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.
In El retorno de lo imaginario curated by artist and theorist Juan Luis Moraza, a path is traced regarding the survival of realism and its different types throughout the History of Art, in an exhibition which is also a tribute to Juan Antonio Ramírez, firm advocate of the History of Art as iconic-verbal discourse.
Twenty-first century art can be unexpectedly considered similar to late nineteenth century art. What is discerned as art from the beginning of this century does not indicate so much a return to what is "real" but the persistence of what is imagined in new forms of realism. In this exhibition the works are placed in a variegated arrangement, which aims to eliminate the isolation that would result from contemplating each piece separately. This way, there is an effort to enhance the relationships between them in order to offer an image of a constellation, an orderly but open system, formed by the bonds between the works.
The analysis of the meaning of collecting and of stories that contain a collection arise through more than 200 pieces - among objects, documents, sculptures, paintings, etc. - ranging from the late nineteenth century until today, displayed as a large, temporal diagram, organised representationally. In chronological terms, the walls are organised into three time bands: the upper band corresponds to works of the nineteenth century, between 1881 and 1907, the middle one to works of the twentieth century, between 1900 and 1980, and the lower band to works from the twentieth century, from 1980 to the present day. In representational terms, the exhibition is divided into three zones, based on three main types of realism corresponding to three sign types. Moraza’s proposal aims to recognise continuities in contemporary art, where historiography has established discontinuities.