Natura, ARTFEM 2020 an Embrace to the World
ARTFEM 2020, the second edition of the ARTFEM Women Artists International Biennial of Macau, revolves around the theme Natura. By adopting a thematical strategy, the curatorial team pursued two intents: one, it aimed at creating a unified exhibition in which all artists reflected personally about a globally relevant topic, the natural world, and two, to pay tribute to women’s role in bringing the environment crisis to the foreground. As such, while Natura reflects women’s relationship with nature, in general, and the inner nature of ourselves, it equally procures to acknowledge various acts of social agency that have been and are being practiced by women.
Natura constitutes an act of resistance: conceptually set to open on Women’s International Day, March 8th, every other year, this second edition was postponed due to the emergence of COVID-19 outbreak that affected the whole world and Macau SAR, in January 2020, provoking the city’s early lockdown. Macau’s effective control of the pandemic crisis, by local Health Authorities, led the organization to reschedule the show to September 30th, 2020.
We feel this responsibility but also the joy and the courage to not turn our backs on the pandemic. We assume her face to face, eye to eye, and we will not give her a break.
The most patient are waiting passively for the miraculous vaccines. We fought olympically against this tremendously treacherous, silent, invisible and globally lethal enemy. I stand that even with vaccines the situation will not be resolved, so we have to invent ways to live with the pandemic and, especially, its diabolical protagonist.
In this sense, we have not given up in organizing this event and confronting the virus, with all the self-defense precautions issued by the local and international Health Authorities. No virus can atrophy the roots of thought or the flowering of creativity in the world. Life without art is like a body without a soul, vampirizing itself in a murky existence that no artist wants for himself. Nor does humanity expect its soul to fade away. Viva! Long live artists from around the world!
ARTFEM 2020 decided to pursue with its intention, but the exhibition suffered changes: some artists, finding themselves in lockdown, never had the opportunity to finish their works. Others had to remake their works entirely because traveling to Macau SAR was restricted. And others were caught in the indirect consequences of lockdown, specifically the economic instability that equally affected this edition. But the heart of the artists is bigger than the world, so, with determination and humility, we did not give up organizing it, and here the answer was tremendously enthusiastic, at the international level: in addition to the solidarity of the artists, in all aspects, almost a hundred artists from all over the world present themselves at this Biennial, through more than one hundred and thirty works, of painting, sculpture, drawing, installations, printmaking, video, photography and ceramics.
Therefore, my grateful thanks and on behalf of the Organization, goes to all of them. Naturally, I also want to thank the Godmothers, the members of the Council of Honour, the local authorities, the Macau associations and the private companies that have always supported us, the media partners and, finally, all my dear colleagues in the Organization.
As the Amazon Pantanal burns and the seals are extinct in their Natura, it grows within each artist and in each of us, in the innermost of our inner Natura, new forests of hope under a blue sky and creations with life who claim for tomorrow a Natura equal or better than our parents and grandparents had.
As a pregnant woman generates another being within her, Mother Natura generates within all of us a new life, a new symphony, where the orchestra is all the female artists of the world.
President of the ARTFEM 2020 Organizing Committee and Albergue SCM / ALBcreativeLAB
President of the Organizing Committee