BREAKING UP THE MOLDS OF TRADITIONAL MUSEUM

Progress to make art accessible to the public, overcome barriers and break down formats becomes more evident when we move in the field of urban creation. This discipline evolves in the thin line that separates the manifestations as true artistic expressions or as acts of vandalism, in spite of the fact that social valuation of these works has considerably moved forward. Contemporary art continues to be the natural field in which stronger and more flexible channels of communication between citizens and artists are woven.

‘Voltagem’, by Tétis & Hazul, in Alfândega da Fé

The project "Public Art" of the Electricity Foundation of Portugal (EDP) responds to this sort of utopia, whose essence consists of revitalising recondite villages and filling them with plastic proposals. Cemeteries, power stations, barracks, water tanks ... are the canvases scattered throughout the country willing to contribute to a transformation that actively involves all agents.

'Mar', by Priscilla Ballarin, in São João da Ribeira

The novelty of this project lies in the fact that all the artistic proposals are previously approved in assembly by the people who live in the place. It is an example of a collaborative initiative that involves locals with creators and tends to build solid bridges of communication, so that mural art is no longer seen as the burst of a furtive artist who clandestinely wants to leave a mark on someone else's property to understand the vehicular role that a plastic work can have for an entire community.

Intervention in the dam Bemposta, by Pedro Cabrita Reis

João Pinharanda, in charge of this macro project, and with a wide trajectory in the museum sphere, recognises that the initial challenges were many. In the first place, a drastic change in the game of "who is who" in the art sector and in the redefinition of those stereotyped roles of the curator, the museum director, the artist and the visitor. All that wouldn't have worked in a proposal like this, where the key is to give the floor to the people and put the work at their service.

Wall by Samina and Alecrim on an electric unit, in Assentiz (Ribatejo)

Each area of intervention has a fairly modest budget that does not cover all the costs of the intervention, materials and artists, but the aim is to achieve collaboration from everybody and to articulate creative processes that involve the community. The commitment of the artists to the proposal is unconditional. And that of the host towns as well, who host artists during their work stays as visitors of honour. An exchange experience in which everyone learns and builds. By 2020, EDP will have reached 40 Portuguese municipalities.

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.