A Pause for Reflection. Production, Management and Creation Grants at MUSAC

18 de enero, 2014 – 8 de junio, 2014. MUSAC. LABORATORIO 987
Curators: Kristine Guzmán, Manuel Olveira


Catálogo PPP
Catálogo de escenarios para la muerte de Pier Paolo Pasolini, Chus Domínguez. Still.

Exposición. Foto: MUSAC.



Everything that has to do with production can be considered as one of the bones of contention of contemporary culture and one of the most frequent demands of the artistic community. In order to cover these needs and with a view to activate production in the context of Castilla y León, the MUSAC has practiced an active grants policy in relation to creativity, research, education and production that has generated several projects, some of which have not been shown to the public. For the first time, the MUSAC will host an exhibition that will act as a showcase for the works produced in recent years in the frame of the six open calls initiated between 2003 and 2011.

The exhibition project A PAUSE FOR REFLECTION aims at reflecting critically on the grants policy that MUSAC has developed throughout its first years of existence, on its contribution to the weaving of an artistic and cultural fabric in the Autonomous Region of Castilla y León, on its impact in the territory and in the context, as well as on the social and artistic yield of the generated projects. At the same time, the project seeks to analyse the direction the new grants policy has to take in the near future. There is no question that art and society are dynamic entities and that, besides, the conditions in which the MUSAC started working have radically changed. That is why showing the fruits of the grants should also help to reconsider the museum’s future course of action in relation to this key factor of the art system.

It will therefore be necessary to create the appropriate conditions in which certain significant questions can arise and develop so that certain divergent and updated imaginaries can be produced, so that we can have the time to make a stop to reflect on the opportunity of what we are doing or saying in the art scene of the beginning of the millennium. This is what a show of a grants program such as MUSAC’s is offering. Far from media and market pressure, far from the urge for visibility and far from trends, a group of artists, creators, educators, historians and professionals of all the diverse fields of art and coming from different places in the world have had the chance to develop a project in line with the nature of their work and research and not indebted to institutional interests. This is the raison d’être of this exhibition of the works developed through the MUSAC’s grants program for production, creation and education between 2003 and 2011: to make a stop to find the time, space and resources needed to show and reflect, to develop well-aimed and timely questions in order to accomplish more efficiently the mission of taking the present into consideration and building strategies for the future.

These production, management and creation projects develop research lines that deeply explore both art activity itself and its significance and insertion into the fabric of society. In the selection of each of the men and women presenting the projects —beyond the quality of their proposals—, is their ability to open interesting questions in relation to the current moment the arts are living that has been decisive. The most important selection criterion has been not so much what these artists and professionals have done up to the present in the sense of points of arrival, but what their proposals let us anticipate and discern as points of departure. It is not their certainties that interest us, although they are important, but the open questions and the concerns of which the result is yet unknown. The primary aim of a production or management grants program is not finding answers because usually these are not the most stimulating or interesting at this time. The question is, rather, to find through the produced project the timely and critical questions that have allowed each of these creators and technicians to grow and advance professionally towards the future.

The generated projects should be understood as documents. Obviously, we are not dealing so much with political or social documents alluding to specific aspects of recent years’ reality, as with documents on the concerns, questions and answers belonging to the agenda of the arts. Many of these works are samplings of what is fitting today, documents on what is opportune for the present day situation, and attempts at the different possible actions and directions when it comes to face our fragile and crucial present. Therefore, this critical revision of the works and projects produced by the MUSAC can be very revealing about the current moment and about what is of importance today, but also about what is anticipated as decisive for the future.

A large number of the issues pointed out in the creations and productions shown in the exhibition are found in the current agenda of art. These works and projects seem to us like pieces of evidence for the topics that really concern us and that focus on what really matters. The works shown —and, above all, the issues articulated around them— are documents that point at what is talked about, discussed about, produced, spread around, shown and collected nowadays. All of them, notwithstanding their diversity, are presented as elements marking the subsequent development of the MUSAC’s grants program, which should be reconsidered with a view to tune it to the needs of the future we have ahead of us.