Open Chair

Forms of Thinking II

Thursday, 6, and Friday, 7 June 2024 - Check programme
Organising committee
Laia Blasco Soplon (UOC), Muriel Gómez Pradas (UOC), María Iñigo Clavo (UOC), Germán Labrador Méndez (Princeton University and Museo Reina Sofía), Mariona Peraire Selva (Museo Reina Sofía and UOC) and Aida Sánchez de Serdio Martín (UOC)
Organised by
Museo Reina Sofía and Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Programme
Inside the framework of

Open Chair is a project which stems from a collaboration between the Museo Reina Sofía and Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) via its Bachelor’s Degree in Art and aims to promote, annually, an in-person encounter which intersects and establishes a dialogue between university and museum. The space, geared towards training artists, seeks to contribute to creating an expanded and connected community of student creatives and researchers, and is linked to the Museo Reina Sofía Study Centre.  

In this second edition the Chair fixes its gaze on the processes, methodologies, tools and techniques of artistic practice and its value in generating thought. Thus, this year’s public programme, organised over two days, gets under way with the presentation of a selection of five works from UOC’s Bachelor’s Degree in Art which span different languages and formats such as the comic, performance, sculpture and installation. The goal is to share processes, developments, questions and learning around artistic practice and reflection.  

The first day comprises a conversation between Amparo Moroño and Sira Pizà, art professionals who work in a rural environment and, consequently, reflect from different perspectives on artistic creation in non-urban and decentralised environments. 

The second day sees researchers Claudia Delso Carreira and Mabel Tapia offer a workshop for student artists, inviting them to collectively reflect on the museum device and practices, taking as a starting point the work developed in the Rethinking the Museum (Institutional Practice and Mezzo-politics) Seminar, framed within Connective Tissue, the Museo Reina Sofía’s Study Programme.   

Participants

Laia Blasco Soplon is the director of the Bachelor’s Degree in Art at Universitat Oberta Catalunya (UOC). With a degree in Fine Art from Universitat de Barcelona and a PhD candidate on UOC’s online PhD Programme in Information Technologies and Networks, her artistic and academic research is centred on the creation, study and critique of interactive visual tools for experimentation and learning.

Anna Busquets Alemany holds a PhD in History. She is currently a dean of Art and Humanities Studies at UOC, and has been a director of East Asia Studies and deputy director of the Office of the Vice President for Academic Planning (UOC). Her areas of research focus on European knowledge on China in the modern age, the role of devotees in China and the Philippines as cultural mediators and the process of constructing the image of China in the Spanish monarchy.  

Carmen Collado Jiménez focuses her artistic practice on the metropolis, often seen as the heart of “civilisation”. She draws on this imaginary through different artistic disciplines, in both material and conceptual terms, and uses women’s names to disseminate her work:  “Martina”, responsible for presenting her most recent creations, is personified as a casual observer who blends in with the crowd. 

Claudia Delso Carreira mobilises the Rethinking the Museum (Institutional Practice and Mezzo-politics) Seminar from the Museo Reina Sofía’s Study Programme, Connective Tissue, and is a cultural manager and mediator. She was a councillor for Democratic Participation and Innovation at A Coruña City Council with the municipal platform Marea Atlántica (2015–2022), and since then her concerns have revolved around the opening-out of institutionalism and the possibilities of radically innovative public policies. She also holds a degree in Art History from Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, with postgraduate qualifications in International Cultural Cooperation and Management, and Technopolitics and Law in the Digital Era (Universitat de Barcelona). She is currently part of the Institut de Recerca Urbana de Barcelona as a researcher.

Muriel Gómez Pradas holds a PhD in Art History (University of Zaragoza) and is an associate dean in Alliances, Community and Culture at UOC’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities and a lecturer on its Bachelor’s Degree in Art. Her research fields focus on the analysis of creative processes and institutionalisation in museum collections, the reception of art, specifically from non-Western cultures, such as Japanese culture, and processes of rupture and continuity in Catalan artistic modernity before and after the Spanish Civil War. 

