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26 July 2011
Stand by –> ON

Barcelona is a Mediterranean city with a mild climate. August, being generally a hot and humid month. Despite the fact that not everybody can go on holiday for the whole month, we are still a country that shuts down for the whole of August. And rests. Preparing for the start of a new season. This year many will be lying on the beach or on a terrace in the mountains with their homework done. Or at least they will have thought about it. That’s what we hope. As while the year is drawing to a close everything is still up in the air. What will happen to the Canodrom? To the Capella? To the Virreina? And to Macba? The Catalan minister for culture, Ferran Mascarell, announced at the beginning of July that there would be changes, that he was thinking about how to organise the whole context. While Jaume Ciurana, deputy mayor at the town hall in Barcelona, in an interview in El Pais and La Vanguardia placed Macba at the centre of all the decisions. Ciurana and Mascarell seem to be in agreement that the museum should mark the institutional discourse of the city, that it be important. The fact is that Barcelona can’t continue in stand-by. A few weeks ago we published a letter from the association of independent galleries of Catalonia (GIC) that quite rightly denounced the stalemate. And yes, they were right, curators, critics and artists run the risk of not finding outlets, of not being able to develop projects. Others also don’t have it easy. Whatever the situation, one has to press “ON”, once and for all.

For the time being to pass the time in August we leave you with four articles. One by Pilar Bonet that looks at the exhibition “La cuestión del paradigma” (The question of the paradigm) at the Panera in Lleida and another by Maite Garbayo Maeztu looking at the Àngels Ribé exhibition at Macba in Barcelona. On the other hand, Syd Krochmalny talks about the political complexities of the United States in relation to the work “Do You Have Time?” by Judi Werthein with Tomás Espina at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut and Marina Vives reflects on the state-nations present in the Venice Biennale.

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.

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