Alice Centamore and Christian Xatrec, the curators of the exhibition Call It Something Else. Something Else Press, Inc. (1963–1974), offer a tour of the show to delve into the artistic practices the Something Else Press publishing house helped to disseminate in the 1960s and 1970s: new forms of creation that were based on time, chance and public agency, for instance those of Fluxus and Conceptual Art.
The exhibition addresses the pivotal role Something Else Press, founded by the American artist, musician, poet and editor Dick Higgins, played in the origin of the concept of “intermedia”. Through conceiving and publishing books, disseminating new ideas through its Something Else Newsletter, printing and distributing pamphlets compiled in the Great Bear Pamphlets collection and the sporadic opening of the Something Else Gallery space, the publishing house organised a series of actions that made it one of the most active hubs of contemporary American art at the time. This work saw the project lauded by numerous artists, writers, architects, musicians and theorists, among them Gertrude Stein, Max Neuhaus, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros and Marshall McLuhan, whose works and ideas challenged long-established artistic categories.
Furthermore, this series of actions maintained a series of common traits: the dematerialisation of the art object, the strengthening of the public’s autonomy, the reading and interpretation of the artwork by way of sheet music or the inclusion of time, ephemeral and contingent, in the new consideration of the artwork post 1960. With these questions in mind, the tour also considers the activation, via artist and writer María Salgado and choreographer and dancer Tatiana Arias, of different exhibited works in order for the encounter to preserve the playful and performative nature of many of the art movements promoted by Something Else Press.
Tania Arias Winogradow is a choreographer and dancer. Trained in Dance and Theatre Studies in Madrid, New York (Columbia University and Movement Research) and Montpellier (National Choreographic Centre of France), she has presented pieces in Dixon Place (New York) and the Autumn Festival in Madrid, among others. She has also worked as an assistant director (40 espontáneos by La Ribot, 2004–2007), a dancer (with the El Bailadero company, 2002–2018) and has collaborated on different shows, among them +-1961: Founding the Expanded Arts (Museo Reina Sofia, 2013).
Alice Centamore is a researcher and art historian. Her research on the Something Else Press publications and activities for the present exhibition was awarded a grant by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in 2019. Furthermore, she is the editor of A Something Else Reader (Primary Information, 2022), an anthology of facsimile editions published by Something Else Press.
María Salgado is an artist and poet whose work combines writing, performance and essay as parts of research into language and poetry. She is the author of the poetry collection Hacía un ruido (Contrabando, 2016), Salitre (La uÑa RoTa, 2019) and REKORD (Contrabando, 2023), and the essay El momento analírico. Una historia expandida de la poesía en España de 1964 a 1983 (Akal, 2023). She has carried out solo performances such as De lengua Trois (three) pieces (MAC Montreal, 2019) and stage pieces, for instance the trilogy Jinete Último Reino, conceived with composer Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca and premiered at the 39th Autumn Festival (Teatros del Canal, Madrid, 2021), with the first fragment performed in the Museo Reina Sofía. She is also part of Seminario Euraca (Madrid).
Christian Xatrec is an artist, curator and editor and, since 2004, director of The Emily Harvey Foundation in New York and Venice. He curated, with Julia Robinson, the exhibition +-1961: Founding the Expanded Arts (Museo Reina Sofia, 2013). He has also edited two books by philosopher and experimental composer Henry Flynt: Ruinous Spirituality (João Simões, 2021) and Three Essays on Spirituality and Art (João Simões Publisher, 2020).