Albert Iglesias Aulet holds a degree in Art from UOC and is currently studying an MA in Teaching. His practice evolves in the spheres of art and design, specifically in the fields of sculpture and interior design. Aesthetics and Catholic tradition, from a cultural and costumbrista perspective, is a constant reference point in his works. Reds, blacks and golds combine with sharp, precise lines that structure, from planned control, the author’s modus operandi.

Núria Iglesias Rodríguez (Piròmana d’Argos) trained in physical theatre and improvised dance, her artistic practice linked to the places and beings that inhabit and transit them. She is concerned with the notion of performativity in the plasticity of memory or imagination, and her most recent works most notably include Esto podría ser una rave (Festival Influx and Antic Teatre, Barcelona, 2023).

María Iñigo Clavo is a lecturer on UOC’s Bachelor’s Degree in Art whose research themes include coloniality, museology, modernity and its inventions in otherness, critical heritage, art and curatorship in Latin America, with a focus on Brazilian art.

Merce Irigoyen Jiménez holds a degree and PhD in Veterinary Science (2002) from the University of Zaragoza. Following an accident in 1993, she suffered a C5-C6 spinal injury, and in 1997 she attained Proven Research Experience at the Public University of Navarra. Since 1998, she has combined her work with the Official Association of Veterinaries of Navarra with different courses in graphic design, and in 2009 she obtained an MA in Multimedia Creation and Production from UOC and is currently studying the Bachelor’s  Degree in Art at the same university. Her art projects explore themes related to vulnerability, intimacy, moral autonomy, functional diversity and sexual diversity. 

Amparo Moroño Díaz holds a degree in Art History and carried out her PhD studies in Art and Education at Universitat de Barcelona, specialising in cultural pedagogies. She has worked in different cultural institutions in the field of education and artistic mediation and since 2011 has focused her interests on the rural environment of Extremadura, where she supports processes of community and eco-feminist research and cultural production. She is currently head of the Culture Programme at the Valle del Jerte Community Group, where she is involved in the Habitar el Palacio (Inhabiting the Palace) project, and is part of the artistic management team of the Instituto de la Tierra(Earth Institute), as well as an associate professor on UOC’s Bachelor’s Degree in Art. 

Sira Pizà holds a degree in Fine Art and a PhD in Humanities, specialising in the critical theory of contemporary art. Her work explores the spheres of curatorship, writing and cultural management, and she currently curates Spiritvessel, in Espinavessa, a space for independent artistic residences in rural Catalonia, and is deputy director of the Llum BCN Festival in Barcelona. She has been an associate director of Future Gallery, in Berlin and Mexico City, and is a manager at Sol Calero Studio, Berlin. She has also taught Curatorial Studies at UOC. Her thesis revolves around the self-production of the artist’s identity as a performative act and her more recent concerns focus on processes of exoticisation in art.

Aida Sánchez de Serdio Martín holds a PhD in Fine Arts from the Universitat de Barcelona and is a lecturer on UOC’s Bachelor’s Degree in Art. Her main field of specialisation is education and community practices in relation to arts and culture, understood as a place of knowledge production, political debate and social transformation.

Mabel Tapia mobilises the Rethinking the Museum (Institutional Practice and Mezzo-politics) Seminar from the Museo Reina Sofía’s Study Programme, Connective Tissue. She was previously deputy artistic director of the Museo from 2020 to 2023 and a coordinator of the L’Internationale museum confederation. In France she co-directed, for three years, the post-graduate course in artistic research, Document et art contemporain, held at École européenne supérieure de l’image (ÉESI) and École nationale supérieure d’art (ENSA), in Bourges. Moreover, she has coordinated and participates in the Southern Conceptualisms Network. Her areas of research are concerned with institutional policies and artistic practices from the twenty-first century, characterised by the deactivation of the aesthetic function.

Conchi Torreblanca Mendo (Conchitagoras) is an artist who in her practice looks to join different fields of knowledge via drawing and the creation of small visual narrations in the form of cartoon strips and comics. Six years after studying Economics, she started to focus on illustration, and currently combines UOC’s Bachelor’s Degree in Art with Computer Music Studies.  

