The museum is a crossroads of spaces, objects and times: a place where narratives are woven together and stories told, rendering every intersection meaningful as it leads off in one direction or another, turning it into an intense experience of discovery and knowledge. This is why everything that is exhibited, in all its strangeness, all its questions, has to actually touch the visitor’s everyday reality, bringing about a genuine learning experience.
The Museo Reina Sofia’s presentation of its Collection posits a multi-narrative journey, which adopts a definite standpoint and not only keeps the mystery inherent in art alive, but also strengthens resistance towards the single, fixed reading. Traditional genres coexist side by side with photography, film, sound and dance. In addition, the artist has ceased to be the touchstone; the figure of the artist has fragmented and dissolved, allowing any number of expository possibilities to emerge. The same thing occurs with the concept of the ‘masterpiece’, which the Collection recognizes as a valid idea, but not one that automatically has to do with conventional genres, or one that is necessarily structured according to a hierarchy. Instead, the concept embraces artifacts and images such as posters, typographies and publications that stand alongside a work previously considered to be unique and self-contained. In the museum rooms, these examples of juxtaposition and rapprochement are expressed by an interplay of syncopated, contrasting rhythms in an attempt to communicate to the visitor the richness and complexity of certain stories that will always need to be told.
The same idea applies to the way the collection is presented on the museum website: a multiple approach on a number of levels, recreating not only the various narratives of the exhibition rooms, but also the galaxies of concepts that interrelate across the Collection, regardless of era. Finally, there is the selection of a number of artists and works chosen using criteria that go beyond the importance of the artist, the genre or how the piece was executed. The organization of all this (an ongoing process) renders the typical contemporary art categorizations unusable, and instead seeks to offer more flexible solutions, customized to the specifics of each individual piece.
The presentation of the Collection on the museum website is a major strategic project in this new phase at the Museo Reina Sofía, and is directly linked to the implementation of a new database updating all the department’s organizational systems. It is the result of three years of hard work, involving absolute commitment from the entire staff.