CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo

BUT... IS THIS ART?




BUT... IS THIS ART?
WEDNESDAYS 10 FEB — 6 APR 2016
18:30 —20:00

Aimed at everyone interested in the art of today. No prior knowledge required

Enrolment free from 15 January

The history of art practices included within the category of institutional critique is highly extensive. From the 1960s onwards, many artists have chosen the museum as their realm of work, questioning it from top to bottom: its buildings and its spaces, its economic and patrimonial management, its museological and museographic strategies, its modes of narrating the artistic. In recent times, another institution, academia (the third level art teaching system) has also been the object of interest in this regard, expanding the radius of action of these practices and, as Brian Holmes argues, extending the need and “the desire to go much further” and to redefine “the means, media and aims of a possible third phase of institutional critique.”

Starting out from these reflections, this course will explore art practices located outside the institution, in other words extitutional, understanding this not as an alternative grounded in the dualities and dichotomies to which we grown accustomed in reflections on culture in general and art in particular, but more as an escape, as a dispersion towards a field without limits. This thematic framework of the institution/extitution could be summed up by DentroFuera (InsideOutside), the name of the collective who will be giving one of the conferences. Their motto, cada vez menos arte (less art all the time), a statement that is as simple as it is ambiguous and enigmatic, also explains the diffuse territory that could be constructed with the practices the course wishes to present.

But why these issues, and why here and now? Because of the centrality of recent discussions on a new institutionality, at a time the protest chant “no nos representan” (they don’t represent us) in public squares, we are confronted with the desire to construct the social and political space that belongs to us. But, what has art to do with any of this? The answers we put forward situate it in the bodies that experiment with ways of making democracy, in our passing through public spaces that makes us aware of other forms of inhabiting, in imaginaries that construct political posters, in the tools of worker’s communities, in places and times of exception in museums themselves, in the table of a bar … and in life, that place that art should never abandon.

Selina Blasco, course director

PROGRAMME

WEDNESDAY 10 FEB. at 18:30
WITH THE MUSEUM, BUT…
Selina Blasco
,
lecturer in History of Art at UCM School of Fine Arts

Ever since the painter Hubert Robert went to live in the Louvre in the eighteenth century, artists have taken over the museum in many ways, sometime unimaginable. Painted, photographed and filmed museums; portable museums, imaginary museums, queer museums … They have built them literally and metaphorically, they have intervened in their spaces and this collections, they have designed museographies and mountings of their own work and that of others; they have appropriated its tools and its narrative strategies. For whom does the museum work?

WEDNESDAY 17 FEB. at 18:30
WITHOUT THE MUSEUM
Selina Blasco,
lecturer in History of Art at UCM School of Fine Arts

Destruction is inscribed within the very origins of the museum, an institution that was born from the secular and republican pillage of the estates of the monarchy and the church of the ancient régime. History nourished this seed with multiple art practices, ranging from a defence of destruction as the task of the historic avant-gardes (“there is a great negative work of destruction to be done. We must sweep and clean”, said Tristan Tzara) to the literal and metaphoric demolitions of recent times. Examples of the former can be found in Chris Burden’s installation Samson in which a jack connected to the turnstiles at the entrance gradually pushed large timbers against the bearing walls of the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, or the holes Urs Fischer made in the walls of the museum for the Whitney Biennial. Examples of the latter are the erased art museum by Emilio Hernández Saavedra, recreated by Sandra Gamarra, or the empty museum, one of the most interesting possibilities, inasmuch as what it underscores, and for the potential for occupation it opens up, as demonstrated at the Sao Paulo Biennial in 2008, when Ivo Mesquita left the third floor of Oscar Niemeyer’s building empty and allowed it to be taken over by young people who filled the walls with graffiti.

WEDNESDAY 24 FEB. at 18:30
DEMOCRATIC ENDEAVOURS FROM LIVE ARTS
Victoria Pérez Royo,
lecturer in Aesthetics and Art Theory at Universidad de Zaragoza and co-director of the Master in Stage Practices and Visual Culture at UCLM

This class proposes a rethinking of a whole series of practices and gestures undertaken by artists working with live art which function as radical laboratories experimenting with forms of democracy. In all of them the body plays a central role, practically overlooked by political theory and absent from current forms of democratic representation. Special attention will be lent to the role of the body in relation to the three dimensions (not phases) of processes of social transformation: destituting gestures, instituting dynamics and constituting processes (Expósito, 2014), with the purpose of facilitating transversal access to practices like those of Paz Rojo, Juan Domínguez, Ana Borralho and João Galante, Erdem Gündüz or Amanda Piña and Daniel Zimmermann.

WEDNESDAY 2 MAR. at 18:30
THE EXPANDED CITY
Lila Insúa
, artist and lecturer at UCM School of Fine Arts

This session wishes to examine theatrical, architectural and artistic practices that address the city as an element which enables intervention. Through art practices that transmute our perception of the neighbourhood or district, bodies are expanded in their passage through the public setting, and the city appears in these projects as yet another agent with which to dialogue. The conference will review some devices used by artists: walking magazines, occupation of public spaces and others able to alter the way in which we inhabit.

