayuntamiento de Madrid. (Selección/Selected)


Beca Fundació La Caixa, British Council, Estudios de Postgrado United Kingdom. (Selección/Selected)
XV Edición Circuitos de Artes Plásticas y Fotografía, Consejería de Cultura y Deportes, Comunidad de Madrid. (Selección/Selected)
Certamen Jóvenes Creadores, Ayuntamiento de Madrid. (Accésit)


Concurso de Artes Visuales Premio Miquel Casablancas, Ayuntamiento de Barcelona. (Selección/Selected)
Certamen Jóvenes Creadores, Ayuntamiento de Madrid. (Accésit)


García, Luis Ignacio, "Políticas de la memoria y de la imagen. Ensayos sobre una actualidad político-cultural", Colección Teoría 23, Universidad de Chile, Cap. 4, pp. 93-96.
Moriente, David, "Microcuentos", Rinconete. Revista del Centro Virtual Cervantes, 17/II/2011.
VVAA, 03-08 Premios de Creación Artística de la Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid, Consejería de Cultura y Turismo de la Comunidad de Madrid. Dirección General de Archivos, Museos y Bibliotecas, 2009, Cat. Exp.
Blejmar, Jordana, Anacronismos, El río sin orillas. Revista de Filosofía, Cultura y Política, n.2, Buenos Aires, X/2008, pp. 200-211.
Murría, Alicia, Muestra de Arte Injuve 2005, Madrid, InJuve, Instituto de la Juventud, 2006, Cat. Exp.
Antón Puigventós, Mireia, Muestra de Arte Injuve 2005, Madrid, InJuve, Instituto de la Juventud, 2006, Cat. Exp.
VVAA, Registros Imposibles: El Mal de Archivo, Madrid, Consejería de Cultura y Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid, 2006, Cat. Exp.
Murría, Alicia, XV Edición Circuitos de Artes Plásticas y Fotografía 2003, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid, 2003, Cat. Exp.




La casa roja

La casa despojada