Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

The Poltics of Esthetics and the Esthetics of Politics in Barcelona  
Roger Sansi Roca (Universitat de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

In the last decade, MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona) has promoted itself as a center for political activism. Rancière’s “politics of aesthetics” have been very influential. But the local art activist community has accused MACBA of reducing the politics of esthetics to the esthetics of politics.

Paper long abstract:

In the last decade, contemporary art in Barcelona (Spain) has been, hegemonically, an explicitly political art. This politization of art can be described within the framework of a wide social movement of reaction to neoliberalism and globalization, the gentrification of the city and the precarisation of labor. More specifically it emerged in reaction to particular events- the Irak war, the World Bank summit in Barcelona in 2001, and the "Culture Forum" international event in 2004. Some institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona ( MACBA) have tried to capitalize on this political unrest by promoting themselves as institutions of political criticism and contemporary thought. The work of theorists like Jacques Rancière has been widely used by the MACBA: some of his books have been edited by MACBA, and the museum organized a program of graduate studies with the participation of Rancière himself. However, the "politics of aesthetics" proposed by MACBA have produced an adversarial reaction amongst many groups of art-activists, who think that in reality the politics of aesthetics of the museum ends up being just an esthetisation of politics. In this paper I would like to analyze the conflict between the museum and its opponents, and how the work of Rancière has played a key role in it.

Panel P34
Aesthetics, politics, conflict
  Session 1