The subalterns speak, we discover television; we sharpen our eyes and prick up our ears and listen to groups in danger of exclusion. Before us are the hypnotic performances of Sigalit Landau and the secret images of Osvaldo Lamborghini.

Antoni Abad, Judith Barry, Eugeni Bonet, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, John Grimonprez, Abdellah Karroun, Alan Pauls, Paul Preciado, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and so many other writers and artists in one click.


‘Much of his work is not seen. It’s sound, light, movement; in other words, it’s energy.’ This is how Ferran Barenblit, Director of MACBA, describes the work of the Greek artist Takis (1925 –2019). Dedicated to this key figure of the avant-garde, the publication includes essays by Guy Brett, independent critic and curator; Michael Wellen, Tate’s Curator of International Art; Melissa Warak, specialist in avant-garde art and music; and an interview with the writer and critic Maïten Bouisset. All the texts focus on key aspects of Takis’s evolution: from his youth in an occupied and impoverished Greece to his interest in materials, music, magnetism and chance.

In 1968, the young activist Palle Nielsen approached the Moderna Museet in Stockholm with a proposal for turning the museum into an adventure playground. For a month, his ‘Model for a Qualitative Society' offered a space exclusively for children, without parents or educators. In his essay, Lars Bang Larsen analyses the utopia of a self-organized society that aimed to encourage personal freedom and collaboration between individuals. The documentation of this work forms part of the MACBA Collection.

Nobody who is interested in issues of gender, race or class can ignore the provocative thesis that the Indian thinker Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak formulates in her text "Can the Subaltern Speak?" which sparked a heated debate that still continues today: Manuel Asensi Pérez, who translated the text, provides critical commentaries that make this at times cryptic work accessible to lay readers.

The exhibition Invocable Reality explores possible perspectives on reality from art practices through a selection of works by eleven artists from different backgrounds and generations. The works in Invocable Reality approach reality in a subtle way. They start from the ‘here and now’ of the reality that the artists intend to ‘investigate and conquer’: incorporating fragments in the exhibition space (Roman Ondák), turning the gallery into real space (Antonio Ortega), filming it (Lutz Mommartz, Jeremy Deller and Mireia Sallarès), trying to direct it (John Smith), looking for connections in space and time (Enric Farrés-Duran), influencing it (Núria Güell), showing the devastating effects of a mediated reality (Phil Collins), demonstrating the impossibility of its representation (Rafel G. Bianchi) or showing how we have turned death into something unreal (Jill Magid).

To complement the project Are you Ready for TV?, which offers an unusual reading of the relationship between television as a medium on one hand, and art and philosophy on the other, a new trilingual (Catalan, Spanish and English) digital publication has been launched.
It will be published in instalments that include introductory texts by Chus Martínez and Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and essays by the artists and historians Judith Barry, Ina Blom, Tamara Chaplin, Dora García, Mario García Torres, Johan Grimonprez, Albert Serra and Temporary Services (Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin and Marc Fischer).

Eugeni Bonet (Barcelona, 1954) is undoubtedly one of the main theoretical referents in the fields of cinema, video and digital media in Spain. For forty years his writings have shown the evolution of these disciplines, establishing genealogies, working methods and the links between four different generations of artists. At the same time, his audiovisual programmes introduced subjects and tendencies that were practically unknown at each successive moment, to the point where many of them became authentic and indispensable textbooks. Moreover, Bonet has also followed a notable trajectory as a curator of exhibitions and artist, with various videos and experimental and feature films to his name. This book, published specifically for this project, compiles Bonet’s most important writings, many of which appeared in rare magazines and fanzines, out-of-print catalogues and even unpublished texts.

Before Our Eyes is a project started in 2000 when the Moroccan curator Abdellah Karroum began organising the Expéditions du bout du monde, a travel programme that brought about exchanges between local and international artists in the Rif, a region hitherto devoid of structures for contemporary art. Two years later, the initiative was expanded with the creation of L’appartement 22 in Rabat, a space for production and exhibitions. In 2011, the network incorporated the international residence located in the Rif Mountains, near the Mediterranean, in order to facilitate the research of those artists who need to explore the area.

Since 2004, artist Antoni Abad has developed a series of innovative, geographically diverse, multidisciplinary and socially committed projects designed to fit the needs of different human groups at risk of social exclusion. invites these groups to express their experiences and opinions using cell phones to instantly publish them on the web in the form of audio, video, text and photos. Participants thus transform these devices into digital megaphones to amplify their individual and collective voices.

