2011 is finally over. We have talked at length about the crisis, the economic problems and the grey or black future that looms ahead. The national pastime in Spain used to be that of football trainer, standing at the bar. Now we would have to add that of economic analyst, though probably no longer in a bar as times are tough.
We want to avoid lamenting about how bad things are. We want to work and demonstrate that it is possible. We want to think about options and possibilities. We want the platforms for a truly critical space that we have been generating for years to carry on, with the same tone, the same internal critique, understanding where we are and thinking about where we want to lance our next question. We want more critical voices, more debate and fewer complicit silences. Once and for all we want to grow together, with the understanding that disagreement and the ability for debate is positive in a context such as art and artistic thought, that tends to falls into fear and victimisation with such alarming ease.
Are we alone? Does nobody defend us? Do we really want somebody to defend us? As if we were those poor cripples that it is good to help from time to time… The fragility of a sector is also the responsibility of the sector itself, so enough sickly-sweet complaining, it is time for action. Having entered 2012, we want it to be a good year, so we’ll leave any shrugging of shoulders, sighs or lamentations for another occasion.
In this edition of A*Magazine we present four critical texts. David G Torres writes about the exhibition exploring postmodernism at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Rosa Naharro about the Antoni Muntadas exhibition at the Reina Sofia. Maite Garbayo writes about Claude Cahun at the Virreina Centre de la Imatge in Barcelona and Jeffrey Swartz about Dublin Contemporary.
“Postmodernism. Style and subversion 1970-1990” aims to revise a few years that are associated with an uninhibited creative freedom, of cut and paste, pastiche and partying. They are also the years of Thatcher, Reagan and AIDS. A time of reference for many generations the content of which needs revised to go beyond the stereotypes.
From the fourth floor of the Sabatini building, to the protocol room, and from there to the mezzanines of the new Nouvel building, Antoni Muntadas proposes a dérive. To lose oneself in the Reina Sofia, where he exhibits a series of projects distributed around the whole museum that, as well as summing up his career, invite reflection upon and analysis of the current moment that art institutions are passing through.
La Virreina presents an exhibition of Claude Cahun and her multiple interpretations and uses of identity. The life, artistic productions and collaborative work converge in a polyhedral journey exploring one of those phenomena that for its very complexity was never much to the liking of the dominant historistic tradition of art and culture.
"Dublin Contemporary" arises as a project within the context of an economic crisis and in a country in recession. Presented by the politicians as an event that will help to convert Ireland into a tourist destination, the proposal offered propositions by some 150 participants in seven locations in the city of Dublin.