Under the title MACBA Collection. A Short Century, the permanent display of the Collection offers a chronological journey from 1929 to the present. The exhibition highlights the distinctions between the different artistic tendencies, as well as the different ways artists have responded to concerns such as economic crises, war, colonial issues, feminist struggles and sexual dissidence.
Any critical work related to the collections of a public institution must revolve around the tension between memory and amnesia, and between the construction of identity and its resistance, since a collection is more than the sum of its objects, artefacts and artworks. Without question, it is also much more than a list of authors and artists. A collection is built upon the affections and stories that make up its identity. Consequently, it plays a fundamental role in the configuration of the canons of each era.
Based on these parameters and addressing the Collection as a device subject to critical analysis, the starting point for MACBA’s Department of Education is the study of the possibilities of building narratives and emotional memory around the artworks featured in the Collection. Taking artistic production as a manifestation of a singularity that can only be understood in relation to a specific context and time, the educational programme for the 2019–20 academic year will pivot around three axes. The first investigates the Collection in a transversal way, as a story-building space that has been evolved by the research group formed by teachers, educators and artists, and directed by Julia Ramírez Blanco.
This year, the group, established in January 2018, will incorporate new directions reflecting on a collection’s potential for pedagogical experimentation. In parallel, the education programme around the MACBA Collection for primary-school pupils is to be reinforced by bringing them together with artists in a series of sessions, where the exhibition becomes a workshop addressing the children’s own experiences through artistic strategies. In these activities, the children’s autonomy is enhanced during the visit to the Museum through their direct approach to the artworks. Finally, the programme includes tours for secondary-school groups focusing on artistic practices and their responses to the different identity conflicts of the last century, which extend to the present day.