Research residencies 2012-2013
The residencies program, a joint initiative of Museo Reina Sofía, the Conference of Rectors of the Public Universities of Madrid (CRUMA) and Banco Santander, seeks to introduce and expand crucial lines of theoretical and artistic research in the Museum, while at the same time generating new dynamics for participation among the different departments of the institution and the community of researchers. The residencies also give rise to a new form of cultural programming, in which a specific public activity is the product of an innovative research project lasting various months.
The residencies are for researchers wishing to have a two-month long research visit at Museo Reina Sofía, where they are given access to different resources with which to carry out their projects. The residencies conclude with an activity offered to the public, as the first presentation of the research conducted. The researchers also impart a seminar to the students enrolled in one of the post-graduate programs at the Study Centre.
In collaboration with Banco de Santander and CRUMA.
The economic crisis, the government of difference, new subjectivities. Approaching these issues from the activist research perspective
The question arising at this time is the following: with the economic and financial crisis, is a crisis also occurring in the neoliberal form of government with regard to social matters? Or, on the contrary, is an upsurge of this form of government underway, a kind of swan song marking the moment before its final death throes? Or (and this is the third possibility) are we at an impasse, in which the characteristics of this form of government are more accentuated than ever, but with no sign of any clear end or feasible alternative?
Débora Ávila and Marta Malo
The hypothesis now being contemplated leans more toward this third option: the crisis is the highest possible expression of the features of the neoliberal government in relation to social matters. This is because, among other reasons, for this technology of government, crises are a natural habitat. The aim of this research is to explore this hypothesis in four different scenarios, from the point of view of the subaltern subjectivities present in each of them: education, labour, citizenship and social intervention.
Founded by the artist Pedro Garhel, it soon became a place for multiple encounters in which everything participatory and collaborative could be found, along with projects whose key concepts were independent or self-managing, multidisciplinary, or focused on research and exploration, especially in the frontier areas between the visual, stage and sound arts. Espacio [P] witnessed the political, social and cultural processes underway in Spanish society at the beginning of the democratic period.
This research project intends, firstly, to catalogue the documentary archive compiled by Espacio [P] during its more than 20 years of activity, and secondly, to map out the different connections and networks established by this living collective organism that Espacio [P] represents on the national and international scene.
Collective pedagogies and constituting practices. A map of the complexities found in collaborative cultural policies
This research seeks to situate the work topics and the discursive frameworks existing in collective pedagogy projects by looking at them as constituting practices. In consequence, it analyses the sphere, context and work genealogies of these types of cultural practice, which can lead to other possibilities for analysing the collaboration and operativity of cultural institutions when they decide to work and generate relations with autonomous, collective or experimental educational projects.
Javier Rodrigo Montero
The research project seeks primarily to determine and analyse the contexts in which discourses about pedagogies are currently being generated. Secondly, it aims to describe and present a local and complex inventory of the work currently being done by collective pedagogies. And thirdly, it intends to draw social maps and create a cartography of the complexities found within the initiatives studied. The ultimate objective is to present the possible itineraries or converging lines that appear as regards cultural policies and critical pedagogies, and specifically what potential scenes of collaboration with cultural institutions open up to us as a result.
The final aim of the research is to implement a "counter-archive" or Anarchive of the politics of AIDS, looking at the practices carried out in the peripheries of the main Western centres, in the context of post-colonial struggles and emancipation processes taking place in the various souths, including a re-reading of the practices existing in Spain, which is Europe's periphery and south. The idea is not to simply take a new look at the relationship between "art and AIDS" in the sense of "illness-inspired art", but rather to map out the type of structural displacements, fractures and irruptions that have taken place in the sphere of cultural production since the arrival of AIDS.
The project Cities in revolt looks at the productive aspect of the current rebellions against neoliberal governing practices. The project intends to study, side-by-side with activist groups from Madrid, how the "revolts" give rise to new types of urban spaces, and more specifically, to how the passage from a public-private dialectic of space to a notion of common space transforms our perception of cities. The 15M movement last year has shown how the "communalization" of a city's squares can generate a broad array of democratic flows. However, the radical potential within these processes of space production is still largely unknown. Are these urban movements capable, with their own tactics, of transforming the neoliberal city at the strategic level and of intervening qualitatively in the production of material space? This is the main question that the research will examine. Can the #spanishrevolution be as effective in physical space as it is in virtual space? Is it possible to make the leap from utopian ideas to a revolution in daily life?
Débora Ávila y Marta Malo have been promoting and taking part in activist research projects for over a decade (Precarias a la deriva, Observatorio Metropolitano, Manos invisibles...), combining participation in social spaces with self-formation and theoretical practice. Their research methodology seeks to invert the usual hierarchies between researcher and informant, give value to what are traditionally considered the more minor forms of knowledge and explore different expressive formats.
Yanira Quintero Hernández , one of the researchers who assisted in inventorying the personal archive of Pedro Garhel, offers the Museum the corpus of documentation related to the founder of a cultural space that contributed decisively to the development of audiovisual art in Spain in the 1980s and 90s.
Javier Rodrigo Montero is a member of the collective called Transductores and teaches in the Masters in Visual Culture program at the University of Barcelona. Javier Rodrigo represents the new school of thinking about pedagogy and art.
Aimar Arriola y Nancy Garín . Aimar Arriola is a curator whose work brings together research, memory and identity politics, and also exhibition. On this occasion she is working with the Chilean researcher Nancy Garín, who explores the relation between the archive as a historic method and the recent history of Chile.