Programa

Actividad pasada Thursday, 6 June 2024
Artistic Research Encounter

4pm Welcome and Presentation
― With Laia Blasco Soplon and Anna Busquets

4:15pm Presentation of Work from UOC’s Bachelor’s Degree in Art
― With Carmen Collado Jiménez, Albert Iglesias Aulet, Núria Iglesias Rodríguez (Piròmana d’Argos), Merce Irigoyen Jiménez and Conchi Torreblanca Mendo (Conchitagoras) 

Nébulas que forman lagos (Nebulae that Form Lakes, 2024) by Carmen Collado Jiménez
The lake transcends its condition merely as a mass of water in a distant world. It is erected as a portal towards the unknown, zealously guarded by creatures whose origin remains shrouded in mystery. These ethereal beings, with translucent bodies oscillating between light and shade, emit an ancestral and enigmatic energy, their mere presence imbuing the air with a perturbing aura, warning mortals to refrain from crossing their borders. This project explores the convergence of digital art, classical sculpture and fantasy literature.   

Mort de l’himne de Felanitx (2022) by Albert Iglesias Aulet
This expanded, site-specific space retrieves public space and links it to art, organically and directly vindicating it with no intermediates, authorisations or barriers. The collective, socialising and cooperative act is essential. Of particular interest is setting challenges that cannot be met alone, but must be filled with meaning when they move in company, with involvement, with collaboration.

Perfecto no es afecto (Perfect Is Not Affect, 2023) by Núria Iglesias Rodríguez (Piròmana d’Argos)
The installation is constructed with a phenomenological attitude in an old room in a house. The appearance of fungi on the ceiling makes it a harmful place to rest in and it via this immersive nature that they are hidden to reveal other events. Affect implicitly entails trial-error, experimentation, action: deployment, resilience and freedom of difference.  

Habitaciones (Rooms, 2024) by Merce Irigoyen Jiménez
This work seeks to conceptualise the meaning of intimacy, freedom, moral autonomy and self-determination in material and spatial terms. The way to contextualise these ideas is by exhibiting Habitaciones (Rooms), through which lives, lives that are limited by the walls of their rooms, pass. Rooms are places where everything is exhibited, where everything is shown.  

Las directoras del Reina Sofía (Women Directors of the Reina Sofía, 2024) by Conchi Torreblanca Mendo (Conchitagoras)
This project seeks to make visible, in comic book form, the work carried out by the female directors who have been at the helm of the Museo Reina Sofía: María del Corral (1990–1994) and Ana Martínez de Aguilar (2004–2007). Both engage in conversation to discuss some of the most important landmarks during their tenures, for instance the transfer of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (1937) and managing the disappearance of Richard Serra’s thirty-eight-tonne sculpture Equal-Parallel: Guernica-Bengasi (1986), the whereabouts of which remain a mystery to this today.

5:30pm Debate
― Supported by Laia Blasco Soplon and Muriel Gómez Pradas

6:30pm Break

7pm Re-imagining Territory: New Institutionalisms and Art Ecosystems in the Rural Environment
Conversation between Amparo Moroño Díaz and Sira Pizà
― Supported by María Iñigo Clavo and Aida Sánchez de Serdio Martín

This encounter sees Amparo Moroño Díaz and Sira Pizà discuss their experience as art professionals in the rural environment. Urban areas are currently experiencing a major housing crisis and European cities are becoming places of work and real estate speculation. Since the twentieth century, art, essentially, has had an urban quality and has been at the centre of avant-garde rivalries between major cities. The predominance of cities in global art circles has overshadowed processes of cultural and artistic production which occur in other territorial spheres, stopping more complex, polyphonic and decentred visions of the art world from taking shape. What effect does demographic decentralisation have on culture? What place can there be from contemporary art and institutional critique in rural areas and what are its resilience strategies? What type of networks and affects favour a non-urban context? What possibilities and conflicts can arise between different ways of culturally inhabiting ruralness?

Nouvel Building, Protocol Room and online platform

100 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached