Thursday 17 March and Friday 18 March 2022
Meier Auditorium

Price: Free admission. Limited capacity. Previous booking required.

How should we read, from the position of what affects us and worries us in the present, those artistic practices that have been defined historiographically as “conceptual” in this context? The aim of the seminar is to offer re-readings and updates that affect and distort the account of contemporary art history in Catalonia and the Spanish State.

What are the effects of looking at the practices of artists such Fina Miralles, Eulàlia, Àngels Ribé and Carlos Pazos from a perspective of feminism or queer thinking? If historiography tended to suggest parallels with American conceptual art, what deviations from the hegemonic narrative are produced if we relate these practices to conceptualisms in Latin America, where, in several countries there were also dictatorial regimes? If the story of conceptual art has focused on the axiom of dematerialistion, how should one read the importance of the material component in much of what Catalan conceptual art offers?

Directed by Maite Garbayo Maeztu. With the participation of Andrea ValdésPilar BonetFernando Davis and El Palomar.

The activity is held in the MACBA Meier Auditorium, but you can also follow it live on the museum’s website and YouTube channel.

Pilar Bonet Julve [Visionary Women Art-Research Group] is a professor of Art Criticism at the University of Barcelona. A critic and curator, in recent years she has dedicated herself to studying “artists who did not want to be artists”, highlighting her contributions towards the creativity of visionary European authors born before 1950, initiating a new critical space on graphic creation, and the textile and literary work of liminal women in the history of art from a feminist perspective, among them, the Catalan Josefa Tolrà (1880-1959) and the Aragonese Julia Aguilar (1899-1979).

Her research, exhibitions and publications in this new field of studies include: Josefa Tolrà. Médium y artista, Can Palauet, Mataró, 2014; Josefa Tolrà y Julia Aguilar: artistas y visionarias, Les Bernardes, Girona, 2017; ALMA. Médiums y visionarias, Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani, Palma, 2019; La mèdium i el poeta. Una conversa astral entre Josefa Tolrà i Joan Brossa, Fundació Joan Brossa, Barcelona, 2020. In this area of women’s artistic practices of emancipatory spirituality (spiritism, theosophy, anthroposophy), she has also recently presented, together with Maia Creus, Fina Miralles. Paraules fèrtils, Casa Elizalde, Barcelona, 2021.

She continues to run the independent research group Visionary Women Art and has just presented, at the University of Barcelona, the first International Seminar Art of Visionary Women, providing studies on social forms of emancipatory spirituality: spiritism, theosophy and anthroposophy.

Fernando Davis is a full professor, holding the chair in the Theory of Artistic Practice at the Faculty of Arts at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP). He currently leads the Sexual Misalignments in the History of Art from the South research team. Archive Technologies, Critical Visualities and Queer Temporalities, based at the Institute for Research in the Production and Teaching of Latin American Art (IPEAL) of the FDA - UNLP. Among his latest exhibitions as curator are !QUEER! Disolvencias opacas, poéticas torcidas y otras fantasías insurgentes (La Plata, UNLP Art Center, 2018), La mala letra. Papeles de Alberto Greco (Buenos Aires, Galería Del Infinito, 2019), La herencia indócil de los espectros. Obras de Cristina Piffer (Buenos Aires, Fundación OSDE, 2019) and Inventar a la intemperie. Desobediencias sexuales e imaginación política en el arte contemporáneo (Buenos Aires, Parque de la Memoria - Monument to the Victims of State Terrorism, 2021). He is currently curator of the Alberto Greco exhibition to be held in 2023 at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Since its foundation in 2007, he has been a member of the Red Conceptualismos del Sur.

Maite Garbayo Maeztu is a Serra Húnter professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Barcelona and academic director of the master’s degree in Artistic Practices and Cultural Studies: body, affects and territory (UPNA, UPV and CACH). She is a doctor in research and creation in art from the University of the Basque Country and a teacher in Art History at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Until 2021 she was a postdoctoral researcher at the UOC. Previously, she held an academic position at the Department of Art at the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico) and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the UNAM. In 2016 she published her first book, Cuerpos que aparecen, performance y feminismos en el tardofranquismo (Consonni, 2nd edition, 2019). She has published numerous articles and book chapters, and has curated various exhibitions. Her main lines of research are contemporary art and gender studies in Spain and Latin America, and performance studies.

El Palomar is made up of Mariokissme and R. Marcos Mota, a pioneering and multifaceted artistic project to catalyse artistic production, rethink institutions and investigate and recover queer histories. The artistic duo behind El Palomar works on a wide range of disciplines, including video, performance, music, limited publications and curatorial projects, with which they generate critical discourse about politics and the poetics of sexual dissidence. They recently took part in the Berlin Biennale (2020) with the work Schreber is a Woman, which was also presented in the MACBA exhibition Notes for an Eye Fire, Panorama 21. They have held individual exhibitions in Espai 13 of the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona (2016) and at La Capella (Barcelona, 2016), and have shared projects at centres such as Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, 2017) and CentroCentro (Madrid, 2017). In 2020 they won the El Ojo Critico de Artes Plásticas Award.

