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El Futur (The Future) is the title the collective Morir de Frío has chosen to carry out a fairly common action: an open call – to receive proposals – to proceed to the selection of the most suitable and/or interesting ones – to exhibit them in public. What is not so common is that those responsible for the project are all under 25 years old and still studying. First wake-up call.
Second wake-up call: the subject and the proposals. Almost in a natural act of survival, this generation is demonstrating their need to rise to the surface. Suffocated by each letter of the word crisis, or perhaps more by the rhetoric and practices surrounding them; lamenting each announcement of yet another closure, subsidy withdrawal, diminishing grants, and above all, worn out by each time they’ve heard “before such and such”, “in another time”, along the lines of what Caterina Almirall already pointed out here a few months ago
The collective Morir de frío is made up of Anna Dot (collaborator of A*DESK who actually talked about the subject in first person a few days ago), Palma Lombardo, Blai Marginedas, Raquel Vila and Alba Vilamala, all of whom have various fronts open. Aside from their respective studies, they carry out critiques of all sorts and curate projects of different forms. In this exhibition, that first opened at the Escola Massana on 3 April, that can also be seen until 29 April at the Fine Art Faculty of the UB, they pack a hefty punch: they’ll be talked about. El Futur brings together pieces by Adrián Montenegro (Espejo en blanco y Pelos en la espalda); Ana Gallardo (El futur mola); Aurora Caja (Súbdits); Daniel Moreno Roldán (Exercicis d’Àrea); Xavi Rodríguez Martín (De la utopia de la projecció infantil, a la distòpia futura de la frustració adulta); Estel Boada (Béns de campana, Déu els dóna i el diable els escampa); Harley Martínez (El milagro español. Cadáveres que viven tras inyecciones de resignación); Miquel Garcia (La Asamblea); Neus Casas and Núria Gómez (Mapa Utilitari dels desnonaments); and Sergi Selvas (Chat Between Gods).
Amongst all of them what stands out is the performance proposal by Estel Boada, with her invitation, fresh like her cheeks, to the participants in the show to play poker for the authorship of their pieces. In the opening at the La Massana, we saw how the participants signed a contract in a blue room (dark, with a heavy atmosphere), where the green baize stood out under a spotlight in the centre of a space, packed with people. Not all the participants selected in El Futur played; those who accepted the challenge of the future were: Daniel Moreno, Xavi Rodríguez Martín, Miquel Garcia and Estel Boada herself. Daniel Moreno ended up winning at La Massana, but who ultimately won (after the game in the Fine Arts Faculty) was Miquel Garcia, becoming spontaneous author (by contract) of the works in play.
El Futur signifies two things in a particularly, noteworthy manner: one that sap still runs through the tree however much it is chopped back (a good example being, that Estel Boada is herself at the moment curating the Ciclo Macarena of sporadic and extra-institutional interventions). Secondly, that the Future that Morir de Frío let us glimpse is not at all, despite what one might think, disastrous.
Because talking of pruning: a well-watered tree, with lots of light, sprouts thick branches and grows magnificently. Branches are generally cut back to strengthen a tree and make it more “harmonious”. But if it’s pruned badly, it’s not that the tree dies, so much as it sprouts where it’s not expected, following a new order. And it’s as Montse Badia said yesterday, despite the contradictions and anachronisms that persist in the sector, working in art “has to do with being critical, questioning things, a dissatisfaction, with looking for and creating meaning”, something that is indispensable today. In the face of the current, Dantesque panorama, with the harassment and destruction of centres for contemporary culture (in Catalonia alone: Espai Zero1, Bòlit, Can Xalant, Can Felipa, Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, CA Tarragona…) and culture in general, it’s essential, acting as a sort of life-saver, to open the door to a plan B (or F, for future) – while continuing to fight for what cost so much to achieve and has proven to be good. Let us be faithful to the future, and like any tree that has grown wild, let us grow right where it is not expected.
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)