The impact of cinema was, since its invention, the prelude to a whole discipline that continues to this day in constant evolution. The strength of the image and the appeal of the visual narrative has come to displace in many schools of arts the interest for more traditional forms of artistic expression. The world of contemporary creation did not escape this trend, and cinema, already consecrated as such, has been opening the way to other experimental forms that use the moving image as the main language.

René Magritte, “The Son of Man”, 1964

Frame from the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair”, 1999

We continue today talking about the 7th art as an unmistakable label to designate the cinema, without knowing very well where the classification comes from and what are the other previous six arts. Although classifying-tradition goes back to the time of ancient Greece, cradle par excellence of an artistic and technical wealthiness, and which also has rich mythology-stories to cover explanations for all kinds on the deeds of humanity, at that time the categorisation of the arts was based on combining both intellectual and physical aspects, resulting in enumerations that today are difficult for us to understand. Afterwards, the Romans assimilated this same tradition. Cicero spoke of three orders of arts: "Major Arts": military policy and strategy; "Medium Arts": science, poetry and rhetoric, and "Minor Arts": painting, sculpture, music, performance and athletics.

Left: Frame from “Meet Joe Black”, 1998 / Right: Mark Rothko, “Blue, Orange, Red”, 1961 (image from ©wikiart)

After many changes over the centuries, the classification handled today was established by the Italian artist Ricciotto Canudo in his treatise "Manifesto of the seven arts", of 1911, where he fixes this order as follows: 1) architecture, 2 ) sculpture, 3) painting, 4) music 5) poetry/literature, 6) dance and 7) cinema, list that has recently been enlarged with new disciplines such as photography, comics, video games, costumes or theater.

Goya, “Saturn Devouring His Children”, 1819-1823 (image from ©wikimedia)

Frame from the movie “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”, 2010

Beyond classifications, perhaps the cinema contains the potential to be a totalising art. Its capacity to refer all the other disciplines, to self-refer as well, and to be a vehicle of expression to which many multidisciplinary artists resort at one moment or another allows numerous readings and re-readings of the works. The seduction of the image tempts everyone and offers endless possibilities to capture new audiences and play with the fantasy of fiction. At the same time, it contains an accessible language and is an excellent way to recreate what has never been seen, what is not known or what has never existed.

Kandinsky, designs for “Der Blaue Reiter” almanac, 1911 (image from ©

Frame from the film “Double jeopardy”, 1999.

Within this path of "meta-art", we bring you some examples of films that refer to other pieces of art, not necessarily in films dedicated to the life of artists, as well as productions made by creators that ridicule the media impact of cinema itself. This is, for example, the type of work that characterises Banksy and his piece "Exit through the gift shop", a film of the genre "false documentary" that ironises about the artist's own work and has been able to generate curious spin-off beyond the work itself. So it has happened with Mr Brainwash, a sort of Banksy’s alter ego in the film, who has become an internationally renowned pop-contemporary artist.

We remind you that CaixaForum Madrid is projecting this piece within a cycle of "Art and Cinema", on Friday 29th at 7 pm.


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

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.