By Cesar Antonio Molina, Manuel Borja-Villel, Yolanda Romero
What's the museum's position? What could be its capabilities and actions in modern society? What different operational and organizational types may be proposed to aid triumph over the modernist place in which the museum, as a repository of inventive essences, could make a common fact obvious in an immanent means? to discuss those questions, the organization of latest paintings administrators of Spain - ADACE - constituted as a discussion board for mirrored image and debate, held in Baeza a convention during which these chargeable for Spain's museums mirrored, including their overseas colleagues, in addition to artists and thinkers, on those concerns in an idea-sharing consultation. the result of this assembly are released during this e-book. It gains interventions by means of Manuel Asensi, Mieke Bal, John Beverley, Manuel Borja-Villel, Benjamin Buchloh, Gustavo Buntinx, Jean-Francois Chevrier, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Javier Gonzalez de Durana, Beatriz Herraez, Paulo Herkenhoff, Martin Jay, Ana Longoni, Ute Meta Bauer, Simon Marchan, Antoni Muntadas, Juan de Nieves, Martha Rosler, Suely Rolnik, Yolanda Romero, Rene Scherer, Allan Sekula, Teresa Velazquez and Santos Zunzunegui.
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I would use as an example your series of images, which is that of Doris Salcedo. I disagree a little with your interpretation of her work, because I believe she lives more within the general violence of Colombian society and is not blaming anyone specifically, not even the army, but this culture of violence. Afterwards I´d like to bring to the fore someone from your society: Andy Warhol, The Man right to…; from Spain I would mention Equipo Crónica: the image of Franco dressed as a flamenco dancer; and Brazil, two examples as I am Brazilian: one, Cildo Meireles, with his work with the natives and the other, Cara de Caballo by Helio Oiticica, which deals with the subject of urban violence as a sort of reaction during the dictatorship.
Without a firm sense that contemporary art is at the cutting edge of a general progress towards something better – the purification of the medium, the essence of the beautiful, the redemption of life through aestheticisation, or whatever else might have served that purpose – artists can no longer fall back on the comforting belief that they are themselves moments in a grand narrative of artistic development. There are today no salons sheltering resentful refusés counting on vindication by the future.
However, historians are very sceptical about public memory. They are conscious of the fact that it is created, construed and mobilised, that also at times it is ideological, selective and even debatable for various reasons. Also quite frequently it is difficult to criticise, I mean that collective memory is a very complicated phenomenon. Individual memory, collective memory, national memory… all these are very debatable territories. Most professional historians attempt to consider memory in a complex way, but also become distant from it, not taking up testimony or their presence as if it were the last word in a historical event, but rather they also try to see in documents and various things that the witnesses cannot vouch for.