Horizons of Contemporary Art in Spain

November 27 and 28, 2013 - 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Coordinated by: YGBArt

Admission: prior registration



Organized by
Fundación Banco Santander and Museo Reina Sofía

Horizons of Contemporary Art in Spain is conceived as a plural space for reflection and debate, the aim of which is generate proposals based on a critical diagnosis of the contemporary art system in Spain and its international projection, taking into account different points of view and bringing together all voices. The event will be open to the public and will also be streamed live on the project’s website.

The project seeks to heighten the visibility of the achievements and values generated in contemporary art over the last two decades and to identify practices and attitudes that hamper the development of its full potential, especially at the international level. Its priority objective is to develop action proposals that respond adequately to the challenges currently faced by the field of contemporary art and culture in Spain. 

Work began in November of 2012 with an initial gathering of professionals from the art world, during which five groups focusing on fundamental topics were organised. The participants’ efforts over the last year have led to the creation of a contemporary art observatory (Observatorio Horizontes del Arte contemporáneo en España). The conclusions drawn thus far are available on the project’s website.

One year after the first Horizons of Contemporary Art in Spain event, the upcoming symposium will bring together a number of agents from the current contemporary art scene. It hopes to increase public awareness of the issues explored by the Observatory’s working groups, and also to put forward conclusions and proposals that may be useful in improving the projection of Spanish contemporary art around the world. It will follow a dynamic and participatory format, based on a series of lectures, dialogues and conversations about the five key topics.


Actividad pasada November 27, 2013 - 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
The social value of art in times of crisis

This working group focuses on assessing and analysing the current situation in terms of the social value of contemporary art; the debate concerning the reconstruction of the discourse on its public usefulness and the new forms of funding and new ideas and strategies by which to improve the reception or social impact of art in a context of economic crisis.  

It will reflect on the following themes: rethinking the economy of art, as a determining factor of cultural policies; analysis of the new policies and methods of cultural management and, finally, the necessity of artistic education that includes a pedagogy of art and also teaches visual culture and fosters creativity at all levels of education. 

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Opening words   
Manuel Borja-Villel, Director of Museo Reina Sofía
Borja Baselga, Director of Fundación Banco Santander  
Rosina Gómez-Baeza, Co-director of YGB Art

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Conversation about the new ways to approach cultural management policies and methods, art education, the reception and social impact of art, generating potential lines of action that will improve people’s access to visual culture.  


Ignacio Paris


Marina Vishmidt, Rubén Martínez, Yaiza Hernández and Juan Arturo Rubio Arostegui

Marina Vishmidt
Writer, researcher and art critic

Rubén Martínez
Researcher and professor. Member of the Metropolitan Observatory of Barcelona

Yaiza Hernández
Professor and researcher. Central Saint Martins School of Art, London

Juan Arturo Rubio Arostegui
Professor and researcher. Universidad Antonio de Nebrija

Ignacio Paris
Artist and writer 

Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200

Actividad pasada November 27, 2013 - 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Training, research and professionalisation of the field's actors

This working group focuses on evaluating the current situation of the art profession in Spain, in its different areas of activity: research, training and professionalisation. It seeks to define the appropriate scope of action by the different actors, help build links and stimulate exchange and network creation. It also places great importance on encouraging research, looking more in depth at art education at all levels and at the study of Spanish artists.

4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  Dialogues about the current situation of the different actors in the Spanish art world, making proposals for lines of action that stimulate exchange and the creation of networks

4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Dialogue on research: Dora Garcia and Selina Blasco

4:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Dialogue on training: Juan Luis Moraza and Isidro López Aparicio

5:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Dialogue on professionalisation: Tam Gryn and Estrella de Diego

6:15 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Conversation among the dialogue participants and the public, moderated by Isidro López-Aparicio


Isidro López-Aparicio


Dora García

Selina Blasco
Professor and researcher. Faculty of Fine Arts, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Juan Luis Moraza
Sculptor and professor. Faculty of Fine Arts, Universidad de Vigo

Isidro López-Aparicio
Artist, curator and professor. Universidad de Granada

Tam Gryn
Head of Curating Department and Director in Latin America of Artist Pension Trust

Estrella de Diego
Writer and chaired professor of contemporary art. Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200

Actividad pasada November 28, 2013 - 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
The construction of narratives

This subject will be addressed from the vantage point of critical and other types of narratives. This working group will offer evidence of the limited visibility of existing works and documents and the current preeminence of museums, research groups, art centres and independent production bodies, to the detriment of the university. 

