Exercises in disorientation. Three trips to extraordinary places

Universidad Popular
The Hirayama Fireworks

Enrolment free:

_ Mover el fuego (23 de octubre)
Las cosas te dirán quién eres si las escuchas (6 de noviembre)
_ Volver al fondo (20 noviembre)

We have been left exposed, without a sense of time or the certainty of touch. Our realities have been turned on their heads, upsetting our sense of direction. We want to take advantage of this fluctuation to explore the art of uncertainty, the unknown and the unpredictable, but also what is already being inscribed in the landscape for some time now.

And we will do so on bus trips, spending some time together, stepping outside the boundaries of the museum, mobilising our imagination in other places, thinking about other ways of being together, allowing ourselves to be moved anew, keeping in step in both conversation and listening. We propose pushing the boundaries of the Region of Madrid to see the museum from a distance by visiting places that generate surroundings which allow us to imagine in an unfettered way.

CA2M organises educational activities on contemporary art and thinking that can be framed within the tradition of community colleges. The courses it offers address 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. But this structure can also change to adapt to more experimental formats depending on the guest at each session. For this session we are organizing three bus trips together with artists, researchers and curators to places linked to their artistic practices..


23 OCTOBER. Mover el fuego. Trip with José Luis Giménez + Cuqui Jerez + Maral Kekejian

We invited José Luis, Cuqui and Maral to tell us about their experience as the creative team behind the fireworks for Veranos de la Villa, Madrid’s summer festival, between 2016 and 2019. To this end, we travelled to Villarejo de Salvanés, the town where the Vulcano fireworks factory is located. At the helm of this family-run business is José Luis Giménez, the master pyrotechnic over these years. The performing artist Cuqui Jerez will explain her experience in creating the more choreographic side of the firework displays and the cultural manager and programmer Maral Kekejian will tell us about the genesis of the idea and the role of the fireworks in the festival.  

The goal of the joint teamwork was to create a contemplative spectacle that would set up a dialogue between time and space, form and material, from the idea of celebrating the city, its sky, its parks ... and the art of being together. We will visit the Vulcano fireworks factory in Villarejo de Salvanés so that José Luis, Maral and Cuqui can tell us about the shows they made together, combining choreography with the sky of Madrid. 

José Luis Giménez is a pyrotechnic at Pirotecnia Vulcano. Cuqui Jerez is a performing artist. Maral Kekejian is a programmer.


6 NOVEMBER. Things will tell you who you are if your listen. Trip with Raquel G. Ibáñez

We recount our dreams out of an obscure need: to make them more real by living with someone else the singularity that belongs to them and that would seem to address them one person alone. Maurice Blanchot.

In 2017 the journal Peerj published a report on the research carried out by the physicist Gabriel Mindlin, analysing the neuronal activity of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) during the day and night and how it is related with its song. Among other things, the study determined that, while asleep, these birds make very different melodies to the ones they make repetitively—as sound patterns—when they are awake. 

In the many interviews Midlin gave about his study of the zebra finch, he underscored a certain radicalness in the fact that these birds were conditioned by a mechanism during sleep that incites them to do things that they do not do during the day: as if the little birds were liberated at nightfall from the inherited and learnt singing of their waking hours. As if there were two different birds. As if the arrival of night-time opened up a wider range of intonations. 

It is impossible to transcribe these sounds by means of a keyboard. Biiibiiip / bipiiiiiiririiiipipi - bi. It’s absolutely futile. They exist even though language fails miserably in the attempt. On 6 November it is very unlikely that we will see the zebra finch awake, although we will try to inhabit those hard-to-explain places like birdsong. This excursion to Robledo de Chavela is an excuse to share the artistic concerns and obsessions of Raquel G. Ibáñez who, throughout the course of the day, will focus on exploring dreamlike experiences and a quest for the impossible. To this end, the duration of this activity will stretch beyond the threshold of twilight.

Raquel G. Ibañez is an artist and curator. 


20 NOVEMBER. Back to El Fondo. Trip with Sofía Montenegro

We were planning a sound trip to Casa de Campo. Looking at the lake, we were talking about floating and how to talk and be heard from the shore, until my uncle got off the boat we were looking at. This encounter closed the last scene in what would be El Fondo con Delfín. The beginning, a trip in a cable car and in between, various intertwined events. One of them, the still unresolved puzzle of how the body of a dolphin suddenly appeared a few years ago in the centre of the park.

Now, another meeting has been called to start afresh and enter once again into the landscape. We will let ourselves be carried along by sounds, conversations and autumn discoveries.

Sofía Montenegro (Madrid, 1988) lives in Barcelona. As an artist, she works with image, sound, text and performative practices.


* Places are limited. The coach will leave at 4:30 pm from the roundabout between Avenida de la Constitución and Paseo de Goya (Móstoles). We will first gather at the entrance to the museum at 4:00 pm. The return will be at 9:00 pm to the same location. During the trip participants are invited to take part in the group reading of a publication chosen for the occasion.



Anyone interested in art today. No prior knowledge necessary.

Volver al fondo. Sofía Montenegro.
Type of activity
Popular University
Intended for
Anyone interested
Three sessions
23 October, 6 and 20 NOVEMBER
Enrolment free