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2009-2010. Jorge Díez. PRESENTATION

For the first time ever, MADRID ABIERTO has taken place over two years. This was one of the changes proposed by the advisory committee that completed its task in 2008. One of the members of this committee is the curator of this sixth edition, Cecilia Andersson, who analyses in her introduction the processes she has followed to select the ten art interventions (Adaptive Actions, Lara Almarcegui, Laurence Bonvin, Susanne Bosch, Lisa Cheung, Teddy Cruz, Iñaki Larrimbe, Josep-Maria Martín, Gustavo Romano and Pablo Valbuena) which we are presenting from 4th to 28th February 2010, although several of them have been active for some months now and in different forms in the city.

Participation in the open call was quite plentiful, reaching 587 proposals by 769 artists from around the world. In the area of sound art 48 were presented, from which we selected Sarah Boothroyd, Manuel Calurano/Anna Raimondo, Yves Coussement, Javier Díaz-Ena, Wade Matthews, Annemarie Steinvoort, Matthew Verdon, Hernani Villaseñor and Gloria Zein. To these were added the audiovisual works of Fausto Grossi, Sinbait (Puy San Martín y Nerea Lekuona), Izibeñe Oñederra, Logela, Iván Argote, David Elgea, Furarellefalle, Xuban Intxausti, Wolf D. Schreiber, Fabricio Caiazza, Lobo Pasolini and the group Left Hand Rotation, selected in the ninth and tenth edition of, a project which has decided to close its cycle of activities with the participation of guests such as Antoni Muntadas, Eugeni Bonet, Antoni Mercader and Joaquim Dols, whose works were also included in our section on audiovisuals.

In February 2009, we held at La Casa Encendida in Madrid the seminar Urban Buddy Scheme, together with a presentation of the artists and a meeting to prepare their projects in the form of an open workshop. The Spanish participants invited were Basurama, C.A.S.I.T.A., Javier Duero, Exprimentolimon, Uriel Fogué, Andrés Jaque, Kawamura-Ganjavian, Ludotek, Luis Úrculo and Wunderkammer, and from other countries, Alexander Gerdel (Venezuela), International Festival (Sweden), Kyong Park (USA), Adriana Salazar (Colombia) and STEALTH.unlimited (Serbia/Netherlands). The seminar analysed the possibilities of a socio-cultural and politically engaged collaborative effort, as well as the way in which such an initiative could act as a catalyst for change in the city, striving to activate processes that integrate new scopes of knowledge within existing ones.

Thanks to this new biennial format, the artists selected have had more time to become familiar with the local context and to prepare their projects, also facilitating various connections between some of the projects and between several of them with many city agents. This has also allowed addressing some of the gaps which concern us most, such as the lack of an educational programme. As a result of the collaboration of the doctorate programme Art Applications in Social Integration of the Faculty of Education at the Complutense University of Madrid and thanks to the interest of its director, Marián López Fernández-Cao, we have had the valuable contribution of María Molina, who has prepared a prototype of an educational workshop and then developed it as a pilot experience (Aula Abierta), as well as providing part of the contents for the specific projects by Susanne Bosch and Lisa Cheung.

Other of the usual failings is the lack of resources to communicate the projects, since our choice has always been to favour production. Throughout 2009 we distributed the book Madrid Abierto 2004-2008, which includes the fifty-five projects conducted in the first five editions, as well as the pieces selected in the sound and audiovisual sections and the roundtables held. Additionally, the information desk at La Casa Encendida, as well as the roundtables and artist presentations, have helped overcome this lack of information in the latest editions, together with the distribution of fifty thousand issues of this publication. Nonetheless, information out in the street is still a weakness of this and many other programmes of public art. Previously we used various means to resolve this issue, and we even built, together with a street furniture company, an information point prototype designed by Kawamura-Ganjavian. Now we have taken another small step by producing the INFOMAB, also designed by them at their Studio Banana, a space with which Madrid Abierto aims to extend this collaboration, in a similar way as that promoted by Mariano Serrano, who has collaborated in various aspects of this edition, as well as Iñaki Domínguez, Jorge Todolí, Sonsoles Rodríguez and Paula González. We would like to thank all of them most sincerely and in particular, we would like to thank Marta de la Torriente, whose work as general coordinator is never sufficiently acknowledged.     

