For most of its existence, the museum has done the exact opposite. Far from recognising the tension between the inscrutability of meaning and the opening to another language in the modern art work, the museum has watered it down to a contemplation that has become an auratic ritual frozen in a distant past. Dos lecturas sobre la colección (Two readings on the collection), along with La Colección Reescrita (Rewriting The Collection) represents an attempt to reintroduce the staging of diverse timeframes and heterogeneous periods involving the historical narrative and its own materiality within the museum. In so far as it is an institution that orders objects, artefacts, documents and the relationships between these things and the public in a series of narrations, the museum must consider not only which stories it is to tell, but also what devices to employ for their narration.
Itinerary of the exhibition Martín Ramírez: Reframing Confinement, held in Museo Reina Sofía from March 31 to July 12, 2010. Through a selection of works by Mexican artist, the exhibition examines the limits of the art system and the presence of the other in the space of an art institution. Martín Ramírez (1895-1963) produced his work in a confinement of more than three decades in a mental hospital, making his own painting materials and exploring a unique iconography that refers to the estrangement between two worlds, the origin of rural and indigenous Mexico and destination, a United States in the midst of a full-blown industrial development. The question posed by the exhibition is the lack of a non-reductionist vocabulary for understanding artistic categories beyond those undertaken by history of art.
Stricken bodies, mutant bodies: Losing the human form evokes an image of the 1980s in Latin America that draws a counterpoint between the devastating effects of violence on bodies, and the radical experiments of freedom and transformation that challenged the repressive order. Between horror and festivity, the selected materials show not only the atrocious consequences of countless disappearances and massacres occurring under the dictatorial regimes, states of siege and internal wars, but also the collective urges to create new ways of life, in continual revolution.
Tacita Dean: The Friar's Doodle (Museo Reina Sofia, Monastery of Silos March 23-June 27) is a site-specific exhibition reviewing the history of the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos beyond its monumentality, classifying the traces of everyday life in the scribbles and graffiti of the columns of the cloister. In this inventory, the British artist shows a varied set of uses of space, such as as a witness to the work of the stonemasons, the rudimentary medieval games or the use the monastery as a shelter, building a fragmented and collective cultural history and relating film and photography with the evocations of minor narratives.
The Season of Celebrarions/ La saison des fêtes is a site-specific installation by Pierre Huyghe at the Palacio de Cristal del Retiro (March 17 to May 31, 2010) where, from a set of plant species in different seasons planted in a circle, the artist reviews the relationship between nature and tradition, myth, and celebration, recalling how events and the perception of time are determined by fiction and storytelling. In this video, Huyghe explains this site-specific project in relation to a series of constant lines of work which question time as phenomenology and reenactment as a mechanism for representation.
Summary of Enlace - 45 (18 January 2010), in which the Argentine visual artist and author Leandro Katz presented her documentary films El día que me quieras and Exhumación, explaining her vision of the relationship between art and politics.
Conversation with Daina Augatis, curator of the exhibition, and the artist Antoni Muntadas on Entre/Between. This exhibition, structured into nine blocks or "thematic constellations" is a complex, non-linear reading of Muntadas' work. In it numerous collaborative and multi-disciplinary projects are shown, from the early years to the piece Situación 2011, created especially for this exhibition.
Conversation with the artist Soledad Sevilla about her exhibition in the Palacio de Cristal, in Madrid's Parque del Retiro, where she created an installation specifically for this site. Language, geometry, light and the spectator's experience are some of the elements that contribute to this exhibition. A large aluminum structure and a series of polycarbonate panels recreate a night sky dotted with linguistic signs.
João Fernandes and François Piron, the exhibition curators, analyse the influence of Raymond Roussel, an essential figure in the history of literature and a source of inspiration for visual artists and authors from other disciplines. The legacy of Roussel's poetic-literary universe permits a transversal reading of the history of 20th century art.
Manuel J. Borja-Villel, the exhibition curator, presents the artist Elena Asins' work and discusses the key elements of her role and her contributions to the history of art. In addition, the artist herself contextualizes her work following her collaboration with the Computation Centre, and analyses the multiple media and formats used in her artwork (concrete poetry, drawing, video...).
Roland Groenenboom, curator of the exhibition, and Dominic van den Boogerd, art critic and director of De Ateliers, present in this video the ironic and imaginative work of René Daniëls. Along with his pictorial works, other materials and documents reflect the complex and conceptual work of this Dutch artist, who makes constant references to literature and daily life.
In this video Lynne Cooke and Christian Rattemeyer, the curators of the exhibition, present the largest retrospective show to date on the Italian artist Alighiero Boetti. Initially linked to the Arte Povera movement, Boetti soon began to develop conceptual work, based on ideas concerning duality, the sensory and time, examined with the subjectivity of the artist.
Reinventing Space marks the inauguration of a new initiative in which young artists collaborate with the Museum in creating workshops designed for children. Exhibitions by Yayoi Kusama, Lygia Pape and Elena Asins serve as the context and material for the workshop.
Conversation with the artist Maja Bajevic (Sarajevo, 1967) about her exhibition at Palacio de Cristal, in Madrid's Parque del Retiro. In this project, the artist analyses the consequences of historical and political conflicts and the impact they have on society.
Lynne Cooke, curator of the exhibition, presents the work of this singular, self-taught artist who was born completely deaf in Idaho. The exhibition offers a panoramic vision of the work of James Castle, an artist who invented his own way of showing and telling. Because of his deafness, he never learned to speak but he developed an imaginary all his own, nowadays described in terms such as primitive, marginal or visionary, in an attempt to unravel the complexity of his production.