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22 May, 2012

We pay homage to Picasso in the Reading Club

The last session of the Reading Club for the 2011-2012 course counted on two exceptional protagonists: Josep Palau i Fabre and Jordi Coca.

A Micro-documentary from the programme No t’ho perdis (“Don’t miss it”) on Canal 33 (Catalan TV) broadcast on Saint George’s Day about this session of the Reading Club

From the first we read “Homage to Picasso”, a play in the form of dream cabaret, which signifies the umpteenth demonstration of the fascination and interest that the painter caused on the poet, playwright, narrator and essay writer of all things Picasso.

The second showed that, apart from being a novelist and a top level man of the theatre, he is one of the maximum experts about Palau.  The conversation was erudite and agreeable, and went from the text to the historic and social context, from the life of the writer to the life of the painter, of biographical curiosities to the profound reflection about the strange relation the two creators had.

Coca highlighted Palau’s “sincere conviction that Picasso signified modernity, given the fact that Palau assumed that the change that this signified wasn’t a question of the word if not the image” and that, as in all the business decisions taken throughout his life, “the option of subjecting his work to the fascination for Picasso was vital and radical”.

A perfect end to a course full of extraordinary moments.  Or to be continued, as we’ll be back in October.

Jordi Carrión

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Tags: book, homage, Jordi Coca, literature, Palau i Fabre, Picasso, play, The Reading Club, theatre, vídeo

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18 May, 2012

Conversing with Xavier Vilató

The museum, with the exhibition “People”, is one of the five venues of the exhibition-homage “Vilató 1921-2000. Barcelona – Paris. A space of freedom”, that Barcelona is dedicating to this artist. Nephew of Picasso, Javier Vilató kept up a very close relation with his uncle and he was key in the donation process that the artist made to the city of Barcelona in 1970.

Caretell exposició espai "Gent"

Xavier Vilató, curator of the exhibition and son of Javier Vilató, explains to us the how and the why of this exhibition:

“I am very proud that with all the people involved in the project we have managed that Vilató returns to Barcelona and that this exhibition has taken place. […] If I don’t speak Catalan it is just because there has been the path of freedom which meant that I was not born here but was born far away. And this is fundamental to understand everything that we are doing and constructing today.

My great grandfather arrived in Barcelona 117 years ago, with his son Pablo, who was 14 years old, and my grandmother, who must have been 10 years old. During these 117 years, many things have happened and one of them was this museum, amongst others. […] It is very important for me to highlight the fact that many of the works in this museum were the book of images of my father when he was small. All the small boards that are now exhibited and other works were kept in a trunk that was not very big in my grandmother’s house, which my father played with, and this is what he lived and cherished when he was very small, by means of these images he had on the wall, that he had in front of him.

Vilató, my father, constructed a work which was totally made on the side, without bothering the others, with the only intention of being in the studio every day, and each day constructing a work that was the continuation of everything he had been given. He had the great luck of being able to have, with his uncle, a transmission like they have in circus families: how they teach trapeze and how they teach you to feed the elephants […] And today it is a great pride for me that this is understood by the people of Barcelona.

I believe that it is fantastic to add things to this city that it has always had and that has always been welcoming people from outside. But in this case it is not people from outside but people from inside who return, and I think this is fundamental as all the history of Catalonia has been constructed in this way.

Javier Vilató entre quadres al seu estudi

Javier Vilató in his studio of the Boulevard Raspail – Paris, 1989 – Photo: Marianne Torstenson

Artistically, Vilató is really a son of cubism. He already constructed a work that is, well I wouldn’t say anti-fashion, but one that has truly followed a very special and very soft line; he is totally involved in his period, but at the same time he constructs a work that only seems like itself. [..] To be a painter is to always be a painter, always, always, not only in the moment when you’re in the painter’s studio, but this generation were painters when they slept, when they ate, when they loved, that is to say, the painter is at all times someone who lives his or her paintings and this poetic vision of the world, and that now and again they are in their studio bringing all this out.

