The 2013 program of activities at the Museu dArt Contemporani de Barcelona
focuses on the transversal nature and representation of that which is contemporary through exhibitions, but also through public programs, the Program of Independent Studies (PEI) and the Museums educational services, which thus become tools giving momentum to the program. The MACBA collections and international co-productions are at the core of the exhibition program. The constant and further acquisitions of the Fundació MACBA, the union agreement of the collections of the Fundació la Caixa and the substantial enrichment of the MACBA contemporary heritage that has taken place in 2012, with deposits as important as that of Xavier Miserachs, Joan Brossa or Art & Language, help the Museum to redefine its strategy regarding the research, display and dissemination of art and contemporary ideas. The Museums 2013 program is the outcome of an organic relationship between its lines of research, collections contemporary heritage , exhibitions, public and educational programs and the Program of Independent Studies.
The main MACBA line of work aims to emphasise its heritage collections. Therefore, the role of its collection will, more than ever before, increasingly play the leading role and be spotlighted by focusing basically on the display of the MACBA Collection that will start in the summer of 2013 and continue afterwards. This exhibition will show the possibilities of networking with several institutions in Barcelona such as the Museu Nacional dArt de Catalunya (MNAC) or CaixaForum Barcelona. The embrace of new research areas and the elaboration of canonical narrations that revisit the history of our modernity countersign the possibilities of this new collaborative trend between institutions, among which we should highlight the Consorci La Internacional that includes the following institutions: Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst (Antwerp), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Július Koller Society (Bratislava/Vienna), Moderna Galerija (Ljubljana) and the Museu dArt Contemporani de Barcelona
International co-productions will continue to play a central role in the 2013 program. The exhibition of the artist Ahlam Shibli (Palestine, 1970), who has been working in the area of documental photography, will open the new season. It is the outcome of a co-production with the Jeu de Paume in Paris and the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves (Porto). This exhibition, which gathers the most significant works by Shibli produced over the last decade, will be further complemented with Death (2011-2012), a new photo work especially produced for this occasion. The photo works by Ahlam Shibli bear a complex witness to almost-humanity, a status forcefully achieved by the socially-excluded, those who suffer colonial violence or sexual alienation. Shibli develops a kind of work that avoids the objectiveness associated with photojournalism. Rather than visual evidence, her work evolves into a conversational process with the subjects. Each of her series shows the knowledge achieved through the empirical contact with colonialism and situations of conflict, but rejects the denouement and the dramatic nature of the representations in the media.
Escrit en el vent (Written on the Wind) is the title of a retrospective devoted to the drawings by one of the most emblematic artists of contemporary art, Lawrence Weiner (New York, 1942), which is being co-produced with the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Weiner has been well-known for using language as a material to carry out sculptures. In 1966, he profoundly changed the way in which contemporary art was made and perceived: his statement of intent established, among other things, that it is not necessary to execute, to make the work of art, or that the work may be manufactured (by someone else rather than the artist). Weiner has left a very important mark on artists from various generations. And not only his peers John Baldessari or Ed Ruscha have felt very close to his work; artists such as Matt Mullican, Douglas Gordon or Pierre Bismuth have shared, in one way or the other, his aesthetic, philosophical and ethical contributions. Escrit en el vent is the first historic revisit of the role of drawing in Weiners works; it offers a sensual vision, plain and naked, of a way of thinking and saying things. The artist appears as a human being who has obsessions and identifies himself with the figure of a sailor. The horizon, the freedom, the vast spaces of the ocean, the movement of the stars, the quest for a place under the sun or the relationship of human beings with objects are recurrent subjects. The artist recently said: Drawing is saying. His works have been included in the most important private and museum collections in Europe and the United States. In 2009, the Fundació MACBA purchased an important work by Weiner, Some Things, which is located in the atrium of the Museum.
According to the MACBA interest in the contemporary art of North Africa and the Middle East and the role that Barcelona plays as the cultural capital of the Mediterranean Basin, the year will conclude with Just davant nostre (Just in Front of Us). The curator of this exhibition will be Abdellah Karroum, from Morocco. The exhibition will include artists from North Africa, Spain and all over the world who are doing research into the area of the Rif, in Morocco, because they regard it as the historical crossroads between Europe and Africa. Given the fact that it has been French and Spanish protectorates since the 19th century, the Rif has been the place of colonial wars since the beginning of the 20th century. The inhabitants of the Rif played an important role as members of the African army that helped Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Nevertheless, the Rif maintains its own language and culture in the middle of an Arabized area. Just davant nostre will combine the production of new works and objects produced by anonymous people as well as objects of collective production as part of its research into some notions, such as the authority and attribution of the objects of the material culture that embrace both the rural and traditional sphere and the urban environment and post-modernity. The MACBA considers that this project is part of the process of redefining the role played by the Museum in fostering todays production as well as in making this creativity achieve a heritage status. The exhibition will be associated with the seminar Estètica i emancipació (Aesthetics and Liberation) that will be organised together with the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) of the Universidad de México (UNAM), where it will be possible to analyse the role that contemporary artistic production has played in the processes of national liberation since the middle of the 20th century.
Regarding international exhibition tours, the collections of the MACBA and Fundació la Caixa will be displayed at the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) of the Universidad de México (UNAM) from June 2013 to January 2014. In addition, the exhibition Oferta Pública/Public Tender by Rita McBride will be displayed at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City from November 2013 to April 2014. Afterwards, it will be presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston, Texas, in 2015.