This presentation of holdings from the Museo Reina Sofía Collection, largely made up of recent acquisitions, approaches the languages and artistic practices that defined the period between the end of the 1990s and 2007 – both in Spain and internationally - by way of a series of shared questions that heralded the start of the century and run up to the present time.
Considered one of the pioneers of media art and conceptual art in Spain, for over four decades Antoni Muntadas (Barcelona, 1942) has been creating projects that foment critical reflection about key issues in the configuration of contemporary experience. His aim is to detect and decode the control and power mechanisms through which hegemonic ways of seeing are built, exploring the decisive role played by the mass media in this process. In his works, which always have a clear processual dimension and often make a direct call for viewer participation, Muntadas uses a number of media, languages and discursive strategies, from interventions in public space to video and photography, from the publication of printed material to the use of Internet and the new digital tools, from multimedia installations to the organisation of multidisciplinary, collaborative research projects.
Sobre el futuro de la fuerza colectiva dentro del archivo
In their efforts to distance themselves from a linear narrative of modernity, The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía addresses the Museum's vision as not merely a container of objects, but as an entity capable of producing new discourses for their Collection and generating new knowledge. For this reason through Two Different Readings of the Collection, two exhibitions have opened at the same time, about the meaning of collecting and relating the Museum's Collection from two different points of view. Artists Rosa Barba and Juan Luis Moraza, have made an exhaustive study on the Museum's collection to then choose a selection of works which can offer the public two alternative visions and proposals on the Collection.
At the beginning of the summer of 1972, the “Pamplona Encounters” were held - the most extensive and significant international avant-garde art festival held in Spain. Imbued with the idea of diffusing art into life, these were ephemeral encounters, set up as an opportunity to subvert the order established at the end of the dictatorship in Spain.
The exhibition Machines & Souls. Digital Art and New Media explores the convergence between science, art, technology and society at the beginning of the twenty-first century to reflect on the transformations that underlie the practices carried out by the artists that are part of this exhibition. The collection includes the work of 17 artists who have the use of digital technology as a tool in common, along with a long and distinguished artistic career. Some of them, like Antoni Muntadas, Daniel Canogar and Antoni Abad have already been part of previous exhibitions at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
This exhibition is an overview to understand how the recording, transmission and reproduction technology of sound and images born in 1950, and technically different from cinema, became artistic media. It examines the influence of technology and mass culture in social and artistic changes in an era of cultural acceleration and proliferation of ideas. In this way 1968 marks a before and after, as that was the year when a relatively affordable portable television appeared on the market, opening up the media to a vast new group of people.
The exhibition La visión impura (Impure Vision) presents a selection of works recently acquired by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and does so using the title to highlight the fact that the art produced in the latter part of the 20th century undermines any notion of purely visual art.
The exhibition El arte sucede. Origen de las prácticas conceptuales en España (1965-1980) (Art Happens: The Origin of Conceptual Practices in Spain 1965-1980) takes its title from James Whistler's saying “Art happens”. Whistler was an habitué to Stéphane Mallarmé's circle and worked in close proximity to his line of thought, the reflections of which contributed to establishing the basis of the interdisciplinary and supranational conception of art. The exhibition explores the appearance and development of Conceptual Art in Spain, bringing together an anthology of works realised by diverse artists with their own traits, linked by their experiences and interests whilst also sharing approaches with their international counterparts. These traits are defined by the multifarious relationship with popular culture, the social, the political, the subjective and the body itself.
The exhibition Galería Cadaqués (1973-1997) is part of the series of exhibitions dedicated to historical art galleries -the last one was dedicated to showing the Archivo de la Galería Juana Mordó in 2001- and is organised by the Documentation Centre of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
Taken as a point of reference, the 1987 exhibitionLa Imagen Sublime. Vídeo de creación en España (1970-1987), which took place in the then Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, is equally dedicated to video art in Spain. The aim of this new exhibition is twofold: firstly, it aims to show the latest video creations produced in the country and, secondly, to evaluate the evolution this new discipline has experienced during the eight years between the two exhibitions.
With the desire to give continuity to the project initiated at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía two years ago, Bienal de la imagen en movimiento ´92. Visionarios españoles repeats a similar call to the previous exhibition, but with the difference that all the selected, displayed and projected works are creations by Spanish artists. Even though the biennial has been designed as an exhibition, it is complemented by a series of film and video screenings, "which are a logical expansion of the exhibition", as noted by the curators of the exhibition, Carlota Álvarez Basso and Joseba M . Lopezortega.
One of the most salient characteristics of the work of Antoni Muntadas (Barcelona, 1942) is the use of mass media content for art purposes. The broad vision of his work, as well as the diversity of visible interests and mediums, is portrayed in this Muntadas exhibition in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Four works spanning from 1978 to 1987 are reconstructed in the exhibition halls in addition to five video pieces and two compositions created solely within the context of the exhibition: the installation Situación and the catalogue piece Híbridos.
Among the three exhibitions to open the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in 1986, Procesos brings together a compendium of works that use the cutting-edge tools and technological supports, applying them to the world of creation.