What the CCCB has in store: a foretaste of the 2017 programme

December 20th, 2016 No Comments

A new year is just around the corner and it’s time to give you a taster of what we’re cooking up at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània, what the various programming teams are working on, and the themes and the protagonists of our debates, films, audiovisual screenings, exhibitions and festivals for 2017.

We can look forward to a new season of activities organized around a central idea running through the entire programme: reflection on change. Get out your diaries and take note!

Debates about change in the present

Judit Butler lecture © CCCB. Miquel Taverna, 2015

We start the year with a major debate about Europe, a continent undergoing one of the most critical moments in its political history, with a humanitarian crisis surrounding refugees and the rise of authoritarianisms and xenophobia. 

Debates and humanistic and philosophical reflection about the present will continue throughout the year with cycles of talks about the idea of revolution and its strength today, about the role of Russia in the world in the centenary of the October Revolution, about suicide (leading cause of non-natural death among young people in Catalonia) and about privacy at a time when technology permeates all spheres of our lives.

Climate change from the viewpoint of culture

The third culture, a line of programming that brings together art, science and design, will be very present in debates like “Technology, sovereignty and globalization”, a series of talks directed by Evgeny Morozov. Composer Brian Eno is one of the first speakers to be confirmed.

Critical reflection on climate change and the destruction of the planet is one of the big themes of the year, which we’ll be addressing in After the End of the World. Curated by José Luis de Vicente, this exhibition will present multidisciplinary projects and viewpoints, allowing us to form a fairly realistic view of what our lives and the world will be like in the not too distant future (the year 2050). This year’s edition of the International Cultural Innovation Award is open to cultural ideas that offer imaginative, effective solutions to climate change. The winning project will form part of the exhibition After the End of the World.

2017, a literary year at the CCCB

The Pati de les Dones during Kosmopolis festival © CCCB. Miquel Taverna, 2013

Amplified literature: Kosmopolis is back for year nine of the amplified literature festival. Under the heading “When Everything Changes”, this literary festival presents a five-day programme bringing together established authors and new talents to address some of the principal challenges facing culture and literature in the broadest sense. John Banville, Kim Stanley Robinson, Jean Echenoz, Sophie Divry, Orna Donath, Pierre Lemaitre, Jo Nesbø, Marta Sanz and Alicia Kopf are some of the names of Kosmopolis 2017.

A few days before Kosmopolis kicks off, we’ll be opening the exhibition Photobook Phenomenon, about the relation between photography and paper publications with a deluxe group of curators: Gerry Badger, Horacio Fernández, Ryuichi Kaneko, Erik Kessels, Irene de Mendoza, Moritz Neumüller, Martin Parr, Markus Schaden and Frederic Lezmi.

The month of May sees the arrival of the sixth edition of Primera Persona, another of the CCCB’s in-house festivals in which literature, music and autobiographical narrative take the stage.

Women have a lot to say

Thewriter Taiye Selasi in Kosmopolis 2015. © CCCB. Carlos Cazurro, 2015

“Good girls go to heaven—bad girls go everywhere.” This phrase, attributed to the actress Mae West, provides the inspiration for Gandules, the al fresco film programme that takes place in August. With the title “Wild and Indomitable Women of the Cinema”, we’ll be showing films that remind us of female characters who have inundated the cinema screen throughout history. María Castejón Leorza, a film critic on the team of Pikara Magazin, will be the curator of the cycle.

The Kosmopolis festival will also be looking at literature written by women as one of the central themes of this year’s edition.

15 years of experimental cinema

In 2018, Xcèntric, the CCCB’s cinema, turns 15. Xcèntric opens an anniversary season with a programme of Val del Omar premieres and a concert by El Niño de Elche. It’ll also have a new website and a book about essential filmmakers in experimental cinema.

The CCCB continues its collaboration with established festivals like L’Alternativa, DOCSBarcelona, Miniput and the International Women’s Film Festival, as well as younger proposals like D’A and the Serielizados Fest.

Soy Cámara’s YouTube channel will continue to experiment with the genre of the video essay centring on current affairs and themes included in the CCCB’s programme. A new feature this year is a programme of live presentations, kicking off with the screening of Hypernormalisation, the latest documentary by Adam Curtis.

