But … Is this art?

13th Introduction to Art Today Course
Esto es arte

Very few people know that underneath the museum, exactly three floors underground, there is a hatch that opens onto to a flight of steps which leads down to the depths of an underground river that crosses through the whole of Móstoles. The education department is very much aware of this idea of what is taking place beneath our feet, like an underground river. The most meaningful processes, those that transform us the most, are precisely the ones that take place without us realizing it.

Yet again, this year we invite you to join this course to share together and stir emotions, activating resources that ensure that this will be possible, focusing on processes, events and works that go unnoticed, that happen too slowly to be perceived or that take place within the confines of what we take to be normal.

We have invited artists and collectives whose practices are like tributaries of that underground river that runs through issues like anonymity, invisibility, misfits and the experience of a shared body from the self or from ourselves, but also from the power of the word. A river that does not follow the pre-established banks and returns us once again to the question contained in the name of this course.

CA2M organises educational activities on contemporary art and thinking that can be framed within the tradition of community colleges, aimed particularly at young and adult students.

The course addresses some of the key issues for a proper understanding and interpretation of art today. These activities can be divided into two parts: the first consists of the presentation of a theme by a guest speaker and the second part involves a debate open to the audience: viewing listening and dialogue as transformative actions; art as a shared meeting ground and the development of critical attitudes to imposed reality.

Black Tulip
Picture: Sue Ponce.

ANONYMOUS LIFE

WEDNESDAY 16 FEBRUARY 6:30 PM
BLACK TULIP 

We are going to meet a number of people in a room. Some of them we already know and will have greeted on the way in, while others are strangers. Our places have been previously assigned at a safe distance, the distance of fear. Fear is something we will fight against. We will gradually find out about each other, we will take off some of our clothes, jackets, maybe a sweater, and even our shoes. We are not going to lose complete control but it is likely that we won’t be sitting with our arms folded. Maybe we will sweat a bit. People will look at us but we won’t be that well lit and we won’t be in one another’s faces. We will all share the same centre and eventually we will touch each other at the edges to it. We might hear the odd squeak. There will be words but above all else bodies. We will share a present time and that will precisely be the problem to resolve. It will be a here and now. We will never stop being ourselves but at the same time we will be others. Together we will build an experience that will not belong to anybody, an experience without ownership, an anonymous life. This place could be a black tulip or any other thing we can or wish to become.

Black Tulip is a generic pseudonym for a variable number of artists who present experimental works. During the school year they will activate various projects with young people in conjunction with the CA2M education department.

Elena Alonso
Picture: Almudena Cisneros y Rodrigo Loureiro

IN THE CASE OF SMALL SHADOWS

WEDNESDAY 23 FEBRUARY 6:30 PM
ELENA ALONSO | ELENA TENA

Looking after something can be an incredibly intense experience or it can be a pleasing string of little gestures and decisions, but in either case, it involves a relationship with the passing of time that takes place on the margins of the system. We are further away from contemplation when the thing we have to look after does not have the shine of splendour or if it belongs to a shadow world.

Do we know how to care? Do we know what to expect? Does this time and place exist in a museum?

In this joint session with Elena Alonso and Elena Tena, we will discover the story of how Alonso developed the project to install Al cuidado de las pequeñas sombras at CA2M, a sculpture cum bat shelter affected by these and many other questions. Together with the expect voice of the biologist Elena Tena, dedicated to the conservation of bats and a collaborator in this project, we will explore the unknown world of these animals and their need for shelter.

 

monica valenciano
El cuerpo orquestal. Education workshop and performance with Mónica Valenciano. Picture: Galerna Foto.

THE ART OF HAPPENING

WEDNESDAY 2 MARCH 6:30 PM
MÓNICA VALENCIANO

The art of happening basically consists in the practical ability to respond to the possibilities offered by the moment, cultivating whatever it is that allows us to be in the midst of things, to never take things for granted, to not presuppose the outcome of things.

Experimenting with the art of happening is to embody experience in itself. It means allowing ourselves to learn to go along with time and to discover in this flow the possibility of dwelling in any space. Perhaps more a question of listening than of speech, the ability to capture what is happening is to step outside time itself. You have to train yourself in this time of happening, to allow yourself to be attentive, a state obstructed by intentionality. To perceive from a relational totality instead of from separate individualities. Where every instant is potentially a door that opens.

Mónica Valenciano is a dancer and contemporary dance choreographer. In the 2021-2022 school year she is undertaking a performative line of work in conjunction with the CA2M education department.

