May 15, 2009 - Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) - New Acquisitions and a New Turn at the MACBA Collection
May 15, 2009

New Acquisitions and a New Turn at the MACBA Collection

Judith Barry
In the Shadow of the City…Vamp r y, 1985
MACBA Collection
Consorci Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
© Judith Barry, 2009

Time as Matter. MACBA Collection. New Acquisitions
May 15th – August 31st 2009

Capella MACBA:
The Uncertainty Principle

May 15th – June 12th 2009

Plaça dels Angels, 

08001 Barcelona

The presentation of the new acquisitions of the MACBA Collection aims to develop new readings of the contemporary artistic production and its interlacing with art history’s critical reception. Focusing on notions such as time, life and play, the exhibition wants to contribute to the expansion of the language of art scholarship, as well as to the construction of a museum culture capable of incorporating artistic research and questioning the making and the meaning of experience today. The works of Constant Nieuwenhuys, Judith Barry, Rita McBride, Katalin Ladik, Matt Mullican, Hans Haacke, David Lamelas, Lawrence Weiner, Palle Nielsen, Dan Graham, Manon de Boer, Armando Andrade Tudela, Ignasi Aballí, Marine Hugonnier or Sanja Iveković, among others, convey different aspects of this engagement.

At the same time, the project space La Capella MACBA will host The Uncertainty Principle, an intense month-long program of films, sound works, performances and lectures, for which the space has been transformed into a theater-like installation by the artist Tobias Putrih. The aim of this experimental project is to create a collective experience of hearing, seeing and talking art, in order to develop new paths for thinking, as well as new words for addressing it.

In 1967, David Lamelas aligned on the walls of a darkened gallery an array of television sets showing no images. “The only thing you could see was the snow effect, the only thing you could hear was static”, Lamelas recalled in a1972 interview. In this work, entitled Situación de tiempo, the Argentinian artist sought to explore the limits of temporality in art. Now this installation is amongst the many works brought together by the MACBA as part of the exhibition Time as Matter. MACBA Collection. New Acquisitions.

The exhibition starts with a reference to the first presentation of works from the MoMA Collection (Frank Kline, Robert Motherwell, Philip Guston, Pollock, among others) that took place in 1955 at the Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona. The exhibition was a turning point in Franco regime´s acceptance of abstract painting and Spanish informalism (Tàpies, Millares, Saura, Cuixart). At the same historical moment, Constant Nieuwenhuys developed New Babylon (1954-1972), the last global utopian project generated by Western art. The end of global utopias was declared in 1972, when Hans Haacke showed in Shapolsky et al. that the city had been transformed into a theater of real state speculation.

Through the enactment of different relations between the works and the periods in which they were produced, Time as Matter reflects on the notion of time as the complex primal substance where experience takes place. The works help us to understand that the perceived reality does not depend on an intrinsic centre or hierarchy but coheres purely through an interweaving of reciprocal relations in which the spectator is called to play a decisive role. The exhibition precisely revolves around the new reality created by the close interaction of several key notions: theater versus cinema, life performance versus television, music versus sound, place versus playground. Last but not least, the interiorization of time also opens up a new perspective on pleasure, knowledge production and the power and miseries of mass-media.

Occupying the entire MACBA floors, Time as Matter covers the last fifty years in the history of art, and includes installations, paintings, sculptures, photographs, collages, models, books, etc., all of them acquired, donated or loaned over the last few years. Among the artists represented are Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Dieter Roth, Antoni Tàpies, Gego, Pablo Palazuelo, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Hans Haacke, Soledad Sevilla, Matt Mullican, Palle Nielsen, Richard Hamilton, Lawrence Weiner, León Ferrari, Tere Recarens, Gil J. Wolman, Joan Rabascall, Jaume Xifra, Benet Rossell, Joan Jonas, Judith Barry, Dan Graham, Ignasi Aballí, Katalin Ladik, Sanja Iveković, Muntadas, Deimantas Narkevicius, Francesc Torres, Nancy Spero and Rita McBride.

In close relationship with the subject matter of the exhibition, the MACBA Study Centre will host an exhibition of artists’ books and documents.

The display of the MACBA Collection takes place every two years. However, the scale and theoretical ambition of this show establishes a landmark in the Museum’s history. The Museum presents a very large number of acquisitions made since 2007 thanks to the support of the MACBA Foundation and, since 2008, the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council.

The Capella MACBA will host two different projects during the MACBA Collection show. From May 15th to June 12th: The Uncertainty Principle, a month- long discursive platform (full program available on-line). And from July 5th, a new site-specific production of the Brazilian artist Renata Lucas, and an installation by French artists Michel François and Jean Paul Jacquet (with the collaboration of Jordi Colomer, François Curlet, Ann Veronica Janssens, a.o.), La Ricarda.

Please notice that from May 15th until September 27th the Museum hours will be extended till midnight every Thursday and Friday. The “MACBA Night Program” is a special summer program including different kinds of activities and events. Please check our website for further information.

Exhibition title: Time as Matter. MACBA Collection. New Acquisitions.
Dates: from May 15th to August 31st 2009
Exhibition curated by Bartomeu Marí
The Uncertainty Principle curated by Chus Martinez
The MACBA Study Centre exhibition curated by Guy Schraenen

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
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