Organised by the Cultural Association MADRID ABIERTO, this edition is being promoted by the Vice Presidency, Regional Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Office of the Spokesperson of the Regional Government of Madrid and the Government Area of Arts of the Madrid Council, with the collaboration of Casa de América, Fundación Telefónica, La Casa Encendida, Círculo de Bellas Artes, ARCO, Ministerio de Cultura, Radio Nacional de España, Canal Metro, Fundación Rodríguez/Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Pro Helvetia, British Council, Art Council of North Ireland, Canada Council for the Arts, AECID, Teatro Fernán Gómez, Studio Kawamura-Ganjavian and Zoohaus. Continuing with the work of previous editions RMS La Asociación is in charge of coordination and equipo 451 of graphics and the web ( Our thanks as well go to all of them.


.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................JORGE DÍEZCultural director and curator. Director of Madrid Abierto and co-director of the MBA in Companies and Cultural Institutions of the Santillana/Salamanca University, curator of the 2008-09 program Espai 13 of the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona.














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2008. Jorge Díez. PRESENTATION

MADRID ABIERTO comes to its fifth edition after so far receiving more than 1,500 proposals from artists from all over the world in response to the consecutive public invitations. The fifty one projects produced in these last five years have entailed a difficult but satisfying task, coupled with the recurring feeling of certain frustration in the thorough selection task which every year inevitably leaves several interventions, which no doubt are as interesting as those that finally manage to be executed, along the path. Added to this is the certainty that neither the resources nor the time available are enough to develop the potential of many proposals to the full, without ignoring the deficiencies, for example, in the dissemination and the educational aspect of a programme of this nature. Nevertheless, what began as an arduous restructuring of the Open Spaces of the Altadis Foundation in ARCO, has now taken the shape of an on-going approach programme to interpreting and understanding how the public space is constructed from a point of view of contemporary artistic practice, which for the last five years has been held in the month of February in the junction Prado-Recoletos-Castellana.

This project has sometimes received criticism from the most institutional to the most alternative spheres. The latter because, despite being managed independently through a cultural association, the event has been labelled as excessively institutional, and the former precisely because, being not quite sure into which circle of power to place the event, they have taken the liberty to make certain hypercritical comments to compensate for their usual half measures with future or potential clients. The fact is that, on occasion of this fifth edition, both the weaknesses detected and the criticisms received have spurred us to make an in-depth review of MADRID ABIERTO. To do this, we decided to set up an advisory committee co-ordinated by Rocío Gracia and comprised of Cecilia Andersson (director of Werk), Democracia, Guillaume Désanges (art co-ordinator in Les Laboratoires D’Aubervilliers, Îlle de France), Jorge Díez (director of Madrid Abierto), Ramon Parramon (director of IDENSITAT), Fito Rodríguez (Rodríguez Foundation) and Mª Inés Rodríguez (independent organiser).  This advisory committee has discussed all the aspects relative to the format, type of public invitation, selection, regularity, location, organisers and objectives of the programme. In addition, all the members of the advisory committee will participate in the public-art debate tables which will be held on the 7th and 8th of February in La Casa Encendida, together with the selected artists and representatives of other international projects, such as Nelson Brissac and Vit Havranek.  

This 2008 edition will be held from the 7th of February to the 2nd of March and it is organised by the group Democracia, which has selected the projects of  LHFA, Alicia Framis/Michael Lin, Anno Dijkstra, Guillaume Ségur, Andreas Templin, Todo por la Praxis, Fernando Llanos, Fernando Prats (Casa de América) and Annamarie Ho/Inmi Lee (Círculo de Bellas Artes), with the guests Jota Castro, Santiago Cirugeda, Santiago Sierra and a group of urban artists from Madrid (Noaz, Dier).

In this edition, the generic concept which the organisers have worked with has been that of conceiving the public art interventions as an opportunity to transmit messages that are unusual to the public space, the latter understood as a communication channel dominated by the discourse generated from the commercial and institutional spheres, both in terms of the specifically urban and architectural as well as the complex network of the media. Based on this premise, and the prior open invitation to projects, the selected interventions seek to generate thought on our immediate political, social and cultural environment. The aim is to approach how the city is organised, the role of art in the public space and the new forms of culture associated with urban life. In this respect, the different interventions aim to confront and question the relationship of the citizen with his/her environment, generating both symbolic and practical proposals.

