Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma presents “Contact Zone. Laboratory of Art and Thought”, an annual education and research programme that aims to become a platform for ideas and a space for critical thinking through which to explore the potentialities of artistic practice and cultural production as mechanisms for intervention and social change.
“Contact Zone” is a pioneering project in the Balearic Islands that understands artistic practice as a territory of confluence of knowledge, multiple stories, disciplines and political or social interventions.
In accordance with the so-called “pedagogical turn” that contemporary art and contemporary art museums around the world have experienced in recent decades, it is born of a conception of the institution as a space for critical, educational and social experimentation, and aims to establish itself as a laboratory of artistic and cultural ideas at the current epicentre of contemporary crises, innovations and flows.
The first edition, which will take place between January and June 2022, raises the need to think about this contemporary complexity, developing its activity through five intertwined conceptual axes—New Institutionalisms, Enviromentalisms, Feminisms, Borders and Works—made up of activities in various formats, including conferences, screenings, seminars, round tables, research processes and laboratories.
Among the participants of the different modules are key figures of contemporary thought, activism and artistic practices at both a local and international level such as Hito Steyerl, Yayo Herrero, Judith Butler, Banu Cennetoğlu, Remedios Zafra, Guy Standing, and Marcelo Expósito, who will give opening lectures at the beginning of each of the project modules, as well as on the closing day.
The faculty is made up of Zdenka Badovinac, Mabel Tapia, Yaiza Hernández, Manuel Segade, Jesús Carrillo, Pau Waelder, Ernest Garcia, Margalida Ramis, Luis González Reyes, Arquitectives, Basurama, Ivan Murray, Suely Rolnik, Brigitte Vasallo, Lucía Mbomío, PSJM, Tonina Matamalas, Neus Tur, Sandro Mezzadra, Tania Adam, Marusia López Cruz, Grigri, Carles Bover, Meritxell Esquirol, Ivan Miró, Ernest Cañada, Daniel G. Andújar, María Ruido, Instituto del Tiempo Suspendido, and Rafael Borràs.
The programme reinforces the Museum’s identity understood as a living organism that generates knowledge from the debate on key issues of the present and is addressed to all those who are interested in the interrelations between art and culture as well as other political and social spheres, people from the fields of the humanities, communications, artistic practice, public politics, cultural production or management, activists, and people linked to social movements, or who are committed to social change.
According to Imma Prieto, director of Es Baluard Museu, the “LAP” arises from the “need to create new museum models that allow us to think of fairer and more inclusive societies, activating critical thinking mechanisms, and putting the great challenges of our century on the table”.
“The museum’s functions must be part of the responsibility it shares with its environment and context. That is why it is necessary for us to develop projects of this type, so that from the citizenry we can generate tools for analysis and collective action to face the realities that shape us, but that we can also transform”, she adds.
Berta Sureda, cultural manager and collaborator in this project, explains that the program “wants to connect artistic and cultural practices -understood as intervention devices with the capacity to influence social change- to the multiple crises that we have suffered for decades, and which are interrelated, continuous and simultaneous crises and, above all, the need to articulate ‘reparation’ policies. It will do so by deploying contact areas, relational spaces from which to launch reflections and analysis, but also proposals and actions that contribute to repairing a world in which, in the words of Naomi Klein, everything is too broken”.
The Director General of Culture, Catalina Solivellas, explained that the Government of the Balearic Islands believes in “the need to address the most important issues that make up the world agenda and more after the new paradigm established with the pandemic of COVID -19”. “We do this with an unprecedented program in the Islands, for the quality and excellence of its speakers, international benchmarks in its fields such as Judith Butler, Guy Standing and Tania Adam, among others. This initiative puts us at the height of “It is also an opportunity for the citizens of the Balearic Islands who will not have to travel to receive these teachings and make a fruitful and enriching transfer of knowledge for our community.”
Prior registration will be carried out following strict order of the arrival of applications via website, with the deadline for registration for the complete programme before 16 January 2022, and until one month before the start of each module in the case of individual module registrations.
Students have a 40% discount, and there is a 50% discount for students and teachers of the Escuela Universitaria ADEMA, which also offers academic recognition for participation in an activity at a university level. In addition, Friends of Es Baluard Museu will be able to enjoy a 10% discount.
On the other hand, the Museum will launch a call for grants to attend the first edition of the programme, with 5 free registrations: 3 for residents of the Balearic Islands, and 2 on an international level. In addition, ADEMA will launch its own call that includes 5 grants for economically vulnerable students.
Additionally, “Contact Zone” offers a series of activities open to the public who are not enrolled in the training programme, such as the opening lectures of each module (Hito Steyerl, Yayo Herrero, Judith Butler, Banu Cennetoğlu, Remedios Zafra, Guy Standing, and Marcelo Expósito) and the projections of the “LAP Screen” audiovisual programme.
The project is directed by Imma Prieto, Director of Es Baluard Museum, with the external collaboration of cultural manager Berta Sureda and coordinated by the Museum’s Education and Public Programmes Department. In co-production with the Ministry of European Funds, University and Culture of the Government of the Balearic Islands, it also has the support of ADEMA Escuela Universitaria and AC Hotels by Marriott.