Hosting is caring. Partners meeting.
BCN 9 - 10 March / WHO CARES? / 2021-2022

Idensitat is organising, as part of the Who Cares? project, a meeting on the 9th and 10th of March between various organisations which form part of this European cooperation project, together with a number of production and artistic exhibition centres in the city of Barcelona. Space (London), Grey Area (Korçula), Rupert (Vilnius), Centro Huarte (Huarte) and Idensitat will meet and talk with Sala d'Art Jove, La Escocesa, Arts Santa Mònica and La Capella. This is an international exchange meeting with representatives from spaces around the city of Barcelona whom we consider to be paying attention to the concept of care in their structures, in planning their activities, and also in introducing new values ​​in institutional transformation. We are interested in these spaces because, as a result of a change in management, all of them are entering new stages in their development.

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Following this activity in Barcelona, ​​the group will go on to Pamplona where, until March 13, new activities will be organised by the Centro Huarte.

This meeting will be based on an exchange of experiences and visions, an opportunity to broaden connections and knowledge-based networks among the various projects and institutions, and at the same time adding value to the implementation of the process started in 2020, in the Who Cares? project.

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> Info: https://www.who-cares.eu/

Hosting is caring. Partners meeting.

BCN 9 - 10 March / WHO CARES? / 2021-2022

Idensitat organised, as part of the Who Cares? project, a meeting on the 9th and 10th of March between various organisations which form part of this European cooperation project, together with a number of production and artistic exhibition centres in the city of Barcelona. Space (London), Grey Area (Korçula), Rupert (Vilnius), Centro Huarte (Huarte) and Idensitat met and talked with Sala d'Art Jove, La Escocesa, Arts Santa Mònica and La Capella. This was an international exchange meeting with representatives from spaces around the city of Barcelona whom we consider to be paying attention to the concept of care in their structures, in planning their activities, and also in introducing new values ​​in institutional transformation. We are interested in these spaces because, as a result of a change in management, all of them are entering new stages in their development.

Following this activity in Barcelona, ​​the group went to Pamplona where new activities were organised by the Centro Huarte.

This meeting was an exchange of experiences and visions, an opportunity to broaden connections and knowledge-based networks among the various projects and institutions, and at the same time adding value to the implementation of the process started in 2020, in the Who Cares? project.

Info: https://www.who-cares.eu/

HOSTING IS CARING/BCN

A number of us arrived earlier in Barcelona. We met on the 9th with Margarita, and toured around a few city areas in the city centre. The day was mostly rainy and cold, but even so it was good to take a long walk and uncover the hidden urban stories. Later on, we met with Prem and Rachel, to have a few drinks around Gracia.

On the 10th we met at the door of Sala d’Art Jove, which was our first visit of the day. Welcomed by the research and curatorial group pli-e collective, the centre’s management team including Eva Paià, Marina Ribot Pallicer and Angelica Tognetti, they explained the basis of their management plan, which places practices of care and listening at the core of the centre’s activities. They incorporate artistic research processes and counter-hegemonic exchange-based learning within their practices, opening the space to a wide spectrum of art and research disciplines, while also broadening the formats and subjects of work. The programme aims to provide emerging artists with opportunities, training, support, and work exchanges and international exposure. Sala d’Art Jove is a confluence space, an action centre focused on building networks and encouraging research. One of the main challenges for current cultural institutions, as the Sala d’Art Jove’s management team explained, has been the constant adjustments to administrative scheduling. This issue must come first when reconsidering how a cultural institution should operate, to allow programming to follow its proper course and development, in order to achieve its objectives.

Later on, the group visited La Escocesa, a factory reclaimed in the 90s by a group of artists, that nowadays refers to itself as a space for analogue creation related to mechanical technologies, emphasising the building’s industrial origins, and the context of its situation. Managed by an assembly of resident artists, we met Alba Colomo, director, and Pablo Santolalla from the coordination team. Alba Colomo introduced us to the new plan for the centre, based upon the possible application of Permaculture methodologies to contemporary art, proposals for transversal collective processes, and an intersection between ecology and institutional transformation. The functioning of the centre cannot stand apart from current issues; but, on the contrary, must remain aware of the people’s needs and those trends that affect their everyday lives. In this sense, Alba Colomo’s new direction for La Escocesa, establishes a consolidated model of the transparent, accessible institution, facilitating the envisioning and prototyping of transformations in cultural and artistic practices, creating a horizontal, critical, and ecofeminist- principled art centre, one that not only produces art, but which cares for people and the environment.

After lunch, we visited Art Santa Monica, an interdisciplinary arts centre which, under the new direction of Enric Puig, who would lead us on our tour, defines itself as a mutating space, a context for new visions of art and creation, a place for action and processes, a cultural scenario for multiple voices, in constant agitation, with the aim of shaping knowledge on a collective basis. In addition, it also serves as a community resource, connecting artists and local residents in its concept of liquid creation. This new participatory environment resembles a living organism, exploring ideas such as symbiosis, commensalism, breaking with hierarchies to create a horizontal network of creation and knowledge sharing. The programme also becomes hybrid, a shared framework in which actions and activities, exhibitions, performances are understood as part of a collective process that is in continuous movement and cross-fertilisation.

Our last visit took us to La Capella, where Cristian Alonso, the curator, explained the main project for the centre, which is housed in a building catalogued as a national heritage monument. The centre has set out a core programme for exhibitions, curatorial projects, research, and multidisciplinary projects, especially those with a connection to its immediate environment within the district. La Capella also develops various outreach and participatory activities, focusing upon the city as a living organism, promoting research regarding new urban ecologies. Various spaces within the building are also open to working groups, training and presentation sessions, creating an active space for arts networking.

These visits have placed an emphasis on practices which are giving a new meaning to the cultural institution, one which puts people at the centre of its activities, from artists, curators and other practitioners, to the entire community. They were also an occasion to open a dialogue between various art centres, those of the hosts and those represented by the guests, to form connections, to share experiences regarding needs, methodologies, how-to’s, in all aspects of programming and disseminating cultural content, from the open call to the sharing of final results, while also leaning into the idea that care and listening must form part of the cultural institution. In this sense, hosting this meeting meant much more than merely organising a guided tour; it was also a way to highlight the idea of caring as part of the artistic practice. Currently, we live in a so-called post-crisis scenario, exposing our shared global concerns over issues such as democratic rights, environmental justice, resources, health, to name a few. The creative and cultural sectors offer critical voices in response, so the institution must be aware of these voices, and play its role, extending from micro to macro politics, aiming to be an instrument, lending its support to bottom-up positive transformation, and making an effort to situate itself on the people’s side.

Who Cares? is a European Cooperation project articulated as a platform to share experiences, to deploy interactions and to collectively envision other activations in the context of artistic practices. It focuses on care, attention and listening on the part of cultural and artistic institutions. It includes five organisations dedicated to artistic production from different parts of Europe: Space (London), Grey Area (Korçula), Rupert (Vilnius), Centro Huarte (Huarte), and Idensitat (Barcelona)


@IDENSITAT 2022