“We are here” is an artistic action by Yolanda Domínguez with the collaboration of María Gimeno that aims at giving visibility to women artists. The action took place on February 21st, at the opening of the ARCO international art fair, the most important platform for Spanish contemporary art, and where the low participation of female artists is evident year after year.
Women have not only been excluded from history on the whole but also from Art History. They very rarely appear in books or in museum collections. The Prado, the most important museum in Spain, has on display only 4 works made by women and has held just 1 solo show by a woman artist in its 200 years of existence. According to the data collected by MAV (Women in the Visual Arts), ARCO 2017 closed with a bleak rate of female participation: only 5 out of 100 artists were Spanish women. This scarce representation in the art world added to the lack of critical capacity to analyze the causes and finding solutions, generates an inertia that perpetuates the oblivion of women artists.
“We are here” is an action carried out collectively by independent artists and women from different art collectives such as La Caja de Pandora, MAV, Empoderarte and Clásicas y Modernas. The artists walked around the fair aisles wearing a headband with a large red geolocation sign on their heads, like those used by the Google Maps application. These symbols stood out above the crowd with the aim of creating a wake-up call.
The action also had an online branch carried out in social networks through the hashtag #estamosaquí that made possible the participation of women artists from different parts of Spain who could not physically attend the fair, as well as students of Fine Arts, historians and other women working within the art field.
“We are here” makes us visible within a space, providing the possibility for people to approach artists and engage in conversation with them in order to know their work.
“We are here” refers to the collective, to artists silenced throughout history, those who are currently active and those who will be in the future.