Nobel Laureates in Literature who have visited the CCCB

May 17th, 2016 No Comments

The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona’s interest in literature is very much present in its programme, from exhibitions to debates, in performative activities such as Slam Poetry and in consolidated festivals such as Kosmopolis, Primera Persona and Món Llibre. The CCCB is writers’ territory and this spring among the interesting authors visiting us are Juan Marsé, Jordi Puntí, Renata Adler, John Irving, Don DeLillo and Svetlana Alexievich. Taking advantage of the visit by the Nobel Laureate in Literature of 2015, we have done a little archaeological digging in our archive to remember other writers who have visited the CCCB and were also winners of this prestigious accolade.

Svetlana Alexievich Nobel Prize in Literature 2015. She visited the CCCB on May 2016 in a conversation with writer Francesc Serés.

Herta Müller Nobel Prize in Literature 2009 – She visited the CCCB in June 2012. She gave the lecture “Language as Homeland” and talked with translator and literary critic Cecilia Dreymüller. To coincide with her presence at the Centre, a small-format exhibition was dedicated to her “Herta Müller: The Vicious Circle of Words”.

Orham Pamuk. Nobel Prize in Literature 2006. He visited the CCCB in January 2010. The celebrated Turkish writer gave an interesting lecture on the future of museums and of novels.

J.M.Coetzee. Nobel Prize in Literature 2003. He made a “virtual” visit to the CCCB in October 2008. The South African writer read some excerpts from his book “Diary of A Bad Year” exclusively for the Kosmopolis literature festival.

Gao Xingjian. Nobel Prize in Literature 2000. Visited the CCCB in October 2008. The Chinese writer talked about the reason for being of literature and the sacrifices involved in the defence of creative freedom against the abuses of political or media power. The CCCB devoted an exhibition to him along with a television programme “Soy Cámara. El mundo de Gao”

Mario Vargas Llosa. Nobel Prize in Literature 2010. He visited the CCCB in October 2004.

Vargas Llosa gave the lecture “Wars at the 21st Century”.

The CCCB, a center commited to Literature

January 27th, 2016 1 Comment

Since 11 December 2015, Barcelona has formed part of the UNESCO’s Creative Cities network in the field of literature. Together with Baghdad (Iraq), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Lviv (Ukraine), Montevideo (Uruguay), Nottingham (England), Óbidos (Portugal), Tartu (Estonia) and Ulyanovsk (Russia), Barcelona now has official recognition of a reality that has been palpable in the city for a long time.

K15 // Martín Caparrós & Jon Lee Anderson © CCCB, Carlos Cazurro, 2015

Literature is one of the primary focuses of the CCCB and forms part of its founding principles: “The CCCB is a space for the creation, research, dissemination and debating of contemporary culture in which the visual arts, literature, philosophy, film, music, the performing arts and transmedia activity are interconnected in an interdisciplinary programme”. Literature is, therefore, one of the subjects that have most featured in exhibitions and activities over the centre’s twenty years of history.

In 1995, just a year after its inauguration, the CCCB presented the exhibition James Joyce’s Dublin, the first of a series devoted to cities and the writers linked to them. After Dublin, the series continued with The Lisbons of Pessoa (1997), The City of K. Kafka and Prague (1999) and Cosmopolis. Borges and Buenos Aires (2002). All of these exhibitions went beyond the writing to relate the works of authors with their literary and personal landscapes, to discover how the cities that they inhabited were the direct or indirect protagonists of their works. In The Trieste of Magris (2011), the Italian city served as a physical tour around the work of the Italian writer; with Pasolini Rome (2013), the filmmaker met the writer to defend his most critical role and Bolaño Archive (2013) recalled the passing of the Chilean writer through Blanes, Girona and Barcelona via a detective-style journey that visitors had to resolve, a kind of “meta-exhibition” that allowed relations and clues to be discovered in the very work of the author of The Savage Detectives.

Bolaño Archive. 1977-2003 © Lidia González Alija, 2013

Other writers as subjects of exhibitions and debates have been Calders (The Mirrors of Fiction, 2000), Espriu (I Looked Upon This Land, 2013), W.G. Sebald (Sebald Variations, 2015, an exhibition that related the walks taken by the German author with contemporary art), Julio Cortázar (Travels, Images and Other Territories, 2004), Federico García Lorca (1998) and J.G. Ballard (Autopsy of the New Millennium, 2008).

