Thursday 17 March and Friday 18 March 2022

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.

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


Thursday March 17th

7:00 pm - Presentation of the seminar, led by Maite Garbayo Maeztu.

7:15 pm - 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).

8:00 pm - 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 pm - 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 pm - 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 pm - 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