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A normal MACBA day

Collage of skateboarders doing tricks in the plaza

In a world of rules and restrictions, Barcelona is definitely an exceptional place. A (free) visit to MACBA on a cloudy winter Saturday.

MACBA (the museum) is free every Saturday and a friend invited me for a visit. A poor day for taking photos, but I thought I'd snap some skateboarding for a collage. I have a terrible phone with a terrible camera - something I might actually want to fix - but I can't resist the 📷 snap 📷 snap 📷 snap.

Also took some pictures inside. And had a lot more fun than I could ever expect. 🤣

Modern Museum of Modern Art

MACBA rotates stuff from their collection with temporary thematic exhibits that last a year or two. I am very curious about the current exhibition as it resonates with a page from Duchamp's rules of engagement.

Taking its title from Glissant’s book, Poetic Intention can be understood as an exercise in breaking free from the institutional framework.

Break free, yeah! I'll come back to see this in detail.

Meanwhile, we took a tour of the many floors and checked out a couple of the short term exhibitions.

Photo of MACBA's interior showing the long soft ramp that takes you from ground floor to the first floor

If This Were a Beginning of Infinity

Powerful, powerful stuff.

The body of work of the late María Teresa Hincapié (1954–2008):

... a Colombian artist specialising in what we might call ‘the poetics of everyday life’ in performance, transforming routine actions into symbolic acts to create a methodology in her practice.

A privilege to learn about this artist through the eyes of other talented artists. Hincapié’s body of work focused on ephemeral, quotidian, and intimate human topics. Her work was performative, political and activist - reivindicativo - and ultimately impossible to capture.

Also: anti-fascist feminism.

Photo of the artist performing behind a dirty window, kissing the glass with red lipstick lips
Vitrina, 1989. María Teresa Hincapié.

Yet, here we are: appreciating the irony of getting acquainted with her legacy via pictures and other artefacts, in a quiet museum room. An irony tinged with sadness, as you learn that her life was cut too short and that her beautiful project, a progressive school dedicated to the collective and the communion with nature, was never finished. 😢

Fierce fight for a cardboard box

Now, for something completely different (or maybe not): how to completely throw out both the quiet and museum in quiet museum room.

This performance by María José Arjona was going up and down the corridors kicking and flipping cardboard boxes in the air. My first thought when I saw them from 3 floors above was that some kids had walked in and decided to wreak havoc in the museum. Because MACBA Saturday afternoon's are free - free as in free beer. 🍺

Turns out it's a performance. And it's inviting visitors to interact. Within the minute I was kicking a box down the ramp. And as I tried to role-play some basketball moves with a box, one of the performers went full on judo, climbed over me, knocked me down, and we ended up rolling on the floor.

Literally 🤣 🤣 🤣 rolling_on_the_floor_laughing.

Not the first time I engaged in some contact improvisation yet this was not what I expected to happen when I walked in the museum earlier.

Photo of me engaged in contact improvisation and rolling over one of the performers as our mock fight for a cardboard box ends continues after we both fall
My friend thought this was worth a picture. Thank you, mate!

Plea against evil

It's hard to miss the message. MACBA usually hosts thought-provoking and relevant modern art. If you didn't get it yet, one last look at this rather disorienting piece might clarify things a bit.

It is a plea against war and violence

Antoni Tàpie

Photo of art by Antoni Tàpie. An oversized war time hospital bed fixed against a wall
Fuck war

Not something I can contemplate for long, as the artist intended. But I am aligned with the cause. Peace.

🛹 Skate Spot

If you live in Barcelona - and you like skateboarding - you might take this for granted and forget that you are privileged. Of course, that's what privilege looks like.

Photo of MACBA plaza by night. The museum is all lit up. The dark stone floor in the plaza is as smooth as you want it to be if you like to skate.
Privilege is smooth

It's crazy that I can cycle here in under 20 minutes! Crazy that some of my best friends live right around the corner!

One of the most iconic "spots" for the sport in the world.

Wikipedia, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.

I can't skate to save my life: I would probably be able to skate faster than a zombie, for a bit ... But I would crash on the first sidewalk because I can't ollie over a piece of paper. 🥴

Watching these people skate puts everything into perspective. I definitely wanna be around them when the zombies come.

With this collab we wanted to give something back to the community, and we decide to align the entire long curb.

I'll be back

I'll come back for more free ride Saturdays.

A big corporation sponsors it. I appreciate that - and I'll take it - even if I believe the world will one day be able to have art without them. So I am not linking their name here.

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