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24 November 2012
Knockdown prices

Montse Badia

What does it mean to be the citizen of a country in a globalised world? What is it worth? What are the implications? In 1998 Matthieu Laurette began a piece, that is still in progress, titled The Citizenship Project, in which he began to investigate the conditions required to obtain different nationalities. His objective was to obtain as many nationalities as possible, going a wee bit further than the legal restrictions, to explore the idea of citizenship within a globalised world. Within this working framework, for example, in 2001 invited by Harald Szeemann to participate in Venice Biennale, he decided to write a letter (along with the curator) to the 111 countries that weren´t participating in the biennale, offering them the possibility of representing them officially at the event, in return for obtaining citizenship from said country. Evidencing in this way not just the cynicism of the globalised world but also the absurdity of nationalities.

Spain wasn´t one of these 111 countries given that it has its own pavilion in the Giardini,but now, if Laurette wanted to obtain Spanish nationality, he would simply have to present documents crediting him with the purchase of home of a value superior to 160.000 €. With this alone, it is already possible to become a Spanish citizen or quite literally acquire Spanish citizenship. Without a doubt, these measures along with the current fiscal amnesty open up new perspectives for the future…A future full of reductions, obviously. Lamentably, the model that is currently being followed here is not that of Sweden, but that of the brand Eurovegas.

Montse Badia has never liked standing still, so she has always thought about travelling, entering into relation with other contexts, distancing herself, to be able to think more clearly about the world. The critique of art and curating have been a way of putting into practice her conviction about the need for critical thought, for idiosyncrasies and individual stances. How, if not, can we question the standardisation to which we are being subjected?

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