Andrea Valdés has a degree in Political Science (UPF) and is a former bookseller. She is author of the essay Distraídos venceremos: usos y derivas en la escritura autobiográfica (Jekyll & Jill, 2019). She often collaborates with artists in catalogues and exhibitions, and has written for various types of media, including the Babelia supplement of El País, Contexto (CTXT) and El Estado Mental. She has also given several seminars and courses in centres such as the Institut d’Humanitats de Barcelona, Escola Eina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Espai Crisi.

This activity is part of Education from Below, a project with the support of Creative Europe's programme of the European Union Creative Europe.
logo- def- cofinanciado por el programa Europa Creativa de la Unión Europea
Imatge final de la secuència fotogràfica de l'acció

Programme

Thursday March 17th

7 p.m. Presentation of the seminar, led by Maite Garbayo Maeztu.

7:15 p.m. Andrea Valdés. Creation as a form of hospitality.

The presentation will begin with a reading of the space that Carla Lonzi built in her book Autoritratto (1969) and which appears in the film Fuga (1979), by the artist Eugènia Balcells. Both are examples of work that was conceived from hospitality, from elements such as sound, light and gestures. Alongside this, its structure and form will be contrasted with other works that captured domestic confinement, such as the series by Eulàlia Grau, Discriminación de la mujer (1977) or Colita’s report “Alcoholismo feminista” written for Vindicación feminista (1979).

8 p.m. Maite Garbayo Maeztu. Enormous desire enormous (of continued existence).

The conference will explore the materiality of an extensive and long investigation focused on aspects of conceptual art in Catalonia. A journey through all that is hidden and that can only be seen a posteriori; recovering voices, sounds, encounters and traces, focusing on the archives, understood as a living organism, as a place of the beginning, and not of the end. Some photographs stuck to others, being repeated, documents that touch others, forced to live together from now on, sharing a folder. The archive holds a repertoire of gestures, of voluntary and involuntary acts: the drop of coffee, the cigarette burn, the deletion, the erasure, the broken. When showing these remnants, the absent image or the broken voice, the ghosts begin to appear. The strategies and sources of the investigation, its materiality, are shown.

Friday, March 18th

6:30 p.m. Pilar Bonet Julve [Visionary Women Art-Research Group]. Close your eyes and look.Unravelling the hermeneutical pattern of visionary women of conceptual art.

Of all the processes and readings of 20th century Spanish art, the one that corresponds to the imprecise pattern of so-called conceptual art is undoubtedly one of the least addressed from perspectives which consider the gender condition of the female authors. The application of standard interpretive codes, based on the space of ideas, the time of the process or the act of the allegation, omits other spiritual perspectives with a holistic view or a healing vocation from the ecosophy that some artists of this generation support. Female authors such as Fina Miralles, Silvia Gubern, Àngels Ribé and Eugènia Balcells invite us to remove the baste stitch on a provisional historiographic seam that does not fit the inner experience that germinates in their work.

7:30 p.m. Fernando Davis. Alberto Greco in Spain. Live art, wandering, writing.

Throughout his time in Spain, which began in 1963, Alberto Greco (Buenos Aires, 1931 - Barcelona, 1965) stirred up the poetic and critical projections of a programme of action that he had begun in Paris a year earlier. There, he proclaimed “live art”, calling to provoke, highlight and observe situations and objects of daily reality through marks, inscriptions and ephemeral writings that he left around the streets and walls, going beyond artistic limits. In a setting impregnated with the repression and violence of the Franco dictatorship, live art threaded throughout his wandering of the streets and his writing, body and imprints, helping to ignite the minority revolts of the political imagination. Flâneur puto was what Greco created from wandering the city; a straying of his body that decentres the disciplinary order of the urban layout in this “lost” or “unproductive” time of strolling, a strategy that runs through his work.

In the context of his writing, he also diagrammed a nomadic device that he introduced into numerous texts (such as Guillotine murió guillotinado and Besos brujos, of 1963 and 1965, respectively), ink drawings and collages. Trafficking registers and intensities of the word which go from fictional narration to autobiographical journal, from poetry to conversation, from the letter to the manifesto, Greco’s texts invoke excess and eschatological anecdotes, melodrama and campness. Busy, condensed graphics are, at times, tied with illegible and rabid handwriting, in indecipherable text; they become stains, imprints, deletions, scribbles. “Bad handwriting” that betrays good handwriting that is moulded through a whole disciplinary pedagogy of the body and the hand, and whose flow – inconstant, twisted – obeys the intensities of the body, the experience of wandering the city. A fugitive, itinerant artifact, Greco’s writing is scrawled on the wandering of the body.

8:30 p.m. El Palomar. Overground: queerness and conceptual art.

In this presentation, El Palomar reviews various queer stances against the dogmas of Catalan conceptual art. Since 2013, the collective has flirted with the idea and the forms of established conceptual art, to misrepresent its methods and to question it politically. This journey, which begins before the creators formed the collective, describes not only the difficulties that living, active artists have in introducing queer narratives into the Catalan institutional narrative from the 2000s onwards, but also different critical strategies, resistance and creation.

If you have any question, feel free to contact us on 93 481 33 68 or by email at macba [at] macba [dot] cat


Exhibition

I’d really like to think that the artist could be just another kind of material in the picture, working in collaboration with all the other materials.
Robert Rauschenberg