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The void and ideas. Politics and culture


28 November 2011

The void and ideas. Politics and culture

The elections in Spain have been and gone. An absolute majority for the PP, a very significant presence of left wing nationalists in the Basque country and in Catalonia a very significant presence of the nationalist right wing. That is to say a blue Spain, almost entirely monochrome, with only the historic autonomous regions (nice euphemism) with a different profile.

The campaign has stood out for its absolute nullity, for the negation of ideas, for the sense that it’s better not to say anything as it might cause me problems. The treatment of the electorate by the political classes has been outrageous. Not even the slogans packed any punch, reflecting neither ideas nor contributing anything. There weren’t even any electoral programmes. As if the objective was to avoid any form of minimally intelligent discussion. If this wasn’t the case, it’s even worse, as it means that there is simply nothing out there, that the panorama is bleak. But denying that any margins exist by simply undermining them, now that they do extremely well. The elections are over and neither the outgoing president nor the entering president has anything to say. Where have we come to.

And culture? It hasn’t even been mentioned. Everything indicates that the PP will eliminate the Ministry of idem. Some should evaluate their own work to question whether culture is a ministry that can be dispensed with. The PP will no doubt be grateful to González-Sinde and her team at Sgae and Fundación Autor, for destroying it from the inside. Good work henchmen. After all, amalgamating everything into “cultural industry” responds to a right wing programme, with nothing socialist about it, far from any left wing tendencies. Culture is more than money, even if maybe all the nuances, capabilities, critical elements, educational value, pieces on identity, spaces for debate, contexts for the creation of meaning and a long list of etceteras, are of no interest. But where is the profit in all of this? So why mess with it?

Let’s see where they place all those who occupied those earmarked positions. Brazil? In a Cervantes institute? In some other far-flung place, being paid their high salary for a few months, until somebody discovers who they are and who put them there? Some are acting with great urgency, with the haste of a professional to retain what they have for the maximum possible length of time.

Moreover, in art, we find complexity, layers of ideas, and critical readings. We find mappings, languages, positions that demand reflection about institutions and the institutionalised. We find what we would like to find in the world of professional politics perpetuated by those lousy professionals. In this edition of A*Magazine we consider three proposals that are the product of a desire for creative analysis, a desire to discover something more in our surroundings, in our time and in our reality. Maite Garbayo writes about the exhibition “In the First Cycle” at the Tàpies Foundation. Montse Badia about “Modelling Standard”

A*DESK is a critical platform focused on publishing, training, experimentation, communication and dissemination in relation to contemporary culture and art, which is defined by transversality. The starting point is contemporary art, because that is where we come from and this awareness allows us to go much further, to incorporate other disciplines and forms of thought in order debate issues that are relevant and urgent for understanding our present.

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