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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27 September 2011


“Dune” is one of those science fiction novels that we are now in the process of reclaiming. In the complex world created by John Herbert, a brotherhood of witches, intimately tied to the powers that be, uses a litany in which the following phrase stands out: fear is the mind-killer.

Fear, that first paralyzes, annihilating the capacity to reason and then converts us into animals. Is it really fear that has paralyzed a fair sector of contemporary art and cultural in general? Could it be that our fear is called an excess of institutionalisation? Holland awaits years of budget uncertainty. A few months ago in Great Britain, everybody in the arts had little idea of what the future might hold and were expecting important cuts. In Spain the crisis and political ineptitude are hitting in equal measure. We are waiting for “them” to decide, for “them” to mark the pace, for “them” to give out the money.

Maybe too much importance has been granted to institutional mechanisms and we have forgotten that if institutions exist at all, it is to work with contents, to react and show possibilities. With so much waiting, the capacity to act, the critical gaze, the belief in the existence of contents and the need to work with them goes rusty. And we forget the possibilities that also exist beyond the welcoming, and also destabilizing, frame of the institution.

In this edition of A*Magazine we present three critical texts. Maite Garbayo analyzes the exhibition of Iñaki Garmendia at the Virreina Centre de la Imatge in Barcelona. Oriol Fontdevila observes the situation of the artist’s book on the occasion of the opening of Múltiplos, a bookshop dedicated to the subject in Barcelona and Jaime Cuenca takes a closer look at the work of Itziar Barrio in his solo exhibition at Artium in Vitoria-Gasteiz.

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.


27 September 2011


31 December 2018

Artist’s Status

30 November 2018


31 October 2018


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