Sigalit Landau, who began her artistic career in the nineties, reinterprets her sculptural works through the use of the body in performances in front of the camera. Here, she works repeatedly with symbols, images, places and narratives as therapeutic representations of the wounds caused by her historical, personal and cultural condition. Phoenician Sand Dance draws its title from the almost constant presence of the sand and sea. The book features and analyses the works exhibited in the Capella MACBA from 21 November 2014 to 15 February 2015. Landau’s video sculptures, where people and objects interact, condense a time in which the actions seem to have no beginning or end. They speak in a hypnotic way of the lack of progress and improvement; they describe the needs of the other, whether in play, survival or conflict.

Osvaldo Lamborghini (Buenos Aires, 1940; Barcelona, 1985) is one of the most unique and fascinating writers of contemporary Argentinean literature. During his lifetime he only published three books – El fiord (1969), Sebregondi retrocede (1973) and Poemas (1980) – and, posthumously, Novelas y cuentos (1988), Tadeys (incomplete, 1994) and Teatro proletario de cámara (Proletarian Chamber Theatre, 2008). However, he has already achieved the status of cult author, joining the equally reductive category of myth.

The biography of Lamborghini certainly fulfils almost all the rigours of the accursed poets, while his career refutes any attempt at classification. However, there is an aspect to Lamborghini’s output – consisting of his work with photographic collages, books with intervened images and texts, as well as posters and drawings – that awaits further investigation. This catalogue presents a selection of this material, drawn from his personal archive and never previously shown in public.

The Desacuerdos project was an institutional collaboration which proposed tracing cultural practices, models and counter-models that do not respond to dominant structures, politics and practices which have been self-imposed since the beginning of the Transition. The project narrates a critical history of those structures and politics in a moment in which their de-legitimization and proven lack of efficiency do not hinder their continuity as models of administration of culture and Art. This publication is the first in a eight-part series in which the workings and dynamics of the Desacuerdos project are explained and understood, including the "desacuerdos" (disagreements) at its heart.

The second volume of Desacuerdos turns its attention to concepts like counterhegemony and biopolitics. It is divided into five sections: Banality and biopolitics: the Spanish Transition and the New World Order, the Spanish Government's Cultural Policy Abroad (2000-2004), Aleph, the Web as a Space for Parallel Action, 1969-...,. Feminisms and Collaborative Practices/Grassroots Globalisation, and also includes an interview with Beatriz Preciado.

Desacuerdos 3 offers readers a selection of the documents that were analysed, exhibited and discussed during the course of the Desacuerdos project. In keeping with the general spirit underlying Desacuerdos, there has been no attempt to create a canon of antagonist aesthetic practices in Spain. Instead, the aim of the compilation is to emphasise the dissonances and contaminations inherent to any highly complex cultural process, in order to counteract the inertias of the dominant historiography and identify possible gaps for future research.

The fourth published installment from the Desacuerdos project documents and analyzes the aesthetic and political debate that surged from both militant cinema and video creations from the end of the Franco era until today. In the spirit of the Desacuerdos project, we hope to call attention to the gravity of discourse committed to both a critical investigation of the media and its definition as a place of social change, and serve as a salutary lesson for constructing historical narratives that will legitimize current audiovisual production.

The fifth volume in the Desacuerdos project documents and analyses the aesthetic and political debate that emerged in the fields of militant cinema and independent and artistic video at the end of the Franco era and continues to this day. In the spirit of the Desacuerdos project, it highlights the richness of a series of discourses that are committed to both critical research into the media and the media as driving forces of social change.

Following the same pedagogic spirit as earlier issues, volume six of the Desacuerdos series looks at the art and education binomial. It starts off with interviews with René Schérer and Jacques Rancière – two key authors in relation to changing approaches to education – and then goes on to explore the peculiarities of the Spanish context and the transformations that came about as a result of Franco’s regime. It thus gradually sheds light on the debates, strengths and weaknesses of education in relation to contemporary art in Spain.

When considering the subject of study for this latest instalment, we began by looking at the articles on feminisms published in previous volumes of Desacuerdos, and at archaeological attempts to trace genealogies and re-read the present. This issue explores how it might be possible to reposition the singularity of artistic modernity in Spain in relation to the socio-political upheavals of the twentieth century; how to continue to break down the opposition between aesthetics and politics, just as feminist theory contributed to rupturing codes expressed in the form of domination or supremacy; and how feminist critique – which, along with institutional critique, organised the relationships between the patriarchy, capitalism and knowledge production – negotiates with the art institution, which is not very permeable to the epistemological directions and transformations of feminisms.