Espriu. I looked upon this land © La Fotogràfica, 2014

It was the exhibition devoted to Borges that gave its name to the amplified literature fest Kosmopolis, which held its first edition in December 2002. Since then, every two years (with some exceptions: in 2005 a special edition was held to coincide with Book and Reading Year and the 400th anniversary of the publication of the Quijote), it has brought together some of the best authors of world literature, including several Nobel, Cervantes and Príncipe de Asturias prize winners, such as Juan Marsé, Gao Xingjian, Claudio Magris, J.M. Coetzee, Tzvetan Tódorov, Amos Oz, Ismail Kadaré, Mario Vargas Llosa and Svetlana Alexievich. Kosmopolis bears the subtitle “Amplified literature fest” because it is more than a literature festival, because the themes for each edition are related to each other, because writing, science, comic art, the written and spoken word, music and theatre all form part of a programme that explores the letters from very diverse perspectives. And because it does not focus on a single form of literary expression, but rather encompasses them all. For all these reasons we would be so bold as to say that Kosmopolisis the only festival held in Barcelona on literature understood in its broadest sense, since other meet-ups, such as BCNegra or Barcelona Poesía, focus on the field of literature specialising in the crime and poetry genres, respectively.

K04 // Mario Vargas Llosa © CCCB, Susana Gelida, 2004

Beyond the exhibitions, the CCCB has also hosted book presentations, courses, tribute events and lectures by authors from al over the world. To cite just a few examples: Paul Auster presented his Winter Journal in 2012; Erri de Luca talked about the Mediterranean; Amin Maalouf debated on identity and memory; Orhan Pamuk reflected on the future of museums and literature; Herta Müller presented a small-format exhibition on her work; Salman Rushdie explained why we live in the time of strangeness, and Jonathan Safran Foerdefended the need to stop eating animals.

K15 // Salman Rushdie & Rodrigo Fresán © CCCB, Miquel Taverna, 2015

In this year 2016 we will be commemorating the seven-hundred year anniversary of the death of Ramon Llull and over the course of the year various activities will be held related with the writer, philosopher, theologian, professor and missionary. At the CCCB we are joining the commemoration with an exhibition, The Thinking Machine. Ramon Llull and the ars combinatoria, which offers a new perspective regarding his work. However, this is not the first nor the last anniversary to be celebrated at the centre: we also remembered J.V. Foix with the recital FestFoix. 25 Years With/Without Foix; we hosted a tribute to Joan Vinyoli on the thirty-year anniversary of his death, Anniversary Promenade. Tribute to Joan Vinyoli, and Raimon read texts by Joan Fuster on the 2012 commemoration of ninety years since his birth and fifty since the publication of his most important work, Nosaltres, els valencians. For the last three years we have also been celebrating Orwell Day; once a month we host a meet-up focusing on the spoken word, PoetrySlam, and regularly the Friends of the CCCB participate in the Reading Club led by journalist and writer Antonio Lozano. Furthermore, since 2013 the CCCB has formed part of the Literature Across Frontiers platform, which promotes literature and translation in minority languages with member literary festivals from places as diverse as Turkey, Poland, the United Kingdom, Croatia, Norway, Portugal and Slovenia.

Apart from Llull, the literary programme for 2016 is again brimming with important events. Kosmopolis will continue its monthly offerings with a broad-spectrum programme that will serve as a foretaste of the 2017 festival. For example, in May and June we were visited by Northamerican writers John Irving and Don DeLillo and in November we will be hosting Eurocon, Europe’s most important science-fiction literature meeting. And, last May, we received the most autobiographical authors of the moment at the Primera Persona festival, which confirmed authors such as Renata Adler, Juan Marsé, Carlos Zanón, James Rhodes and Jordi Puntí.

Primera Persona 2015. The writer Caitlin Moran talking the journalist Marta Salicrú © CCCB, Miquel Taverna, 2015

With this track record, Barcelona’s candidate status as Literary City was a project that the centre defended with enthusiasm and with the conviction that it was a recognition that Barcelona has deserved for some time. Now, with this honorary title, the city has fully entered the worldwide league of creative cities, and the CCCB will continue to be on the front line, defending literature as one of the fine arts. Because, as defined by the principles of Kosmopolis, literature is “the only discourse that does not try to model the world on absolute foundations, disciplinary frontiers or ideological straitjackets”.

#MuseumWeek, an interactive experiment

March 13th, 2014 No Comments

For the first time, and with the aim of setting a precedent, #MuseumWeek will bring together a score of Spanish museums and over 200 cultural centres from all over Europe in an initiative whose aim is to make culture more easily accessible via Twitter. It will take place in the week of 24 to 28 March, and the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona will be one of the virtual scenarios where this proposal will unfold.

#MuseumWeek will fill the web with comments, anecdotes, questions, and answers. It will offer prizes to participants, share knowledge and experiences and become a meeting point for lovers of art and culture. The museums will open their doors via Twitter, offering a previously unseen or little-known image of their premises, their activities, and the people who work there.