The title of the exhibition emerged from the idea of doing exhibitions in different venues and to join these venues together the most suitable idea seemed to be that of a path. Furthermore there it is the symbol of the path of freedom, a principle that [Vilató] followed all his life and that also symbolises the work of an artist, that is to say, to follow the path towards freedom. In the case of his generation it wasn’t just a poetic saying but moreover it was a reality in this country in a very strong moment and it was necessary to take the path of freedom to find it. And as there is also this idea of return, of “coming home”, it seemed to us to be very suitable.

In the five venues you will discover the work of Javier Vilató, which is yours, which is your Vilató. Vilató has been discovered and gets discovered again every five years, but this time I believe there is a before and after. This time I believe that it will remain established that Vilató is one of the major Catalan painters with influences from Andalusia and with a Parisian projection.”

Xavier Vilató
Curator of the exhibition “Vilató 1921-2000. Barcelona – Paris. A space of freedom”.

Other exhibition spaces:

“Bronces” – Patio del Museu Frederic Marès

“Bichos” – Espacio Volart de la Fundació Vila Casas

“Cosas” – Sala Dalmau

“En papel” – Galería Joan Gaspar

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Posted by: X_Blogger convidat


Tags: Barcelona, cubism, Exhibitions, freedom, París, Picasso, Vilató

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10 May, 2012

What do we know about the Museu Picasso visitors?

The museum now knows a little more about its visitors after carrying out a one-year museum marketing study and conducting 2,102 situational interviews.
The study is based on the following sections:

  • Quality measurement, differentiating between expectations prior to the visit and the quality perceived after the visit.
  • Visitor profile, in order to see the type of people who visit the museum (gender, age, nationality, residence, education and career).
  • Visiting habits, determining the frequency of visits, the reasons, time of stay and the composition of the visiting group.

Visitors in the museum rooms

With regards to quality measurement, the visitors interviewed at the entrance of the museum have positive expectations about their visit, which represents a score of 8.5 points (score before entering). This gives an idea of the level of visitors’ prior knowledge though information gathered from different sources, similar experiences, etc. The global score after the visit to the museum is slightly lower than the expectations (average of 8.4 points) and represents a degree of satisfaction of 97%.

In order to know the assessment on matters of quality, questions were asked in the survey on aspects relative to the museum (exterior signposting, signage inside the centre, mobility inside the centre, maintenance and cleanliness, the building, etc.), the service (timetable, quality-price ratio, discounts, prices, the temporary exhibition and the collection), and finally on information (information on works / exhibition, customer service, information provided by the staff and the guided visit).

With reference to the visitor profile, the survey asks visitors for information on those people who are accompanying them, which allows us to make an evaluation of the groups visiting the Picasso Museum.

Among the visitors, we find proportionally more women than men and the most frequent age group is that of 25 to 34 years ( 26.1%), followed by groups from 35 to 44 years ( 19.4%), 16 to 24 years (17.4%), 45 to 54 years (16.9%) and 55 to 64 ( 10.8%).

Age groups

The museum attracts a largely foreign public and residents of countries in the European Union (52.8%). The country with more visitors to the Picasso Museum is the United States, followed by France, Italy, Great Britain, Germany and Canada. This study includes only individual visitors and does not include public tours, educational visits or attendees at the museum’s activities, which are mostly local audiences.

Another characteristic of the visitor profile is their degree of education. 79.1% of the total number of visitors surveyed has received a university education.

The reasons given for visiting the museum are related to the theme of the museum, and thus, 97% of those interviewed are going to visit the collection, 13.1% are going to visit the temporary exhibition and other reasons, such as: curiosity or personal interest in the artist, interest in the building and the museum in general, to accompany someone or for a specific activity (seminar, workshop, course, etc.).

Regardless of the reason for the visit to the museum, the average time dedicated to the visit is one hour and forty minutes. 76.4% of the visitors surveyed spends between one and three hours in the museum and 18.5% dedicates one hour or less to visiting the museum.

