This special programme, organised in conjunction with International Museum Day, melds the lines of work developed by the Museo Reina Sofía with the contours of a timeline of interventions which places care and the sustainability of life as an inescapable ethical priority. Taking Care of Ourselves is an ongoing action about ourselves and others, a proposal with which to put forward initiatives to question this emergency present while searching in archives and past activities to bring forth the practices and reflections accompanying us at this current moment. This analysis, however, of the current situation cannot get away from questions regarding the future, for it becomes necessary to imagine, together, the world ahead that we all want.
Today we inhabit the Museo with a vividly perceived memory of what it once was: a hospital shaken by the epidemic of the so-called Spanish flu at the beginning of the twentieth century. Amidst another ferocious pandemic, the role of the Museo as a public institution gains new meaning and is re-considered in all its dimensions and forms of expression. It is a museum that wishes to be situated and is located in a neighbourhood with residents who, like so many others, have been seriously affected by the disease — overcrowding, a lack of basic resources, rising rent prices — but also with networks of solidarity and self-organisation which once again demonstrate its vitality.
This image of a collective work in the Museo’s garden — where different life forms and temporalities co-exist — evokes, together with the memory of the former hospital, the power of mutual care in sustaining human and non-human life. By means of the hospital-garden-museum constellation, the present programme is organised into three blocks of activities, grouped together by poetic affinity and prompting a reflection of care through the senses: “Breathe, Co-inspire” stresses the need for community as a survival condition; “Touch, Affect” alludes to sensitive experiences and contact with others; and, finally, “Treat, Avert” calls upon the need for assistance around the environment in which we are situated, in addition to imagining forms of protection and transformation.