HAPPY 2018 WORLD BOOK DAY!

Fortunately, speaking today of the World Book Day is something familiar. It is a consolidated celebration that we all look forward to. Spring and good weather come, and walks in the park and reading a book are one of the greatest pleasures in life.

Artwork by Alicia Martín in A Cidade da Cultura, Santiago de Compostela

April 23rd is a designated date. We celebrate the anniversary of the death of Cervantes, along with the birth of Shakespeare, in 1616, as well as other important milestones for universal literature. For this reason, UNESCO decided in 1995 to dedicate a day to this celebration, and since 1996 it is celebrated worldwide, although the organisation of fairs and meetings around the book are much earlier. In fact, in Spain the first book fair is recorded in 1926 during the reign of Alfonso XIII.

There are many activities ongoing on these dates. We can highlight the exhibition "Pasa pagina. An invitation to read", in the National Library Museum. It is a proposal in which visitors are invited to reflect on the role of reading and the impact on people's personal lives. What does reading mean? A tour completed with audio and visual elements, photographs and books gathered under the maxim "the more you read, the more you live". A great truth.

Paradoxically, the Madrid Book Fair (the 77th edition) is held within a month in the Retiro park, this year with Romania as the guest country. This meeting is the ideal occasion to combine different artistic disciplines where boundaries are blurred and confused, starting with the poster of the fair, made this year by the illustrator Paula Bonet, or booths dedicated to the artist book or publishers focused on mixed illustration and narrative projects.

And for those who want to get started in art with a good reading, we bring you a short list of recommendations:

“Letters to Theo” (Vincent Van Gogh): compiles the letters that Van Gogh sent to his brother Theo and are a direct testimony of the personal artistic experience of this essential author.

“Salvador Dalí: the diary of a genius” (Salvador Dalí): a personal diary to know the most hidden intimacy of this genius so often described as lunatic.

"Leonardo da Vinci. The biography", by Walter Isaacson. This writer has already addressed the biography of other great masters. On this occasion, he reviews the vital story of this renaissance figure that is still up-to-date.

"Joan Miro. The child who spoke with trees", by Josep Massot. The writer has made a profound investigation into the life of this iconic artist of the 20th century around which there is still a great ignorance.

"Guernica. The unknown masterpiece", by José María Juarranz. This book is the result of several years of research that deals with the historical, political, social and personal context that motivated the realization of this masterpiece of the 20th century.

The cultural agenda gradually recovers after the health-crisis halt and art lovers are eager to enjoy the rich cultural offer that the different spaces and museums throughout our geography have to offer. In addition, one must remember that these centres have made an enormous effort to adapt to the demands that the new situation imposes and have created abundant online-accessible content to overcome confinement. We bring you a selection of content that can be visited both in person and through the web. There is no excuse for not enjoying contemporary art again.

Olafur Eliasson, “En la vida real (In real life)”, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao continues with its exhibition dedicated to Olafur Eliasson and offers numerous resources to understand not only the exhibition but also the work of the centre in the assembly and installation process. The website allows us to expand content with interviews with the artist, the download of the audio guide and the vision of the curator Lucía Aguirre, who offers us different video-pills on the pieces in the exhibition.

"Olafur Eliasson: in real life" brings together a part of this artist's work since 1990 through sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations that play with reflections and colours. Likewise, the integration of elements such as moss, water, ice, fog... put the visitor in a situation that confuses the senses and tries to challenge the way we perceive our environment and move in it.

Regina de Miguel, “Isla Decepción”, 2017

The Botín Centre in Santander hosts the exhibition "Collecting processes: 25 years of Itineraries" which brings together the work of 25 of the 210 scholarship recipients who, to date, have enjoyed the Botín Foundation Plastic Arts Scholarship, started in 1993. With the works Lara Almárcegui, Basma Alsharif, Leonor Antunes, Javier Arce, Erick Beltrán, David Bestué, Bleda and Rosa, Nuno Cera, Patricia Dauder, Patricia Esquivias, Karlos Gil, Carlos Irijalba, Adrià Julià, Juan López, Rogelio López Cuenca, Renata Lucas, Mateo Maté, Jorge Méndez Blake, Regina de Miguel, Leticia Ramos, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Teresa Solar Abboud, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Jorge Yeregui, David Zink-Yi, the exhibition is a good example of up-to-date and young contemporary art contributed by artists with very diverse profiles.

Clemente Bernad. Series “Ante el umbral”, Madrid, 2020

The Reina Sofía Museum wanted to create a visual chronicle of what the confinement and the tragic numbers of infected and deceased have meant for the lives of many of us: a tale of pain, nostalgia and uncertainty made by the photographer Clemente Bernad. This exhibition, curated by Jorge Moreno Andrés, is entitled “Before the threshold”, a title that expresses the strange sensation that occurs when faced with something new and unknown, something that we cannot control or avoid, and that we all must go through. The alteration imposed on our lives unexpectedly is reflected in the streets, transformed into places of solitude and abandonment where life has been paralysed.

Mario Merz / No title, Triplo Igloo, 1984 MAXXI Collection

At the IVAM, the exhibition "What is our home?" brings together works from the IVAM collection and the MAXXI centre in Rome to propose a reflection on the space we inhabit seen from a personal and social perspective. It is about investigating the value that these spaces have as a home or refuge, as well as part of a city or community.

The exhibition, curated by José Miguel G. Cortés, also wants to delve into the feeling of those who feel like foreigners anywhere, because they do not identify with the habits or customs of the society, they do not fit into these social patterns, and home becomes the only shelter space that can adapt to their identity needs.

Martha Rosler, frame from “Backyard Economy I-II”, 1974 © Courtesy of Martha Rosler, 2020

Es Baluard Museu is committed to video creation and performance and hosts the monographic exhibition “Martha Rosler. How do we get there from here?” dedicated to this New York artist who pioneered the use of video as a mechanism for social and political analysis. This exhibition includes various works, from video to photography and several publications, which synthesise her main lines of discourse. Her concern for public policies and the social equality of women has led her to actively participate in numerous social movements in La Havana, New York, Mexico DC or Barcelona, and these experiences are present in one way or another in her work.

With the curatorship of Inma Prieto, a selection has been made within the abundant production of this artist, which presents one of the most coherent careers in towards-the-new-Millenium contemporary art.

Image from file, via meiac.es/turbulence/archive/acceso.html

The MEIAC - Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, host the works of the prestigious international digital art archive "Turbulence", a platform dedicated to network and hybrid art. In view of the inevitable closure of this institution, the MEIAC has offered to host all this valuable content collected since 1996. The uploading of the file also served as an opportunity to restore numerous pieces and convert formats so that files that had become obsolete remain readable by new systems. A huge job of conservation and updating that can be enjoyed online today. The archive is made up of hundreds of digital works from around the world that can now be visited remotely.