Deirdre Haughey
Visitor Services

Related links
How do you look after more than 900,000 visitors a year? Taking care of Visitor Services at the Museu Picasso

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Posted by: Deirdre Haughey


Tags: Management @en, public, statistics, Visitors, visits

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1 Comment »
El Departament d'Ensenyament de la Generalitat de Catalunya ens informa que: El 18 de maig tens una cita ineludible: siguis on siguis podràs afegir-te a la celebració del Dia Internacional dels Museus, un esdeveniment mundial organitzat anualment per l’ICOM (el Consell Internacional dels Museus).
16-05-2012 8:40 | Editar
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7 May, 2012

Approximations to the Laboratory Exchanges – III

During the month of March we held the third Laboratory Exchanges. The contents developed during these sessions, as well as the previous ones, will be included in the speech of the project “FX Archive: from Economy zero”, within the framework of which we will also present the exhibition “Economy: Picasso” this May.

As follows we will give you a summary of the most relevant contents of the third sessions of these laboratories:

The Law of Art compared with the Law of Patronage and other rules
Isidoro Valcárcel went over some of the most notable articles related to the Law of Art and the Law of Patronage so as to highlight the difficulty of legislating about economic aspects in the artistic field and to make evident the legal gaps that appear.  One should therefore bring into question the law of heritage and that of intellectual property.  The economic factors are dealt with from the perspective of profitability and productivity, but never from a position of rationality in terms of expenditure and exploitation.

Isidro Valcárcel Medina

A realistic picture of our situation: symbolic price zero
Isaías Griñolo presented us in the documentary “A realistic picture of our situation: symbolic price zero” the tragic environmental consequences caused by the actions of the business group Villar Mir. With this documentary Griñolo aimed to show in a cinematographic montage focused on the case of the Villar Mir Group, the environmental dramas caused by industry over the decades without anybody being punished. An example of destructive economy that goes unpunished.

Isaías Griñolo

Conditions of existence
Based on a historical journey marked by a theory of the economic transformations,  Juan Luis Moraza showed us the path that the value of art has travelled along from ancient times to the present, focusing on the analysis of the economic situation that the artistic world is currently living.  In the majority of the cases, art is an unsustainable business.  Around 85% of artistic creation forms part of a non-monetary economy, of a qualitative or imaginary economy, as well as an economy of gift, of the grace and gratuity of art, given that the work of the artist is one of profound generosity, both in the sense of generator, as well the sense of the fact that works are sold for a value they do not have.

Juan Luis Moraza

Economic concert
By means of a performance that brings together music and text, Oier Etxebarria created an economic concert in which a relation is established between the economy, the melody and the word.  Uisng a series of independent phrases, but each one joined with the others, Etxeberria establishes a relation between economy and music, art and culture, serving it with the ambivalence of word games such as  “dar crédito” (give credit), “hablar en plata” (speak bluntly), “los números cantan” (there’s no arguing the numbers), “canta-habilidad y contabilidad” (singing ability and accountability).

Money, collages and handcuffs in feminist reproduction
Patricia Molins, Inmaculada Salinas and Carme Nogueira (represented by Molins given that Nogueira was missing due to a delay in her flight) are presented to us through their investigation and their works of the image of the women and femininity. Molins gave a presentation about the vision of art and women and craftwork, subjects that are at the margin of canonical history.  Inmaculada Salinas presented her work centred on what was called “femininity”, the voice, and how this is reflected in the systems of representation and in painting. Molins presented us the project of Carme Nogueira about the processes of subjectivism and the normalising function of the spaces through photography and installations.

Patricia Molins and Inmaculada Salinas

The Detective
Miguel Benlloch presents us a mix between performance and poetry reading of autobiographical search for his vital experiences about the discovery of the homosexual universe and the reconstruction of the concept of the gay body throughout the past century.   Benlloch takes us on a trip of life experiences that transformed him: from when he saw for the first time the film El Detective when he was 14 years old where he takes to two transvestites, to the distinct sexual theories that are developed throughout the 20th century.