Euraca
Vergüenza (=_=) Verwenza

SHAME (=_=) SHEIM

WEDNESDAY 9 MARCH 6:30 PM
BOYA ~célula x Seminario Euraca (*)

Who feels ashamed? Who says it and how, if it can be said? Modern tradition and the radical individualism that sustains our capitalist present have educated us to think that whoever feels is always an I, and that the more intimate that feeling is, the more unconfessable or secret it is, the more it belongs to you exclusively and excludingly. But who is this I, and who does it exclude? With respect to which normality or common sense does it feel ashamed whenever it strays from it? And how can someone specific, who uses the pronoun I, take responsibility for its shame and use it in its own favour or in the favour of everybody? Is it even possible for it to do so?

We believe it is, and we look at certain usages of language and certain verbal art practices as opportunities to deprivatize shame and to understand its social dimension. In other words, as a hinge-feeling that connects the intimacy of the subject with the social norm that distinguishes and rationalizes pleasure, value, possibility and luxury. And also as an emotion able to signpost this interiorized and therefore invisible norm, in order to draw attention to it, to name it and as a result be able to change it.

Álvaro Perdices
"Detalle en despacho". Serie Espejo y Reino/ Ornamento y Estado. Álvaro Perdices (2016).

DISOBEY OR WISH TO BE GOVERNED?

DISOBEY OR WISH TO BE GOVERNED?
WEDNESDAY 16 MARCH 6:30 PM 
ÁLVARO PERDICES

Working in the medium of art is an activity that embraces different fields, both professional and personal. From implicating myself and simply being, to going against the grain and ending up a misfit. 

In my life and art practice, I investigate the reasons and strategies with which I operate in this medium. They probably respond to the simple idea of not being in agreement with what is given to us. Does the answer entail an ability to stir things up or the voicing of a problem?

Evincing disobedience by means of forms of language or formless responses can disrupt the canon, adumbrating the possibility of individuality. I will explore the capacity of this dissident response through a rereading of my projects.

Álvaro Perdices is an artist. After almost twenty years in Los Angeles, he returned to Madrid where he worked as exhibition coordinator at the Prado museum. His art practice is closely bound to educational and museum institutions. On 19 February 2022 he is presenting his exhibition Espejo y reino/ Ornamento y estado at CA2M in which he opposes concepts of the archive with the deconstruction of ideas of the State and institutions in a walkthrough of the various aesthetics that cut through it.

Enterarte
Unbounded school

UNBOUNDED SCHOOL. CAUGHT BY A WAVE: AAAAH!

WEDNESDAY 23 MARCH 6:30 PM
ENTERARTE COLLECTIVE (EDUCATIONAL ACTION)

Unbounded School is a living project born from the relationship between a contemporary art centre and an artistic education collective.
Unbounded School wants to bring art into the school, to take the school to the museum and to explore the limits of both institutions.
Unbounded School has the head of Pallas (teaching art), the body of Dionysus (passion) and the face of Apollo (beauty).
Unbounded School is a challenge to think of childhood from 0-12 through the eyes of a child.
Unbounded School is to think of the preverbal and to forget trained skills.
Unbounded School scribbles with feet, writes with blindfolded eyes, draws with scissors, speaks with closed mouth, thinks with feet and walks with the head.
Unbounded School is remembering with your feet stuck in a basin of water or skipping hopscotch.
Unbounded School is writing in sand or water that flows through your fingers.
Unbounded School is building castles in the air without bothering whether the tide is coming in or whether a volcano has just erupted.
Unbounded School listens from the tree tops and creates museums from stones in your pockets.
Unbounded School is looking into a mirror to find the reflection of my inside.
Unbounded School is the fruit fallen from the tree of science to be eaten by an eight-month-old baby girl.

Enterarte is a group of teachers working in various areas of education who wish to show us how to introduce art into education. This mission is to think through the optic of art, teaching through contemporary art practices and the relationship between the school and the museum. Art that crosses boundaries and makes us think and act.

 

Type of activity
Popular University
Intended for
Anyone interested
Duration
Wednesdays from 18:30 to 20:30
Dates
From 16th February to 23th March
ANONYMOUS LIFE
Date of event
-
IN THE CASE OF SMALL SHADOWS
Date of event
-
THE ART OF HAPPENING
Date of event
-
SHAME (=_=) SHEIM
Date of event
-
DISOBEY OR WISH TO BE GOVERNED?
Date of event
-
UNBOUNDED SCHOOL. CAUGHT BY A WAVE: AAAAH!
Date of event
-
Access
Attendance open and free while places last

No prior knowledge is necessary.