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Magazine

February
Fear, control, security

A*DESK

Five Mondays and a Tuesday ago, we started with a subject that had been going around in our heads this editorial since we wrote the issue dedicated to failure, but which stretches way beyond military conflict.

It is a subject that is multiple, as minuscule and intimate as it is grandiose and collective. Configured in various forms, all its angles, however, arise from the same reality. The Risk Society, the modern, developed society predicted by Ulrich Beck [[La Sociedad del Riesgo: Hacia una nueva Modernidad. Ulrich Beck, Paidos Iberica. 2006]] with its social, political, economic, and industrial risks that tend increasingly to escape the institutions of control and protection of industrial society… is already here.

And this risk, coupled with its resulting fears, becomes the shield and excuse for policies of economic privatization and the dismantling of the social: the limiting of liberties; the kidnapping of intimacy and imposition of greater control as the guarantee of security. All this sounds too similar to Orwell’s 1984 (the future is already here), but there are many artistic and philosophical references that have been battling, for a long time now, with this tension between liberty and security/control. One just has to look at Dora García’s Zimmer Gespräche de Dora García, or more theatrical versions, such as the critique by El Invernadero of Harold Pinter (running until last week at the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona).

Our collaborators corroborated this, beginning with Rosa Naharro based on the indispensable exhibition by Hito Steyerl at the MNCARS, Duty Free Art. Where the artist generated a framework for reflection through the use and analysis of images; who generates them, where and how they are distributed, their reach and the meanings they have…

Ángel Calvo Ulloa talked to Antoni Muntadas, an essential reference for visual works surrounding control, while Amaia Fernández de Gorostiza wrote “Out of Kilter, Rethinking the State of Global Emergency”, in response to Real Time at Arts Santa Mònica.

For her part Marla Jacarilla wrote about Harun Farocki at the IVAM, because few knew like he did how to translate fear, control and security into images. We concluded with a critical text by Eduardo Pérez Soler, who wrote about the exploitation of fear as a fundamental strategy to maintain order and control in the heart of hyper-connected societies in State of Surveillance, State of Terror .

This month's topic

A*DESK, Independent Institute of Criticism and Contemporary Art, is dedicated to learning, publishing and research related to the criticism of contemporary art. Taking the view that critical thought makes individuals free, its mission is to defend actively the importance of criticism: to generate debate about contemporary art, to enable each individual to establish their own opinion and by doing so promote culture.

Articles

29 February 2016

Fear, control, security

31 December 2018

Artist’s Status

30 November 2018

COREOGRAPHY

31 October 2018

STONES

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"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)