In addition, once again, this year we have integrated a specific sonorous art section in which the work of Petra Dubach/ Mario Van Horrik, Avelino Sala/ Dano, Gregory Büttner, Carola Cintrón Moscoso, Pedro Torres, Debashis Sinha, Josh Goldman, Miguel Gil, Patrick Courtney, Hong-Kai Wang, Edith Alonso and Leopoldo Amigo have been selected for broadcast on Radio 3 of Radio Nacional de España. In collaboration with the Centro Cultural Montehermoso de Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Rodríguez Foundation, the audiovisual work of Estibaliz Sadaba, Itziar Okariz, Mabi Revuelta, Mikel Arbiza, Vanesa Castro, Maya Watanabe, Raúl Bajo, Andrew Senior and Yolanda de los Bueis, selected in the 8th edition of Intervenciones TV, round off the programme.   

This fifth edition is organised by the Asociación Cultural MADRID ABIERTO, with the sponsoring of the Altadis Foundation, the Department of Culture and Tourism of the Community of Madrid and the Arts Department of the City Council of Madrid, with the collaboration of La Casa de América, Círculo de Bellas Artes, ARCO, the Telefónica Foundation, Casa Encendida, the Ministry of Culture, Radio 3 of RNE and Canal Metro. Continuing with the work of previous editions, RMS La Asociación has been responsible for the co-ordination, and the 451 team has developed the graphic image and the web page (


.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................JORGE DÍEZDirector of Madrid Abierto and co-director of the MBA in Cultural Management, Santillana/Salamanca University. In 2007 he has co-curated with José Roca (Colombia) Cart[ajena] public art project promoted by SEACEX, developed within the IV Congress of Spanish at Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. He has lectured in the Spain-Japon Forum at Nagasaki, Actual experience in Public Art at the 16º Arts Symposium at Porto Alegre, Brasil and, Contexts and projects in Public Art. Ephemera models of intervention, at the MARCO.









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2006. Jorge Díez. PRESENTATION

 MADRID ABIERTO is an international artistic programme which falls into the category usually referred to as public art, even though this is a somewhat controversial term and which has been rapidly evolving over the past few years. A clear example of this evolution and which is one of the most interesting initiatives taking place in Spain is the Calaf (Barcelona), which arose from a public sculpturing context. Similar to Madrid Abierto, it was initially based on the Open Spaces of the Altadis Foundation at ARCO. The director of Calaf, Mr. Ramon Parramon was an organiser for Madrid Abierto in 2005 and in the current edition, apart from participating the selection jury; he coordinated the debate tables which will take place for the first time at the same time as the artistic interventions. In the words of the director of FRAC Bourgogne, Ms.; Eva González-Sancho, head of the final selection for the third edition of Madrid Abierto, public art “could be that which either makes us question it or reflect on it, or simply decorates our urban surroundings. In my opinion, the interest of the artistic proposals carried out in that space which is in a constant state of transformation, which we refer to as public space, are artistic interventions which influence our comprehension of the same”.

Since its first edition, Madrid Abierto has been promoted by the Altadis Foundation, the Regional Madrid Ministry for Culture and Sports and the Department of Arts of the Town hall of Madrid, and this year it counts with the cooperation of the following entities: ARCO, Fundación Telefónica, the Radio 3 of RNE, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Casa de América, Canal Metro, La Casa Encendida and the Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid. This is a group of institutions which enable this attempt to help people comprehend the construction of the public area through different artistic interventions placed on the Paseo de Recoletos – Paseo del Prado axis in Madrid. The fact that we’ve selected such a specific are of city centre may condition the character of some of the proposals, especially those which are centred in social and community processes, or those which are distant from the most conventional projects. This has been one of the criticisms we have received from time to time, along with the lack of central theme to join the projects. But this is precisely, for better or for worse, one of the characteristics of Madrid Abierto, i.e. to be an open international show of artistic projects. In its third edition, which will take place between the 1st and 26th of February, a total of 595 projects have been received, more than doubling the 234 of the first edition. The distribution per country is as follows: Spain (136), USA (56), Argentina (51), Italy (37), Germany (36), France (31), Mexico (31), Columbia (23), UK (22), Canada (15), Cuba (11), Portugal (9), Austria (9), Chile (8), Holland (8), Finland (8), Brazil (7), Costa Rica (6), Russia (6), Nicaragua (5), Japan (5), Slovenia (7), Uruguay (5), Belgium (5), Norway (4), Australia (4), Sweden (4), Poland (4), Panama (3), Peru (3), Bulgaria (3), Switzerland (3), Turkey (3), Ecuador (3), Guatemala (3), Ghana (3), Singapore (2), Croatia (2), Denmark (2), Venezuela (2), Romania (1), Hungary (1), Santo Domingo (1), India (1), China (1), Indonesia (1), Israel (1), Thailand (1) Latvia (1), Lithuania (1) and El Salvador (1).

