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16 January 2012
A country of Scrooges (La Vanguardia and the Canòdrom)

La Vanguardia has published an article about the state of the future of the Centre d’Art, Canòdrom in Barcelona. The article outlines the problems that have dogged the centre up until this point, prior to an opening that looks as if it will never happen. From the lack of accord between the then socialist town council and CIU government, to the continued lack of definition between the two governing bodies now of the same colour, or even the million of euros destined for the Canòdrom that was supposed to be managed by CONCA that nobody seems to know the whereabouts of, quite aside from the costs of refurbishing a building (another 3,5million) that nobody seems to want. These are the real issues with regard to the Canòdrom: to decide once and for all whether or not to create a centre of art, to decide whether or not it is in the old Canòdrom or somewhere else, to reveal where the budgets assigned to the art centre are. These are the political decisions that have not been made, that have continued to be put off for yet another six months, since the change of the mayor in Barcelona. It was also a political decision to organize an open competition for the directorship of an art centre that later, for whatever the motives might be, there hasn’t been the desire/ability to put into action. There are also questions pending about its direction that need clarifying, such as what initiatives or what room for manoeuvre it has had, questions which both the politicians responsible and the chosen director ought to answer.

But no. The article in La Vanguardia highlights as its headline the salary of the “acting” (the inverted commas are from the newspaper) director selected from a public competition. In addition it indicates that the Generalitat and the Ayuntamiento (town council) could be saving themselves this money. What is their aim with a headline like this?

The questions are other ones and journalism needs to investigate them. To highlight the salary of the director as the central problem, is just plain petty.

A*DESK is a critical platform focused on publishing, training, experimentation, communication and dissemination in relation to contemporary culture and art, which is defined by transversality. The starting point is contemporary art, because that is where we come from and this awareness allows us to go much further, to incorporate other disciplines and forms of thought in order debate issues that are relevant and urgent for understanding our present.

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