The group also seeks to make connections between younger research groups, to shake up the current discourse in order to generate new tools of analysis and narrative strategies. All done with a view to increasing the visibility of landmarks and processes of a different nature, thus breaking with the inertias and circularity produced by existing discourses.  Finally, the channels used for the dissemination and circulation of ideas will be re-examined. 

10 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Conversation in which questions concerning the research work currently underway in the different art professions and university contexts will be addressed, with special attention going to the reasons for their limited visibility. The participants will propose lines of action conducive to the creation of ties between young researchers and different art forums.  


Patricia Mayayo

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.  Conversation (1st session): Juan Albarrán, Jorge Luis Marzo and Valentín Roma

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Conversation (2nd session): Jesús Carrillo, Lola Jiménez-Blanco and Glòria Picazo


Juan Albarrán
Professor at the Duke Center for Hispanic Studies, in Madrid, and professor at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Jorge Luis Marzo
Curator, writer and professor.  BAU School of Design, Barcelona

Valentín Roma
Historian, curator and professor of aesthetics and digital culture. Elisava School of Design, Barcelona

Jesús Carrillo
Head of Cultural Programs at Museo Reina Sofía

Lola Jiménez-Blanco
Professor of Art History. Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Glòria Picazo
Art critic and curator Director of Centre d’Art la Panera, Lleida

Patricia Mayayo
Professor of Art History. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid 

Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200

Actividad pasada November 28, 2013 - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Art, collectionism and creation of heritage

The topics addressed by this working group are the current situation of the art market and of the collector in relation to public bodies, museums and the Public Administration. Special emphasis will be placed on fiscal questions, such as the Patronage Act (Ley de Mecenazgo), due to its impact on the creation of contemporary art heritage. The references used are a report on the Spanish art market in 2012 (Informe del mercado del arte español en 2012), published by the Fundación Arte y Mecenazgo, and a report on the status of Spanish culture (Informe del mercado del arte español en 2012. Una aproximación al estado y el sistema de las artes visuales de 2011).

Given the current context, the group finds it especially worthwhile to examine, from the perspective of the collector and the museum, questions related to the limited presence of Spanish art abroad, reflecting on the shortcomings that prevent Spanish art from finding a place in the international scene and proposing actions that will encourage and consolidate the relationship between public entities and private collections. The group will also underline the crucial role played by far-reaching, varied and high-quality dissemination campaigns. 

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Lecture by Nacho Ruiz: The future is not what it used to be. New strategies for new scenarios in Spain’s art market

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Conversation about topics related to the collector and the museum. Reflection will focus on the shortcomings that prevent or hinder the contextualisation and visibility of Spanish art in the international setting, proposing lines of action.


João Fernandes


Patrizia Sandretto, Jaime Sordo and Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro 

Nacho Ruiz
Art gallerist and historian

Patrizia Sandretto
Collector and President of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Jaime Sordo
Entrepreneur, collector, President of the Association of Private Collectors of Contemporary Art 9915

Gabriel Pérez Barreiro
Director and chief curator of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection

João Fernandes
Deputy Art Director at Museo Reina Sofía 

Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200

Actividad pasada November 28, 2013 - 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Autonomy and the creation of networks

The Autonomy and the creation of networks working group explores these questions by looking at specific practices that are conducive to creating networks, rather than using previous definitions or theoretical frameworks. Of particular interest are the networks formed not by actors of the same type – such as museum networks or professional associations – but rather heterogeneous, even conflictive, collaborations that involve both cultural producers and the public.

The idea is to look at partnership and artistic creation in terms of their capacity – and their limitations – in generating collective expressions and social fabric. Transversality, the questioning of institutional consolidation and the power of contagion of these hybrid partnerships allow us to consider production and circulation alternatives for artistic practices, and also the emergence of new expressions of different autonomous ways of doing things. 

 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Conversation on different experiences pertaining to partnership work.

Moderators: Támara Díaz and Fernando López (Museo Reina Sofía)

Participants: Joaquín Vázquez (BNV, Seville), Eva Fernández (Cine sin autor, Madrid), Marisa Pérez (Fundación de los Comunes) and Emily Pethick (Cluster)

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Closing words and presentation of conclusions by moderators


Joaquín Vázquez
Co-founder of BNV Producciones

Eva Fernández
Writer and founder of Cine sin Autor

Marisa Pérez
Co-ordinator of Fundación de los Comunes

Emily Pethick
Director of The Showroom and member of the networks Common Practice and Cluster in London

Tamara Díaz
Researcher and curator. Exhibitions Department at Museo Reina Sofía

Fernando López
Cultural manager and researcher. Exhibitions Department at Museo Reina Sofía 

Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200