Each day of the week will be devoted to a theme, which will allow in-depth study of two major events linked to the CCCB: the inauguration of the exhibition Metamorphosis and the celebration of 20 years of the CCCB. And, at the same time, each of the themes will serve to explain certain aspects of the event in question. Thus, #MuseumWeek will be organised in the following way:

Monday 24: A day in the life

This title encompasses all the stories that take place at the centre the day before the inauguration of an exhibition. How the curators work to ensure that everything is in order; how the exhibition coordinators organise themselves; what the press department does; the final touches made to the exhibition space… “A day in the life of an exhibition” will mean that things that are not usually shown will be revealed.

Tuesday 25: Test your knowledge

Coinciding directly with the inauguration of Metamorphosis, followers will be asked diverse questions related with the exhibition and its protagonists: the Quay Brothers, Jan Švankmajer, and Ladislas Starewitch. The aim is not so much to put Internet users to the test as to let people in on anecdotes and interesting facts about the exhibition, one of the CCCB’s exhibitions of the year. What’s more, people who participate will have a chance to win different prizes.

Wednesday 26: Your story

Once the inauguration is over, Wednesday will be devoted to visitors to the centre and their stories, but it will also feature the staff of the CCCB itself. What memory does the public have of the CCCB? Which exhibition did people like best? Which activities do they take part in? And as for the staff, what is their best CCCB moment? As the title indicates, “Your story” is the link between the visitor, the staff members, and the CCCB over the course of 20 years of history. And there will be a prize on offer too!

Thursday 27: Buildings behind the art

Continuing with the anniversary theme, Thursday will be devoted to the CCCB as a cultural venue. We will recover old images of the building when it was the Casa de la Caritat (Almshouse), show spaces that are unknown to the public, and reveal interesting stories about the centre… In short: what hides behind this 18th century building?

Friday 28: Ask the expert

The #MuseumWeek proposal for Friday is devoted to the experts, but we are going to turn it around and make the public an expert on the CCCB. How will we do it? Under the tag #sabiesque, we will be providing capsules of information that anyone with an interest in culture should know about order to become an expert on our centre.

So, are you up for forming part of Museum Week?

#repàsCCCB: A playlist of the best CCCB activities available online

July 22nd, 2013 1 Comment

Before setting off on holiday and switching off the machine 2.0 (we’ve programmed a series of Tweets and posts on our Facebook page, and our website will be constantly updated so that you don’t forget about us during August, but we’ll be on the beach!), we would like to review the best activities that have taken place at the CCCB during the year so far.

We have asked the CCCB’s programmers which have been the best moments of the year worth remembering and recovering. Debates, concerts, exhibitions, articles, authors that have left their mark and that we bring together in a playlist of videos and recommended texts. So, make yourselves comfortable, get your computers fired up and take note!

You will be able to follow the contents of this playlist on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #repàsCCCB. The other summer hashtag will be #Gandules13, where you will be able to follow all the news on the CCCB’s cinema al fresco.

Debates

Exhibitions

Music and festivals

Kosmopolis 2013

The amplified literature fest Kosmopolis left us with some unique moments: the conference with two of the masters of the British comic, Dave Mc Kean and Paul Gravett;  Jorge Carrión and Nacho Vigalondo starring in a fun battle of the series; David Carabén and his show This is not a love song and two of the Third Culture science communication events, The Hunting of the Boson and Martian Time-Slip. On the Kosmopolis website you can check out all the multimedia materials generated by the festival.

Soy Cámara, the CCCB’s television programme is broadcast live (on TVE 2, one Friday each month) and it also an online programme. All the episodes can be viewed on the CCCB’s web. We wouldn’t know which episode to recommend to you! They are small audiovisual treasures lasting 25 minutes that tackle themes related with the CCCB’s programming.

Innovation in the cultural sphere

The renewed CCCB Lab blog proposes a series of quality, in-depth reads on themes related with cultural innovation. They have started a series of articles on how the Internet is changing our lives, have committed to articles on scientific communication (The Elementary Bestiary and On the Multiplicity of Intelligences) and have continued reflecting on how culture changes with articles such as #museumnext 2013: The crisis (of museums) as an opportunity, Analysing the virtual audience, The new productive ecosystem: personal, distribute and open production, City, space and people who do things, The playful attitude as the basis of the creative process, and The revolution of the commons. Unmissable summer reading!

We look forward to seeing you again in September, with a new programme and new cultural contents. Happy holidays!

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