Posts Tagged ‘cultura’
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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”.
On 10 June we will find out who has won the Cultural Innovation International Prize, organised by CCCBLab to discover answers to the question “What can we say about “audiences” in the context of cultural institutions?” The call for entries attracted the presentation of over 150 projects from 25 countries with all kinds of proposals that offer an interesting analysis of the state of the issue.
The theme was sufficiently broad to allow participants to offer an extensive range of solutions, which in come cases involve projects of an artistic nature and in others a transformation of the curatorial or organisational model of cultural institutions. From all of them, ten were selected that propose different alternatives to the competition’s question.
For example, Art Meal (Netherlands) uses the experience of going to a restaurant as a metaphor to create an innovative exhibition format. The CCC Tv Tú (Spain) proposal transfers the museum to the street through screens in different areas around the city and goes out to seek its audience, a proposal similar to In-Visible (Italy), which creates a game of cubes with QR codes with which the audience’s experience travel around the city and also finds points in common with Beep Beep (Argentina), which aims to bring the rural world closer to the urban world through interventions in places such as automatic cash machines. Cultime (Netherlands/Spain) consists of a time bank and a social network through which participants share time and cultural experiences, similar to the idea proposed in Píndoles culturals (Spain), which also makes use of new technologies (in this case an app), so that visitors to a cultural centre can expand on the exhibition contents after their visit.
These are some of the questions cultural institutions have to address today. At a time when venues and publics are changing fast, knowing how to respond is one of the challenges facing cultural spaces.
This is why the CCCB has created the International Prize for Cultural Innovation, a project that forms part of the actions of the 20th anniversary and has been developed by the CCCBLab, the Centre’s department of research and innovation in the field of culture.
Why a prize for cultural innovation?
Since 2007, when we coined the term I+C+i to refer to the activities organized by the department, we have realized there’s a great reserve of creativity inside and outside cultural institutions. Part of this creativity, especially the part that is developed on the outside, doesn’t surface or simply never comes to fruition. So we decided to let people know we’re here, that we want to develop that creativity and that as a public institution we are here to serve our citizens.
How is the Prize organized?
The Prize will be biennial, and the idea is to propose a theme for each competition that serves to reflect on that theme from every point of view. The first competition centres on audiences, one of the big challenges facing cultural institutions in coming years. We want to know how the concept of “public” has evolved at a time when the boundaries between physical and virtual space have blurred, and what these new publics need.
Who can enter?
Any individual, group or collective who is interested in answering these questions and can propose a project for the creation, production and presentation of cultural contents whose format or management provides an innovative response to a specific theme.
What is the jury looking for?
This is a prize for innovation, so novelty and originality are two important values. The jury is also looking for conceptual and methodological rigour, as well as the capacity to offer applicable solutions. It also values multidisciplinary actions and methods: projects that incorporate processes and dynamics from other disciplines to enhance those of cultural institutions. Finally, particular importance is also given to proposals that set out to reduce the sociocultural divide, and to promote the use and care of community space.
These criteria will form the basis for the jury’s choice of 10 projects, one of which will be awarded the 10,000 euro prize. This is an international prize, but it’s looking for glocal solutions to the challenges facing institutions in the very near future.
An international jury
For this reason, too, the jury is made up of experts in the world of culture whose work centres in different areas:
. Nina Simon, director of the Museo de Arte e Historia de Santa Cruz, is a specialist in participatory processes. In 2006 she created the Museums 2.0 blog, one of the first to analyse the impact on museums of the digital phenomenon. She is also the author of The Participatory Museum, about the theme of this first Prize.
. Marcos García is director of the MediaLab Prado, a citizen laboratory for the production, research and dissemination of cultural projects, and has years of experience in participatory processes at cultural institutions.
. Mark Miller directs Tate Collectives, a department of London’s Tate Gallery aimed specifically at young creatives that has got adolescents involved in programming.
. Finally, Juan Insua, as head of the CCCBLab department, is the CCCB’s representative on the jury, and has over 20 years’ experience in the museum field, from exhibition curatorship to the development of innovative projects such as Kosmopolis. The Amplified Literature Fest, Now. Meetings in the Present Continuous and I+C+i.
We couldn’t end this article without mentioning the graphic image that goes with the Award, created by DesignbyAtlas, whose Pablo Martín is this year’s winner of the National Design Award. Astrid Stavro has adapted Pete Rossi’s Utopia typeface, giving it an Escherian look that optically reflects the defining idea of the Award: innovation.
All the information and the conditions of entry of the first Cultural Innovation International Prize are available for consultation at http://www.innovationcccb.org/.