Re-discovering the Architecture in the Capital

Façade-view of the Instituto Eduardo Torroja, built in 1953.

 

 

This Friday 29th of September the 14th Edition of “Week of the Architecture” starts and the COAM has programmed, due to the birth centenary of the activist Jane Jacobs, the projection of “Citizen Jane, The Battle for the City”. This film-documentary, directed by Matt Tyrnauer, tells the story of this urbanist from New York that achieved to mobilise crowds of people so as to stop an aberrant construction plan. The project foresaw the demolition of various buildings of lower Manhattan in order to layout a net of roads of eight lanes and to invade the city with tonnes of asphalt. The film arrives now to Spain after its recent first release in the US.

 

 

SGAE headquarters. Longoria Palace, built in 1904.

 

 

This real-fact case is just an example of the impact that urban decisions might cause into the preservation of the architectural heritage, one of the essential aspects to define the aesthetics of a city and to confer identity. The COAM’s program also counts this year on an invited city: Paris. the “Paris-Madrid Tandem 2017” aspires to go deeper into the architectural richness of these two cities and their urban transformation through culture. The proposal counted on the collaboration of both city councils, the embassies of France and Spain, the Institut Française and the Instituto Cervantes, and it offers a series of activities that will take place simultaneously in Madrid and Paris, besides the exhibitions “Réinventer Paris” and “Co-urbanismo” that will open in the Institut Française and L’Alliance Française of Madrid.

 

 

Paris-Madrid Tandem 2017.

 

 

One of the ways to appreciate this importance is by knowing our architecture by oneself, inside and outside. That’s why one of the most interesting proposals is the possibility of visiting the inner side of buildings that usually remain closed to the public. The Open House Festival and the COAM offer access to some of these reserved places like The Lira Palace, the Banco de España, Metrópolis or the Racecourse of Zarzuela. The catalogue overpasses one hundred of buildings and will certainly have a high demand, so you should be fast to register ahead. Last year, there were more than 40.000 visitors and many people couldn’t get access because tours were sold out.

 

 

Old underground station of Chamberí, 1919.

 

 

To close the program, in late October, the proposal “Madrid, otra mirada” (Madrid, another look) includes a series of concerts, visits, lectures and exhibitions to give a larger dissemination of the urban and monumental heritage of the capital. The city council has counted on the collaboration of 107 institutions that will open their doors for the visitors to approach the historic and monumental buildings with “another look”.

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.