I feel that this open character of the proposals, and the growing interest in participating, are a value that should be maintained, even if it is to the detriment of a more articulated artistic approach, such as that which could be achieved with a prior definition of determined lines of investigation and with the direct selection of artists by one or various organisers. However, one should always be open to exploring options which will improve the possible faults pointed out and thus improve the overall results. Thus, on this occasion, we have established two phases for selecting the projects. In the first phase, the selection committee selected 27 of the 595 projects presented, based on the interest and quality of each project. In the second phase, we have tried to establish similarities and see how the proposals can compliment each other, and attempting to achieve a minimum articulation of all the projects, and for this, the definitive selection was left to Ms. Eva González-Sancho, who had also participated in the initial pre-selection with the aforementioned Ramon Parramon, Rosina Gómez-Baeza (Director of ARCO), Nicolas Bourriaud (Co-director of the Palais of Tokyo, Nicolas Bourriaud (co-director del Palais de Paris), Theo Tegelaers (director of De Appel, Amsterdam), and myself. The definitive selection comprises: Accidentes Urbanos by Virginia Corda (Buenos Aires, 1967) and Maria Paula Doberti (Buenos Aires, 1966); Speakhere¡ by Nicole Cousino (California, 1966) in cooperation with Chris Vecchio (Philadelphia, 1964); Post it by Chus García-Fraile (Madrid, 1965); Pulsing Path-ambiguous vision by Gustav Hellberg (Stockhom, 1967); Blend out de Lorma Marti (Karen Lohrmann, Hamburg-Germany, 1967 and Stefano de Martino, San Gallo-Italy, 1955); Ouroboros by Wilfredo Prieto (Sancti-Spíritus-Cuba, 1978); Remolino by Tere Recarens (Barcelona, 1967); Translucid view by Arnoud Schuurman (Leidschendam- Holland, 1976); Reality Soundtrack by Tao G. Vrhovec (Ljubljana-Slovenia, 1972); Locutorio Colón by Maki Portilla-Kawamura (Oviedo, 1982), Key Portilla-Kawamura (Oviedo, 1979), Tadanori Yamaguchi (Osaka, 1970) y Ali Ganjavian (Tehran, 1979). The preselection of the pury also included the project presented by: Armando Navarro and David TV; Ángel Borrego and Jana Leo; Anna Lise Skou; Hermelinde Hergenhahn; Alenka Belic; Peter Moertenboeck and Helge Mooshammer; Otto Karvonen; Helen Stratford and Diana Wesser; Ivonne Dröge-Wendel; Oliver Flexman and Steven Dickie; Santiago Reyes; María Regueiro; Dennis Adams, Catherine D'Ignazio and Savic Rasovic; Leonor Da Silva; Kristoffer Ardeña; Katrin Korfmann and María Linares.

It is interesting to note that this year the dates for presentation of the projects and selection took place much earlier than previous years, and this was in order to enable the second selection phase and the articulation of the projects so the artists would have more time to profile them and decide their localization.

Likewise, I would like to highlight that as in the previous two editions, the 451 team is still developing the graphic image and web site for Madrid Abierto. RMS La Asociación will continuo with the coordination of the programme. As an innovation, in this edition, the national public radio station Radio 3, will collaborate with the production and broadcast of Tao G. Vrhovec’s work.

