New spaces for contemporary art making: |
One year after the reopening of the Santa Mónica Art Center in Barcelona, we interviewed the director Ferrán Barenblit to get an early glimpse of activities:
María Inés Rodríguez: I would like to begin our conversation by discussing the cultural context surrounding this new phase of the Santa Mónica Art Center.
Ferrán Barenblit: Barcelona is a city with a very intense network of institutions dedicated to contemporary art. There has been a great deal of activity since the seventies, with the creation of the Miró Foundation, the Santa Mónica Center which was inaugurated in 88, the Tapies Foundation which opened a year later, the MACBA in the mid-nineties and all the Caixa contemporary art activities, which are considerable. We also have the initiatives of the City Council in its different spaces, to mention only a few places.
Santa Mónica occupies the role of an art center, we have no collection and our only patrimony is knowledge, criticism and any activities we are able to generate. The building is, itself, a baroque convent which has been used for different activities during the course of its history. The recent history of Santa Mónica began in October 3, 2003, when we re-inaugurated with the purpose of strengthening this idea of an art center.
MIR: What are the guidelines for this new phase ?
FB: We will concentrate on individual projects by artists with different degrees of visibility and origin, we have no specific project hall, we are a project space. We generally show four projects simultaneously, which are, moreover, especially commissioned for this space. We do approximately 16 projects a year.
MIR: Do you work with a staff or invited curators ?
FB: Curatorial decisions are taken by a team consisting of two curators associated with the Center who are, at the present time, David G. Torres of Barcelona, Miguel von Hafe Perez of Oporto and myself. Between the three of us we are responsible for programming and take the reins individually for certain projects. This formula allows us to work intensely, increasing the contacts, visions and possibilities of receiving and directing more information.