In Spain, criticism has played an uncertain role in shaping the system of contemporary art. The demand for ‘real criticism’ has been constant when trying to give consistency to an artistic scene perceived as fragile and too dependent on spurious interests. This volume has been conceived as a survey of a series of episodes, critical texts and contexts since the end of the Franco regime, with the aim of explaining the dilemmas, debates and negotiations that accompanied the development of art criticism. Partial and fragmented, the image that is derived from it helps us understand the futility of applying the same demands to the present, since criticism requires a degree of autonomy that is practically nonexistent in our artistic structures. When questioning the current role of criticism, we should perhaps look at those spaces that are trying to experiment with a new political imagination.

The first issue of Índex focuses on the question of artistic research, which it places at the heart of the Museum’s current concerns. To this aim this issue features collaborations by Bartomeu Marí, director of MACBA, the philosopher Christoph Menke, the editor of the magazine Chus Martínez, the historian and curator Piotr Piotrowski, the researcher Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab, the artists Julie Ault and Natascha Sadr Haghighian, the philosopher and director of MACBA’s Independent Study Programme Xavier Antich, and the art historian Johanna Burton.

The second issue of Índex features collaborations by the writer, teacher and media-activist Franco Berardi, the art historian, critic and curator Nataša Ilić, the editor of the magazine Chus Martínez, the philosopher and writer Reza Negarestani, the artistic collective The Otolith Group and the philosopher, professor and essayist José Luis Pardo.

The third issue of Índex features collaborations by the Director of MACBA's Independent Studies Programme (PEI) Xavier Antich, the artistic director and co-founder of the Cinémathèque de Tanger Yto Barrada, the curator, writer and Associate Professor and Vice-Director of the Museu de Arte Contemporãnea da Universidade de São Paulo Cristina Freire, the full professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University Daniel Heller-Roazen, the artist, musician and writer Hassan Khan, the art critic Marie Muracciole and the Mexican artist José Antonio Vega Macotela.

The artist Armando Andrade Tudela has created three works as part of the new policy of promoting the production of projects from – not in – the Capella MACBA . They are two films, originally shot on 16mm, and a section of wall comprising of a large panel of perforated hardboard and five pieces of glass almost completely covering it. He used this same material, also known as pegboard, to create a geometric space in which the viewer can discover, in parallel cubicles, the two film works, Synanon and Marcahuasi, both filmed in 2009 and finished just a few days before the opening of this show. The module, which both is and is not an artwork, functions as a piece of architecture erected by the artist specially for this first viewing.

La ronda is the title given by Morocco-born French artist Latifa Echakhch to the project she conceived for La Capella MACBA, an exhibition consisting of three installations: Eivissa (2010), Gaya (E102) 5, Vitrail (2010) and Fantasia (2010). Like most of Echakhch's oeuvre, these works have their origins in a material, a texture, or an object with some link to the artist's own life and experiences, which lead her to a broader reflection on her past and also on the meaning of the materials, traditions and symbols and their social functions. In this text, MACBA curator Soledad Gutiérrez offers readings on several different levels of a project that is committed to its own time and to history, which starts from a very personal perspective in order to trigger a reflection around issues of a political nature that affect us all.

Pep Duran (Vilanova i la Geltrú, 1955) has always worked with scenography, a practice that has allowed him to develop proposals and projects focused on a particular way of understanding construction, representation and space. Duran's A Chain of Events, an installation specifically created for the MACBA's Capella space, should be considered a work-essay: a major intervention in two parts, Secular Alterpiece (2010-2011) and Written Piece (2010-2011), which both collects and distills the intellectual, formal and aesthetic influences that lie at the core of Duran's thought and artistic practice. This publication including texts by Jordi Puntí and Francisco Ferrer Lerín and a photo report by Rafael Vargas offers different levels of interpretation of the project conceived by Pep Duran.

Two commonplace objects, in themselves of little eloquence, are used to multiply the ways of interpreting questions such as the development of material culture, the ownership of water or the status of sound in a conception of contemporary art, in which sight and touch are always at the forefront.

The scene presented by Natascha Sadr Haghighian should be understood as a suggestion we reflect on the history of the production and consumption of objects, on the importance of this history in that of ideas, of culture, and on the way in which objects represent what we might call little hells in the civilised world.

I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life
Jean-Michel Basquiat