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Timelines, historic markers


At the beginning of the month we said that the passing of time is something we are concerned with. We also said that thought, happenings, the event, are causes, symptoms or excuses for a line that doesn’t advance in the same way it depends upon from where you look at it. So, the theme of April consequently revolved around temporality in a chronological sense, “the timeline”, placed in confrontation with a more geographical temporality. Each context can have different lines, sometimes they are parallel, sometimes in contact and at others in total discordance. Although it might seem a wild association the relations between temporality and civilization (collectives – societies – communities, etc.) are incredible, even more so when we situate them in an artistic context of reference.

From the point of view of those who never had priority regarding the point of focus, Aymara Arreaza writes “Operating without anaesthetic” in which she doesn’t just expose in broad strokes the urgency of this change of perspective, so much as also contributes “current” examples that suffer the practices of “historical” domination. If we cast an eye over pages of the newspapers from the last few weeks, it’s not hard to understand that “the supremacy of certain nationalities, languages and identities, often considered in racial terms, one comes to realise the way in which from the colonial story certain forms of actuation are imposed over others” and this isn’t just in art and culture, so much as is also, and in particular beyond it.

Marina Vives writes about Prophetia, also a current topic, one it could be said is more current than ever despite the fact that its ‘history’ can be traced back to Greek mythology, the exhibition curated by Imma Prieto in the Fundació Miró. This searches precisely to talk through the language of “art” of political, social and economic themes, subjects that concern us and are questioned in contemporary society; themes that affect us directly in the context of peripheral Europe in which the exhibition is developed.

On her part Anna Dot interviewed Andrea Valdés and David Bestué in relation to their project La línea sin fin, a collection of six publications. With the intention of observing their most immediate context they manage to generate new narratives, transcending a history exploited on the one hand by “Catalans”. The Línea sin fin is a project that carries out an exercise in free relations, in which various collaborators have been included, to think without complexes but with a certain humour, about the reality of their identity. Something similar to what we’ve been trying to do at A*DESK for a while now, such as when we decided to talk in a magazine about the “catalan question” desde el mundo de la cultura contemporánea.

And continuing along the timelines we have traced in April, what better way to end than where this leads us, the future. Juanjo Santos signs “The art of the future”, in which he revises the different practices, past and present, that want, seek or desire to “reach completion” in a future that perhaps many of us (not even the actual artists) will reach; perhaps calling into question this shock of communities, not from a point of view that is geographical, past or simultaneous, so much as inter-temporal.

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.


30 April 2015

Timelines, historic markers

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)