The project for secondary and high school students proposes that they be able to consider some of the issues posed by Contemporary Art by visiting the galleries and viewing part of the MACBA's collection.

It is not easy to take on the topics often connected to Contemporary Art: simply knowing that they are there is not enough to achieve an unprejudiced appreciation for the works. That is why we plan to begin with a discussion of the works' intelligibility. Through a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary vision of the period, students will be able to situate the works chronologically, relating them to those of other artistic genres. The goal is not to limit ways of seeing the works, but to satisfy the need for a minimum of cultural reference to then go beyond that towards aesthetic and cognitive appreciation.

One can not question what one does not know; one can not change one's mind without having already made it up: this is the road to critical appreciation. It is not about imposing dogma, but about offering keys and skills of analysis that can be developed openly, shifting the focus onto the student once he begins to question and draw educated conclusions.

We are also interested in using the reality of today's youth as a starting point for the work so that the students find the connections and links between their world and that which is in the Museum. Art is not a practice exclusive to the elite nor is it isolated or introverted work.

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Project for secondary classrooms

The project offers an in-class session previous to the Museum visit, offering a mechanism that we believe will be effective in aiding young adults to understand certain aspects of Contemporary Art. We want to offer them some key points to have in mind before seeing the actual works: the relation between the different artistic genres and media and the relationsips that exist between economy, society, politics, science, art and culture. That will help them to construct a criteria to use when analyzing the works. We believe that contact with the works permits students to move beyond Art and Cultural History, on to aesthetic and cognative appreciation that could only come from direct and personal contact.

These dynamic sessions are carried out by one of the MACBA's specialized guides. That same guide will then visit the school at the agreed upon date and time to do an intensive workshop with the students in the classroom.

These sessions require supporting materials that use cultural references from today's society, focusing on that which is closest to the students.

The general program can be adapted to a variety of ages: Junior High and High School. There are also programs directed towards those needing a synthesis credit or a research project.

Visits to the galleries

Teachers may schedule an educational guided visit/workshop in the galleries. There are two possibilities: 1) for those who have already had a session with their Museum guide and have already worked on several of the aforementioned aspects, and 2) for those who will have their classroom session after the visit.

This is an important difference to note, as it will determine the dynamics of the Museum visit , which will always be adjusted in the interest of the group.

In any case, the goal is to allow students to approach the works and understand their meaning, thus breaking with the preconceived idea that Museum visits are solely about aesthetic contemplation. We want to stimulate, in synthesis, a dynamic contemplation in which the students can develop their own criteria for the works through research, analysis and reflection. It will broaden their possibilities of personal appreciation of the works.