Picasso in the Hole
Manuel Delgado has treated the case of the Hole of Shame, an example of the urban planning speculation process and gentrification of the Barcelona neighbourhood of the Borne, held up by an exemplary neighbourhood fight.  The space, initially planned as a green area, was redefined for a future construction of private parking places near to the Picasso Museum.  In this case it is very important to note the role of art and culture as the legitimisation of certain urban planning transformations.  Finally, after a long battle, the Hole of Shame has become a square presided by a small fountain that carries the drawing of the symbolic tree where the whole thing started.  A clear example of how a collective neighbourhood fight won over the private, political and economic interests.

Isabel Moreno
On practical placement at the Museu Picasso from the Master’s in Cultural Heritage Management at the Universitat de Barcelona

Related links

FX Archive: from Economy zero
Exchanges Seminar
Approaches to the Interchanges Laboratory
Approaches to the Interchanges Laboratory – II

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Posted by: X_Estudiants en pràctiques de màsters i postgraus


Tags: #exchanges, exhibition, F.X. Archive, Pedro G. Romero, Picasso, Picasso Economy

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3 May, 2012

Talking about Picasso’s Guernica at Montjuïc

The Generalitat de Catalunya’s Memorial Democràtic initiative has organized a series of activities, exhibitions and talks to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Civil War bombing of the civilian population.

Guernica. Pablo Picasso, 1937. Oil on canvas

Although aerial bombardment had been used in previous wars, the Spanish Civil War was the first in which the civilian population was subjected to intensive and continuous attack from the air. First in Euskadi — the Basque Country — and then all over the country, the rebel General Franco’s army and its Italian and German allies systematically bombed defenceless towns and cities behind the lines. This aberrant tactic continued during World War II and culminated in the dropping of the atomic bomb, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then the bombing of the civilian population has been a common practice in almost all wars.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of those horrific events, the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Memorial Democràtic has organized the exhibition “Catalunya bombardejada” in the Castle of Montjuïc, and a series of talks and panel discussions to consider the consequences of the devastating attacks and the resistance of the civilian population.

Memorial Democràtic’s Education Service asked the Museu Picasso to take part in explaining to 3rd- and 4th-year Secondary School students the impact that the bombing of the Basque town of Gernika had on European intellectuals and artists and on Picasso in particular.

Aerial view of the Castle of Montjuïc

We were delighted to accept the invitation, and on 26 April, the anniversary of the bombing of Gernika in 1937, we tried to explain to the students Pablo Picasso’s position in relation to the Spanish Civil War and how he came to paint Guernica, which was to become a symbol of peace. Picasso, who in January that year had been commissioned by the government of the Spanish Republic to make a panel for the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 Paris International Exposition, took several months to decide on a subject and did not start working on the panel until the first of May, the day after the French newspapers published photographs of the shattered town. We felt it would be interesting to accompany the explanation with a series of photographs of the bombedtown, alternating these with images of the artist’s creative process. Our main aim was to help the students appreciate how that process fitted into history and how any artistic activity can bear witness to the past and at the same time contribute to the struggle against injustice.

At the end of the dissertation, we invited our young listeners to talk about what they felt when they looked at the Picasso mural. After a minute or two of silence, some of the girls started to express their views and analyse the painting. Some of these girls (none of the boys was willing to speak) saw the picture as a powerful representation of suffering, helplessness and despair, a snapshot of the madness and confusion during and after the bombing. The grey tones symbolize the loss of hope and the onset of darkness, both in the outside world and inside of people. Others then commented on the formal aspects of the work and the way it was made. They were struck by the superposing of different planes and the expressionism of the figures, detecting the presence of pages of newsprint in the body of the horse, and talked about how the sun that features in the earliest version becomes increasingly stylizedand transformed into the electric bulb that lights the scene.

Through their observations, the young people confirmed that Picasso’s Guernica is still today an emblematic protest against the horror of war. The dialogue with the students and their teachers was a genuinely enriching and rewarding experience, and we would like to thank Memorial Democràtic for including the Museu Picasso in the commemoration of one of the most tragic periods of our history.

Malén Gual
Museum curator

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Posted by: Malén Gual


Tags: Barcelona, bombing, Civil War, Guernica, Picasso

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