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On rituals and communities


After the summer break – for those who were able to take time off – we’re back with a month dedicated to discussing the role of ritual in communities. Indeed, September is an ideal month for dealing with this subject: ever since we were children we’ve been accustomed to going back to school, returning to the routines of school life and the activities happily promoted by trade on account of their lucrativeness. Fortunately, not all rituals have been ensnared by the market and our collaborators have analysed this in this issue.

Juan Canela, who had been working for some time on the subjects of magic, the occult and the mystic, recalls in his text rituals of his childhood.From religious pilgrimages and delays at the door of the church he leads us to one of his most recent exhibition projects that culminated in a collective purification ritual that implied capes, dance and a pot on the boil.

Antoni Miralda and Montse Guillén have also worked with pots and pans. Beatriz Sánchez Santidrián attended the lecture and tasting event that the artist and the chef gave at the Jeu de Paumein Paris in the framework of the Gordon Matta-Clark exhibition. Eating as the collective act, as a ritual that generates community and its connection with art, through several examples.

Closing the circle from mysticism to ritual, María Muñoz surveys the oeuvre of Jeremy Shaw who has worked on these subjects throughout his career. Drugs, religion, psychedelia and collective excesses as a way of creating community are recurrent themes in the latest works by the Canadian artist in the exhibition currently on display at the Kunstverein Hamburg.

Last but not least, the art worldas a community gathered together around work and precariousness is the theme of the group publication Arte y monacato, surveyed by Andrés Carretero. Creation and its relationship with money, but also with its own rituals of interaction and all the contradictions in the sector. We’ll continue to discuss this over the next few months.

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.


29 September 2018

On rituals and communities

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)