press release

The exhibition “How do we want to be governed?” is presented in various public spaces in the Poblenou-Besòs district in Barcelona and is articulated as an itinerary through the city. This itinerary has not only a spatial dimension but also a temporal one that unfolds in time.

The different spaces that house the exhibition open and close successively like a stage setting that is in the process of permanent change. Moreover, the exhibition’s flow generates a context for public programs (debates, lectures, performances, screenings) that take place in the exhibition spaces as well as in other venues throughout the district.

Without a doubt, “How do we want to be governed?” is an expanded exhibition that includes seminars, lectures, and film screenings and that has two principle objectives: to reinvent the museum’s presence in a former industrial neighborhood in the process of transformation and to relate the museum’s presence to what has been described as the mobilisation citoyenne mondiale— that is, to the creation of a global public opinion that reclaims planetary democracy and the just distribution of common goods. What is the function of art in all of this?

The content of the exhibition unfolds along three themes: First, modernity is understood as a category that is not exclusively universal but as one that incorporates specificities and aberrations through the manner in which it is produced in different parts of the world: industrialization, urbanization, secularization, individualization, bureaucratic administration, etc. Secondly, there is neoliberal immanence and the passage to postfordism. What types of postfordist points of view do we face in various parts of the world? What lessons can we extract from the local within a transnational dialogue? In relation to this theme, of particular interest is the revival of premodern phenomena such as radical regionalism. Yet the focus is not on ethnic neighborhoods within multicultural metropolises but above all on the relations between diasporas and origins.

The third theme is the state of exception as the rule—the total mobilization of subjectivity in postfordism or, pace Paolo Virno, “subjectivity put to work”—as well as the discourse of the radical subject. The exhibition begins in a public education centre, the Instituto Bachillerato Barri Besòs, which performs the important labor of providing public services to the neighborhood and also acts as a meeting place for the district’s social movements. Next, among other places, the itinerary continues to a historically industrial area that has been reconverted for tertiary production—Palo Alto, in the valuable urban ensemble found on Pellaires Street—and goes on to the Centre Cultural de La Mina, a cultural space characteristic of Barcelona’s new social-democratic urbanism of the 1980s. The centre is situated in a neighborhood that materializes the insufficiencies and inequalities of existing public policy in the metropolitan area. Finally, in its last stage, the itinerary proceeds to the Centro Comercial Diagonal Mar, a commercial centre that emblematizes new public spaces’ privatization but also their unforeseen forms of appropriation. This itinerary, with its discontinuities and tensions, is a reading of the city’s history that contrasts with the dominant imaginary. It thereby attempts to make visible other images and reconstruct subaltern histories that have otherwise remained at the margin of the modern metropolis’s hegemonic construction.

only in german

How do you want to be governed?
Produktion: Museu d´Art Contemporani, Barcelona in Zusammenarbeit mit der Universität Lüneburg
Kurator: Roger M. Buergel

Künstler: Sonia Abian, Ibon Aranberri, Maja Bajevic, Azul Blaseotto, Sergio Bologna, Slavador Claros, Alice Creischer, Ines Doujak, Miren Etxezarreta, Patrick Faigenbaum, Harun Farocki, Paco Marin, Ramon Parramon, Carlos Piegari, Precarias a la deriva , Florian Pumhösl, Alejandra Riera, Joan Roca, Dierk Schmidt, Jordi Secall, Andreas Siekmann, Colectivo Situaciones, Merce Tatjer, Minze Tummescheit ...

Orte: verschiedene Ausstellungsorte in Poblenou und Besòs, Barcelona (IES Barri Besòs, Palo Alto, Centre Cívic de La Mina)

06.11.03 - 13.11.03 Kunstraum der Universität Lüneburg
23.09.04 - 07.11.04 MACBA Barcelona
29.11.04 - 30.01.05 Miami Art Central, Miami
24.02.05 - 24.04.05 Wiener Secession, Wien
29.04.05 - 19.06.05 Witte de With, Rotterdam