Neighbours, 1996

Installation, Various dimensions

The first time I visited the MACBA building it was still empty. Inside it felt as if the city was on show, framed by the museum's many windows. The museum I looked from, and the square I looked at, did not seem to meet at all. Although physical neighbours, they both seemed to address their own world. It is the buildings presence in the city that I wanted to explore in the project I conceived for the museum.

We went to meet the neighbours (Inés Arderiu, who worked in the MACBA, Marco Sweering, who took the pictures, and I). There were different kind of neighbours. People that lived there (some families for generations in the same apartment), an old school, a café, an old convent currently under construction and a design office. At my request the MACBA asked them if I could photograph their interiors with their view of the museum and if we could borrow a table and a chair and replace them by another during the exhibition. From every view a jig-saw puzzle was made. The jig-saw puzzle views were shown on the tables, in the round gallery with the panorama-window on the first floor of the museum.

Neighbours makes the borders between the museum as invention and its surroundings visible. The experience of the museum is inverted. And because the work coincides with the situation, the viewer is able to discover what is going on. The model for the puzzle is no longer a photograph, but the reality around you. And at the same time you find yourself in the place that can be seen from the interiors...

Fortuyn/O'Brien, 1996

Technical details

Original title:
Registration number:
Fortuyn / O'Brien
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
C-Print, cardboard and wood
Various dimensions
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Fortuyn / O’Brien
It has accessibility resources:

Accessibility resources
High-relief image
Tactile reproductions
Texts in braille

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.



Irene Fortuyn / Robert O'Brien "Neighbours", 1996
Irene Fortuyn / Robert O'Brien "Neighbours", 1996
Irene Fortuyn / Robert O'Brien "Neighbours", 1996