CA2M is the custodian of the Region of Madrid’s contemporary art collection, which has been put together since the early eighties, coming largely from the acquisition of works on display at shows programmed in its exhibition halls. Since 2013, it has also been bolstered by the deposit of the Fundación ARCO collection, which is built from major pieces on view every year at the ARCO contemporary art fair in Madrid. Including around two thousand works between the two, the collections complement each other: the ARCO collection is more international in scope and provides a wider context to the works from the CA2M collection, which are focused more of artists from Madrid and Spain as a whole. The collection is intermittently featured at the art centre in a series of temporary exhibitions that focus on different aspects and interrelate it with international art movements, and also afford new meanings and new insights into the collection as well as an opportunity to experiment with and question the languages and formats of exhibitions. Besides the temporary exhibitions, the collection is also featured in a series of capsules that are inserted in different spaces throughout the art centre, thus continuously renewing the vision of its holdings.
At the present moment, it is no longer enough to just put together a collection, and to preserve, show and interpret it. Now the works of a collection must be framed and contextualised in the light of happening new artistic practices and of the relationship between the museum itself and its audiences. As such, core aspects are cast under a critical light while other marginal aspects move centre stage as narratives for new generations, in a dialectic vision the renews the collection itself from its potential interpretations.
As opposed to the teleological temporality of conventional History and to the ordinary time of productivity, there are other subaltern temporal modalities, like that of cultural workers, colonial flows, gender readings or regressive history. In this way collections eschew thematic synchronicity with the art market in order to engage in possible readings that include the study of its own idiosyncrasy: how they have evolved, how they have grown, how they have been used and how they have travelled are all subjects calling for research —by art practice itself and also by institutional critique today— in order to construct a solid future.