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A*DESK has been offering since 2002 contents about criticism and contemporary art. A*DESK has become consolidated thanks to all those who have believed in the project, all those who have followed us, debating, participating and collaborating. Many people have collaborated with A*DESK, and continue to do so. Their efforts, knowledge and belief in the project are what make it grow internationally. At A*DESK we have also generated work for over one hundred professionals in culture, from small collaborations with reviews and classes, to more prolonged and intense collaborations.
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A while ago a group of curators and critics from Barcelona, Juan Canela, Andrea Rodríguez Novoa and Veronica Valentini, detected a problem in the city: the lack of interest of foreign professionals (artists, critics, curators) in the city’s context, people who were often visiting Barcelona for professional reasons (exhibitions, talks, seminars, etc.). Detecting problems, however evident they might seem, is a virtue. But even more so if instead of wallowing in self-complacency you get to work. That is, be proactive take responsibility for making things happen.
That’s what Juan, Andrea and Veronica did. They set up BAR: a project based on a programme of residencies for international artists and curators who could come and work for a time in Barcelona and enter into contact with the context through encounters, visits and public presentations. The name BAR is an evident play on bar and the first three letters of the city’s name, a city more known for its bars than its cultural activity, even if some still refuse to believe it. It plays with the power of attraction that Barcelona exercises on the world (why not take advantage of that?). BAR was thought up as “a platform to internationalize the local context, to connect artists with other agents with a critical and independent perspective”. Though still not quite a year old, more than twenty artists and curators have already passed through, in different residency formats, but all of them have had a programme of visits that has enabled them to come into contact with the local scene and, no doubt, initiate the odd joint project.
Sharing the archive with … Peter Freund
Artists, status and other contradictions
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)