Bodies Care Conflicts and Commitments IDENSITAT / Santa Mònica Barcelona 28 April 2023

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IDENSITAT / Santa Mònica


From the body politic to the socialisation of care in cultural institutions
Conference and debates
Where: Santa Mònica. La Rambla, 7, 08002 Barcelona

The conference wants to engage in debate regarding caring and the plurality of ecosystems articulated as social bodies, focusing upon the construction, the reconstruction or the renovation of new forms of cultural institutionalism whose work is based upon transdisciplinary perspectives, also incorporating voices from independent projects which confront issues that touch upon social matters based on the art.

The aim of this activity is to lend a voice to caring practices, understood as commitments bringing into dialogue voices that contribute to defining a diversity of visions regarding these subjects. Based on institutional structures and artistic practices, themes such as the meaning of involvement, of care, and of mutual support/aid, will all be placed on the table in order to enact a response to the current moment, on the basis of connection, co-responsibility, and situated and purposeful reflection.

Through an analysis of contemporary issues, and by crafting scenarios for the future we intend to create a shared space for reflection. In order to deal with problems and the bad habits which affect the artistic community and cultural institutions, while at the same time representing an opportunity to exchange useful resources for the development of new dynamics which centre upon the person, and around issues related to professional roles, spaces of relationship and interaction, how to share responsibilities and critical analysis to connect the ways of making art with different modes of management.

Ten guests will either present specific projects, or encourage debate. There will be a presentation of various case studies, with the aim of sharing perspectives which, based upon concepts related to caring and to institutional entities, will explore practices, instability, ethics, inclusion, transparency, the economic and aesthetic value of work, rights and obligations, the community, or other issues which may arise during the course of the debate.

The conference will be structured around three round tables in which two invited guests will present their perspective on the subject, followed by a discussion or debate conducted by a guest moderator.

11.00 a.m.
Introduction to the conference. Irati Irulegi, Idensitat, and Enric Puig, Santa Mònica.

11.30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Roundtable 1: How can/should institutions be inhabited?

Ane Rodríguez Armendariz, head of the Centro de Residencias Artísticas programme at Matadero Madrid. For the last 20 years she has worked in the field of cultural management in various Spanish institutions. Her outstanding work at Tabakalera as cultural director (2012 – 2019) is of particular note in her career.

José Luis Pérez Pont, director of the Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporànea de Valencia (CCCC), and of the Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valenciana (CMCV) since 2016. He has chaired the Associació Valenciana de Crítics d’Art (AVCA) and the Consejo de Críticos y Comisarios de Artes Visuales de España. Since he took over the management of the CCCC, its programming has been characterised by opening up numerous ways of connecting with the public, as well as projects which connect the institution with other spaces related to cultural creation.

Moderator: Ramon Parramon, director of Idensitat, lecturer at the University of Barcelona. Since the late 1990s, he has been exploring the relationship between artistic practices and the creation of social spaces.

1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Performative activity. Lunch

Roundtable 2: Between socialization and care. Lunch and activity by Impulsem, Center for Education, Training and Economic Initiatives.

3.30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Roundtable 3: Are there other ways of leading, founding or working in an institution?

Iliana Fokianaki, director of State of Concept. Curator, theorist and educator based in Athens and Rotterdam. Her research focuses on formations of power and how these are manifested under the influence of geopolitics, national identity, cultural and anthropological histories. In recent years she has been exploring the concept of care, between individuality and the collective.

Staci Bu Shea, curator and writer. Staci focuses on the aesthetic and poetic practices of social reproduction and care work and institutional practice. Their transdisciplinary research project Dying Livingly is an exploration of what it means to live intimately with death and grief, with artistic and cultural productions that form a bridge with their practice as an end of life guide and death companion. From 2017 to 2022 Staci was a curator at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, an art institution based in Utrecht, The Netherlands that focuses on collective art projects and organisational experiments.

Moderator: Alba Colomo, cultural worker, currently working as director of La Escocesa. Co-founder of the collective and in(ter)dependent space la Sala. During 2021 – 23 she has been developing the project fantasmas que circulan (ghosts who wander) as part of the NO EXPO programme of the Education Department of the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid. She recently curated the exhibition Digerir el mundo dónde está at CaixaForum, Barcelona. Between 2015 and 2018 she was curator of Public Programmes and Research at Nottingham Contemporary (UK). She has undertaken permaculture training through the Permaculture Association UK.

5 p.m. – 7p.m.
Roundtable 4: Are other institutional structures possible?

Institute for Radical Imagination (IRI), group of artists, curators, activists, scholars and cultural producers with a shared interest in co-producing knowledge and artistic and political interventions to implement post-capitalist forms of life. Gabriella Riccio is a multidisciplinary artist based in Naples and Madrid. She is engaged in prefigurative practices such as the movement for the commons and self-governed theatres and cultural spaces. Elena Blesa Cábe is an artist and educator. Doctoral Student in the Universidad de Granada History and Arts programme. She has been involved in different educational projects engaging with a transfeminist and decolonial perspective.

Soft Agency, group of female architects, artists, curators, scholars, and writers working within expanded spatial practices. Based in Berlin, Germany, since 2016, the group has been working on a number of themes relating to care practices and cultures. For this event, Soft Agency member, the artist and researcher Teresa Dillon will present a selection of the group’s work.

Moderator: Larre is a collective acting in the field of cultural mediation, from a feminist approach. Occupying hybrid spaces between practical artistic investigation and cultural criticism, they carry out activities and create collaborative spaces in which they seek to explore realities that are normally invisible or submerged. Larre is Lara García Díaz, Ángela Palacios and Priscila Clementti. @_larre_

7.30h pm
Roundtable 5: Embodied narration, by Nyamnyam
Based on the concepts and ideas that emerge during the day, Nyam-Nyam proposes a performative activation to provoke insights in an embodied manner. Using sound as a sensorial tool, they plan a dérive which may allow them to knead the space and set it in motion through a collective narration created on the same day.

Nyamnyam is a collective and a space, created in 2012 by artists Iñaki Alvarez and Ariadna Rodríguez. Bringing together their learning and unlearning in various disciplines, their work aims to promote creation, diffraction,  knowledge and cultural exchange through interaction strategies. They use the dynamics and tools of artistic creation to propose interventions situated in each g-local context in which they work. The aim is to activate the fabric of each local context in a holistic sense, incorporating organisms (on human and non-human scales), systems, environments, relationships… They have carried out and shared their projects in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Greece, USA, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador.

Registration is required to attend the onsite conference.

Conference organised by Idensitat and Santa Mònica.


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