WEDNESDAY 9 MAR. at 18:30
DOUBLE NEGATION
Javier Fernández Vázquez
, filmmaker and co-founder of Los Hijos, a collective dedicated to non-fiction film and experimental ethnography.

An artist calls the operator of an excavator working on a piece of Land Art on a beach in Rotterdam a fool. The worker continues digging up the sand, oblivious to the put-down. During the audiovisual register of the intervention he has no chance to defend himself nor do we see his face.Activities carried out by workers communities—frequently using machinery and mechanical tools—either remain invisible or are divested of any importance when they enter into contact with artworld categories. They are unseen jobs carried out by real people who dwell in a no man’s land far removed from the romantic notions that define the technical virtuosity or intellectual considerations of immaterial work.Starting out from the rubble of Land Art, with a stopover in the work of Robert Morris Box with the Sound of Its own Making, we will take a look at the industrial ruins in Bilbao and explore the whereabouts of industrial artefacts—thousands of iron casts—after passing through the antique market and various art exhibitions. In their materiality, these objects co-opt the work of people belonging to workers communities that have disappeared and that nobody seems to ask about.

WEDNESDAY 16 MAR. at 18:30
PAS DE DEUX
Victoria Gil-Delgado and Pablo Martínez
. Victoria is an educator at CA2M and Pablo is head of education and public activities at CA2M

In 2012 Xavier Le Roy presented Retrospective, an exhibition at Fundación Tapies in Barcelona conceived as a choreography of actions. The museum was transformed into a space of bodies, of temporality and of transmission. The very theatricality of art was uncovered and underscored in each new rendition of the performances carried out by 16 dancers always prepared to go into action, though only activated when another new spectator enters the exhibition rooms in the museum. In 2016 Xavier Le Roy is presenting a work at CA2M throughout a period six months called The Unfaithful Replica within the framework of an exhibition of the same name curated by Nuria Enguita and Nacho París. In this proposal, Xavier will spend three days per month in the museum teaching a choreography for one hour to visitors who wish to join the project. We take this particular act of transmission as a starting point for this class to think about the possibilities for education, the bodies that produce the museum, the subjectivities it convenes and the forms of behaviour incited by the white cube. We will address projects in which the public engage with artworks and artists, and what is produced as a result. Adulterated and mixed spaces that break away from the exhibited artwork and give rise to spaces of exception. A place where everything is always in the making.

WEDNESDAY 30 MAR. at 18:30
ART PRACTICES WITH POLITICAL IMAGINATION AND CONTEXT
Santiago Barber,
cultural proposer, visual artist, performer, activist, sound and stage creator.

We will endeavour to approach recent art practices engaging with specific social problems and contexts, and how they can be seen as exercises in political imagination. What creative and communicative strategies foster structures of interaction? Under what models can communities produce other spaces of relationship and reception for their cultural and political practices?Our encounter will revolve around a series of issues, including: acting from live social processes; engaging in the everyday and what is accepted as shared; provoking additive and overflowing processes; intervening in popular culture and imaginaries; savviness in co-opting the public space; and standing up for the process in contradistinction to an idealised vision of the “work”.

WEDNESDAY 6 APR. at 18:30
CHINDASVINTO
DentroFuera
is a collective composed of a variable number of artists and homeless people committed with the creation of artistic and other actions that try to break down the stereotypes formed in the realm of social exclusion. This collective has always been coordinated by Julio Jara and Tono Areán.

Elliptic coffee … ellipsis/supposition… how can we talk about DF without mentioning it … the homeless elliptic… a place where you can just be… anything … without having to say so… that doesn’t weigh heavy … the interesting thing about DF is that it doesn’t weigh … the less art from its motto is not a negation, but an affirmation of the fact that art has no weight, that art is taken for granted … the I of DF would then be, and is, a subject taken for granted, elliptic in the action proposed … artists taken for granted in the university … a fragment of DF (Chindasvinto, 78) that speaks of a whole … the catalogue is in the edge of the leaves... the action is developed at the table of a bar: two friends –two users– meet in a bar to try to organise a class they have to give on the history of a place … chronometer: 45'… running…

 

CA2M organises educational activities on contemporary art and thinking that can be framed within the tradition of community colleges. The courses it offers address some of the key issues for a proper understanding and interpretation of art today, using it to think. These activities can be divided into two parts: the first consists of the presentation of a theme by a guest speaker and the second part involves a debate open to the audience. The sessions at CA2M are complemented with the individual work by the persons enrolled in the course with the texts handed out before the beginning of each session.

To attend an individual conference, admission is free until reaching capacity

More information on [email protected] or on (+34) 912 7600227