Borja-Villel presents 4 exhibitions, two conferences and numerous creative interventions to “rethink” Catalan museums | Culture | EUROtoday

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The position of Manuel Borja-Villel within the area of Catalan museums already has content material and program, though some dimensions and guidelines of his enjoying area stay to be specified. The prestigious former director of the Reina Sofía, the Macba and the Tàpies Foundation, signed by the Government of the Generalitat in April 2023 as a museum advisor – with out his process and powers being very clear – has lastly offered as we speak how he’s going to undertake its mission of “rethinking the museum ecosystem.” He goes to do it by way of the venture named inhabited museum, an in depth program devoted to “actively” reflecting and producing debate about museums and their transformation that may embody 4 exhibitions in Barcelona, ​​numerous creative interventions in numerous museum facilities in Catalonia and two conferences. Borja-Villel, who advocates for “militant research and transformative praxis” (and never easy criticism) and for the eminently social position of museums, has burdened that current debates round audiences, collections and processes of decolonization are frequent, however, he warned, “if they are not accompanied by a questioning of institutional structures, they run the risk of becoming just rhetorical gestures.” Hence “the need to rethink the museum models with which we operate to open them to new forms of thought and action.”

The venture will likely be deployed from this month of June till 2026, when it’s anticipated to have conclusions relevant to reaching modifications in museum fashions. Borja-Villel's thought, which responds to the singular virtually Marxist official place (Groucho, contracting celebration part) of “director of the temporary museum advisory program”, is to contain native and worldwide specialists, individuals from totally different fields of tradition — resembling museologists, managers, artists, curators or thinkers—, social teams “and other networks of public agents.”

The 4 Barcelona exhibitions – to which will likely be added “specific projects” not finalized with different establishments such because the Tàpies Foundation or the Museum of History of Catalonia – will tackle “central analysis topics for the conception of a new museum model such as borders, redistribution, memory and archive, and industrialization and coloniality, and will have as headquarters the Port Sheds, the Palau Moja, the Maritime Museum and the Victoria Eugenia Pavilion in Montjuïc, respectively.

In the Sheds, a new space that the Port of Barcelona, ​​on which it depends, wants to dedicate to cultural uses, the largest exhibition, from February 2025 to June, will reflect on visual representation through the interrelation of the notions of landscape, displacement and identity. The exhibition will put historical works such as those of Isidre Nonell, Colita or Anna Turbau in dialogue with the production of contemporary artists such as Allan Sekula, Malgorzata Mira-Tas, Efrén Álvarez or the Ayllú collective. In the Palau Moja “we will work around the idea of ​​memory, monument (and anti-monument) and public space”, with works resembling these by Aline Motta, Jorge Ribalta, Oriol Vilanova, amongst others. At the Maritime Museum, an exhibition will replicate on “extractive processes and material memory taking as a case study the role of Catalonia in different colonial campaigns.” Among the subjects that will likely be mentioned, it’s famous, the impression of the import of uncooked supplies resembling wooden from Guinea on the design of each merchandise and structure throughout the Fifties and Sixties will likely be of particular significance. In addition to historic materials, the exhibition will embody works by up to date artists resembling Antoni Muntades, Carlos Pazos or Claudia Claremi.

And within the Victoria Eugenia Pavilion, an entire sequence of creative interventions will likely be offered from which we’ll replicate “on the great international exhibitions that had their peak in the last decades of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th, and on their influence on our way of understanding the world.” And the imaginative and prescient of the pavilions of those exhibitions will likely be questioned, making a story through which decolonization could have a spot. On whether or not the occupation Borja-villelana of the pavilion interferes with the MNAC's plans there, the counselor, very delicate to doable tensions between the star museum and the star advisor, has stated that it’s not in any respect, that the City Council has been renting it for exhibitions and that the MNAC growth plan has one other long run. For Borja-Villel it was “fundamental” to have the pavilion, given its historical past, for his exhibition thought.

As for the 2 congresses, the primary will happen between November 26 and 28 and “will serve to establish the debate and share ideas and proposals.” The second, in June 2025, will act because the conclusion of the venture. Both conferences “will be open to the participation of professionals from the sector, thinkers and social agents.” A set of publications can be deliberate that may gather “proposals, documents and testimonies that, from different positions, rethink the role of the museum in the 21st century based on the reality of Catalonia and in relation to other contexts.”

The program additionally consists of “numerous activities and debates, and will be open to the participation of other institutions, which may be added as the reflection process progresses.” The actions will start this month of June with “actions and debate workshops mobilized by groups such as Idra, Transducers and Entrar Afuera (along with other groups)” and can tackle “various themes crossed by the artistic fact: forms of relationship between care and culture, commensality, decolonity, ecosocial transit or the rural, among others.” There will likely be interventions in museums, “of art and not of art”, all through the territory. They will likely be “processual” and long-term exhibitions through which the artist or artists will work together with the facilities.

Borja-Villel has offered his venture on the headquarters of the Department of Culture of the Generalitat, in a posh political second of possible change and along with the appearing counselor Natàlia Garriga, who recalled that the signing of the museum skilled responded to “the will of the department to surround itself with great professionals” in “the line of deep reflection that was already proposed by the Museums Plan, on which the country's museums are already working.” In this sense he has somewhat narrowed the playing field by remembering that the National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC), “the most important project in Catalonia” has its own roadmap. Borja-Villel, according to the counselor, helps to “enhance the debate on the future of museums and the place they occupy and have to occupy in society.” So that there will be no doubt that she does not want to step on any toes, she has emphasized: “Everyone is welcome.”

At the presentation of his project, Borja-Villel thanked him for the invitation and considered the work that he had been offered “a gift” and “a luxury.” He has reflected that we are “in a time of structural and not conjunctural crisis” and has reviewed the history of museums as places of universal knowledge and enlightenment but that left aside broad layers of the dispossessed population to whom freedom was not alluded. , programmatic equality and fraternity of the French Revolution. Museums conceived in this way do not adapt to the modern realities in which many groups silenced by patriarchy, slavery or colonialism have taken a voice. He recalled that the debate is on the table but that it is debatable whether new ideas are becoming effective and changing things.

At that point of extracting applicable ideas, he sees the task that has been given to him to rethink everything, from governance to audiences, including content and sustainability. Always with the help of artists, groups and institutions that make their own proposals. Borja-Villel has acknowledged that when he arrived he saw that there was already “an associative fabric reflecting in a thousand ways, from ecology or therapy, a humus, a breeding ground.” It is now, he said, “about taking a step further, providing visibility to things that are already done, articulating initiatives, and above all, rethinking part of the practices of the institutions.” The expert has groups such as the aforementioned Iidra, Transducers and Entrar Afuera, with new notions such as commensality or the healing of institutions – an idea that is reminiscent of that of the renowned Catalan psychiatrist Francesc Tosquelles (1912-1994) -.

The great museums of Catalonia “have been invited to participate,” said Borja-Villel, but “in principle, beyond the loan of works, I am interested in the territory, and in museums that work on art in a different way.” That said, he once again emphasized, conciliatory, “everyone is super welcome.” In culture, he has stressed, “collaboration always adds up” and “more is more.”

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