The series of photographs entitled Formació global. IESE was produced as part of a photographic survey organised by MACBA in 2007. The project was based on the photographic missions or surveys that government bodies in the nineteenth century regularly sponsored in order to contribute to constructing the discourse on the nation-state. The MACBA survey was a collective project that involved photographing the new realities of metropolitan Barcelona, and was exhibited as part of the exhibition Universal Archive. The Condition of the Document and the Modern Photographic Utopia at MACBA in 2008. It later toured to Museo Berardo in Lisbon in 2009.
Sandra Balsells chose the education of financial elites in Barcelona as her subject matter. One of the defining traits of these elites who wield a substantial part of economic, social and political power is their lack of permeability - an endogamic tendency that can be seen in the places where they go to get an education and to socialise. For future members of this elite, the choice of educational institution is a crucial decision that determines not only the quality of their education, but also long-term social connections and the opportunity to become members of certain networks of complicity and power. In Spain, some religious orders and organisations linked to the church run postgraduate centres that specialise in business administration and play a crucial role in the education of these power elites.
Formació global. IESE is a photographic project that revolves around the IESE Business School in Barcelona, a business administration school run by the Opus Dei. Along with ESADE, IESE is ranked in the top 25 business schools in the world. Sandra Balsells photographed numerous scenes at the new IESE campus in Barcelona, and at the school's historic headquarters. One of the images of the latter building shows a large portrait of Josemaría Escrivà de Balaguer (1902-1975), founder of the Opus Dei and of the University of Navarra, which the IESE belongs to. Founded in 1928, the Opus Dei or “Work of God” is a prelature of the Catholic Church with a mission to spread the faith through everyday life. In practical terms, it has close links with highly reactionary economic powers, and it maintains a network of prestigious schools and university educational centres. Balsells’ photographs capture, among other things, a symposium on economy, a conference on the economy and pensions, the first day of class for students in the MBA programme, the 46th IESE Global Alumni Reunion, the 22nd Meeting of the Automotive Sector and the Graduation of the 6th Global Executive MBA class at IESE.
It could be my bedroom (or something similar to it). Even the same technical characteristics: all the walls and volumes constructed in this module of raw canvas for painters to measure me and measure ourselves.