Course-conference program

Art, Theater and its Double is a course/conference program organized in conjunction with the exhibit A Theater without Theater (MACBA, May-September 2007) with the objective of exploring notions of theatricality used in 20th century artistic practice, as well as theoretical lectures on Modern Art and criticism.

Modern Art is based on an autonomous and universalist concept of vision, theorized by the great critics of the 20th century such as Clement Greenberg and Michael Fried. This notion of visuality legitimates notions of pictorial abstract in which the absence of indices is identified with the idea of an absolute vision in which the spectator is absorbed; disembodied; into a purely visual experience. This way of seeing, framed within a concept of artistic experimentation circumscribed to the specificity of materials, painting, sculpture and photography, is defined as contrary to the notion of theatre. This opposition; between an autonomous and auto-referential visuality before a notion of theatricality that implicates discourse, performance, text; is characteristic of the formula of Modern Art since its historical beginnings, starting with Manet and Cézanne, up to its newest incarnations immediately posterior to WWII.

In the 60s, an active effort to rupture the modern visual paradigm through exploration and the reintroduction of the narrative, figurative and theatrical brought on change. The starting point constitutes the recognition of the linguistic structure of the artistic endeavour. This process meant the transformation of spectator into agent, pleading with them to act as a structural element in the work. It also changed the outlook on art from that of object to that of an institution, thusly interiorizing the self-critical dimension in artistic practice.

In the 80s some artists began to use staging methods, proposing an escape from Conceptual and Late-Modern Arts' self-referential nature by returning to the origin of Western Artistic Modernity, which is also the origin of photography.

Another of Art's "theatrical" methods is the use of narrative and documentary forms in which carnavalesque and parodic aspects, as well as sub-genres such as caricature, express a will to realize the subjectivity of minorities which, when placed before dominant models, have the potential to transform.

With the participation of the University of Barcelona's ICE. Participants attending 4 or more sessions will be given a certificate of attendance from the UB's ICE.


Wednesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 from 7:30 pm to 9 pm

José Antonio Sánchez:
Theatre in the Expanded Field

Due to Mr. Alain Badiou's health problems, the event programmed for this date has been cancelled. We feel sorry for any inconvenience.

MAY 16
Pedro G. Romero:
La calle de nosotros

MAY 23
Stephen W. Melville:
A lecture on "Art and Objectuality" by Michael Fried.

MAY 30
Jean Fisher:
On James Coleman's "So Different… and Yet, 1980"

programespublics [at] macba [dot] cat
Tel. 93 481 46 81




On James Coleman's "So Different… and Yet, 1980"
El teatro en el campo expandido
La calle de nosotros
A lecture on "Art and Objectuality" by Michael Fried
La calle de nosotros
A lecture on "Art and Objectuality" by Michael Fried
Son[i]a #41. José Antonio Sánchez about "Art, theatre and its double"