Pulska Grupa , a Croatian group of architects and urban planners, takes another approach to urban space, as shown by their projects in the city of Pula. They were selected to represent their country at the 2012 Venice Biennale of Architecture.
Research residencies 2011-2012
The Museo Reina Sofía Research Residency Program brings together national and international specialists and artists who use their projects to critically and imaginatively analyse and present significant aspects of contemporary culture. With this project, the Museum is promoting the experimental learning methods that need to ground our education and exhibition programs and exploring new ways of thinking about the institution.
During their stay, researchers join the Museum community, working alongside exceptional graduate and doctoral students from the Study Centre. At the end of the residency, the participants offer an activity open to public participation, presenting the results of their research.
In collaboration with Banco de Santander and CRUMA.
Brecht’s Sun on Benjamin’s Face. Diagrams of the New Political Imagination
The first focus of this project is an experimental proposal about how to narrate the recent history of the junctures between art, politics, activism and mass communication.
The second focal point emerges from the following hypothesis: certain aspects of these junctures can be considered a restatement of experimental prototypes originally embraced and put into practice by the historical avant-gardes.
The starting point for this investigation is the conjunction of two essays by Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction and The Author as Producer, and the project proposes the existence of a “productivist Benjamin”. The relationship between Benjamin and a certain time and spirit (the politicised Russo-Soviet avant-garde, the avant-garde theatre radicalised towards anti-bourgeois politics, etc.) is exemplified through his growing relationship and, in the end, deep affinity with Bertolt Brecht.
Political entrepreneurship, cultural production and commons
This research project attempts to define the sphere of political-cultural entrepreneurship and its base in the production of openly distributed cognitive-cultural goods and services.
This requires the establishment of an operative definition of this concept by developing a preliminary inventory of projects of this type that can be included in this definition in the Spanish context and describing the genesis and development of these entrepreneurial projects in relation to the social and political context of the last two decades, recognising their strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, the project analyses their value as a source of wealth, heterogeneity and distinction within the creative sector of cities, along with their social, economic and political value in their contribution to the intellectual commons. Finally, it identifies possible forms of synergy that can reinforce this type of network and increase their agency.
Subtramas. Research and co-learning platform on collaborative audiovisual production practices
Diego del Pozo, Montserrat Romaní, Virginia Villaplana
This project involves art research that falls within the so-called radical pedagogies of visual culture. It is structured around an analysis of the different narratives that have vindicated alternative models of art and audiovisual production, by using disruptive strategies in the forms of administration, efficiency and authority in disciplined societies.
The research project was built around the confluence of a series of interviews done in an earlier phase and groups of artists currently working in Europe. These groups or projects are characterised by their collaborative working styles and their experimentation with creating new critical views of globalised societies. The project also calls for a re-reading of the legacy of different experimental documentary image practices developed during the last century that tried to deconstruct the structures of judgement and productivity in inherited learning in order to generate other forms of social coexistence and empower them with collective action.
The Discourses of Gender in Spanish Visual Arts in the 1960s and 1970s
This project was designed to study the processes of artistic creation for women in Spain starting from a basic concept: invisibility. Because of the Franco dictatorship, the so-called women’s liberation movements and the associated feminist ideology were incorporated into Spanish social structures more slowly and were controlled by strict patriarchal doctrines.
The research project plans to briefly trace the careers of the first professional female artists in Spain, who for the most part practiced their profession during the brilliant decades of the 1920s and 30s and endured the darks depths of the Civil War, exile and repression under Franco. This background serves as a base from which to analyse one of the paradoxically least studied eras in terms of gender studies and the visual arts in Spain: the late-Franco period and the transition, a time consigned to oblivion when the new figuration and neo-expressionist movements of the 1980s emerged.
Legacies of cruelty
This research project situates Antonin Artaud’s work in drawing, theatre, cinema and radio, as a relevant legacy for understanding postwar artistic practices. Artaud’s importance to the visual arts and poetry is often overlooked due to the centrality accorded the work of Marcel Duchamp and Dada when narrating this history. The researcher proposes a monographic study that hones in on Artaud’s reception in relation to neo-avantgarde practices, including cinema and painting. At issue is what Jacques Derrida calls the blow (coup) that is struck to the art institution by means of Artaud’s work. How might one understand the singularity of this blow in relation to the histories of modernism? Finally, this project responds to today’s increasingly global art world by articulating a transatlantic model for thinking Artaud’s legacy in France, the United States, and Brazil.
Kaira M. Cabañas, art critic and curator, director of the Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies graduate program at Columbia University.
Marcelo Expósito, an artist whose work encompasses critical theory, editorial work, curating, teaching and translation.
Diego del Pozo, artist and cultural producer whose projects deal with the social construction of identities, Montse Romaní, a researcher and cultural producer who works in different areas of culture (art research, curating, teaching and cultural policy) and Virginia Villaplana, artist, writer and associate professor at the Theory of Languages and Communication Sciences Department at the Universitat de Valencia.
Emmanuel Rodríguez López, editor of Traficantes de Sueños since 2002 and author of El gobierno imposible. Trabajo y fronteras en las metrópolis de la abundancia y de Fin de ciclo. Financiarición, territorio, sociedad de propietarios en la onda larga del capitalismo hispano (1959-2010), as well as many texts in books and journals.
Isabel Tejeda Martín, researcher and exhibition curator, who has written numerous articles in specialist journals and given courses and lectures in Spain and internationally.