In its third edition, Madrid Abierto continues trying to deepen the notion of an artistic activity understood as a practice of activation and interaction with other agents, trying to provide all citizens with other views and proposals of participation than those which are usually offered in a museum, art gallery, art centre of fair. Different biennial exhibitions and projects had successfully incorporated this type of event related to public art, but those who do it in a specific manner, through an open call for participation and supporting the production of projects, aimed mainly at upcoming artists and who are awarded a maximum of 12.000 euro per project, are less frequent. The characteristics of the programme, its reduced economic scale and the small team which organises it can be shock in such a large city as is Madrid and who have difficulty in placing themselves on the crowded stage of contemporary Spanish art. We are well aware of all this, but we aim to consolidate this public art project, despite it constantly being referred to as lacking continuity in the initiatives which have arisen from it. Along these lines, we feel it is absolutely necessary to reflect on the model of Madrid Abierto and contrast it with the very artists and the specialists, as well as with other similar national and international initiatives. For this reason we have organised a debate on the 2nd and 3rd of February in cooperation with the Casa Encendida. We will try to incorporate the results of these debates, together with the experience we have acquired, in future editions of Madrid Abierto.

Jorge Díez







2009-10. Cecilia Andersson. INTRODUCTION


This is the first edition of MADRID ABIERTO as a biennial event and the theme for this edition is collaboration. The call for works announced its openness for proposals that spans across disciplines and for artists aiming to situate their work within the social realm of art practice and audience participation. Selected artists met for three days during an initial seminar which took place in Madrid early February 2009. The aim of the seminar was not only for participating artists to introduce themselves and present earlier works but also to allow for other players, familiar with Madrid and its context, to present their activities. Behind it all was the idea to create a network of connections, a network that would help the selected visiting artists, the majority of them based outside of Spain, to connect with local knowledge and with the specific context of Madrid. The works now presented are some of the results of processes and contacts initiated during this seminar.

For cities to thrive, to be communicative and alive and to function as catalysers of public life, it is necessary to stimulate civic participation and community involvement. Given the current framework, where society often fail to negotiate some of the most immediate challenges, how can pooling resources such as the ones found in collaborative and interdisciplinary initiatives, develop alternative work methods? How can inertia and nostalgia be substituted by visionary and inspiring tools acting as catalysts for change? In our post-political age, how can artistic practices intervene beyond dominant conventions? How can artists access and address spaces and places when in fact, most citizens takes no interest to participate in communal social networks?

This edition of MADRID ABIERTO explores how collaboration and co-operation can act as catalysts to induce changes of benefit for the city and its inhabitants. Involving people from a broad professional spectrum, among them gardeners, actors, community workers, programmers, architects and urban planners, resulting art projects manifest a wide range of views and expressions. The aim of such a socially engaged approach is to create a larger network which, ideally, makes it possible to come closer to an understanding of some of the dynamics that operate in the city. Articulating specific concerns and voicing local issues is one step closer to resolving a conflict or improving a situation. The ten commissioned artists in this edition of MADRID ABIERTO are probing into terrains that often remain in obscurity and/or silence. The aim is to reveal some of the dynamics of collaborative efforts and explore how such efforts may affect people and politics in specific places.

Implicit in the word collaboration is some kind of mutual understanding. It would be difficult to carry out a collaborative project if there was not initially agreed upon what the project wished to communicate and to who. This process of stipulating goals, articulating and exploring paths as well as the constant look-out for additional partners are integral parts of collaborative projects. In these aspects, art projects and cultural projects in general, can function as tools for exchange and of recognition of the people involved. Initiating collaborative dialogues allows for coexistence, neighbourliness, alternative identification and for greater comprehension of diversity. Art must in these contexts be understood as a form of political imagination. The need to create such models is endless in today’s society.

Collaborative practice may also file under categories such as socially engaged art, community-based art, dialogic, ‘relational’, participatory, interventionist, research-based art…. One thing is certain, since the 1990s an increased number of artists work within such constellations and are, as a consequence, increasingly judged by their working process and by the models for participation they come up with. Does this way of working, this kind of “method fever”, to quote Sarat Maharaj, this consensual agreement, distance artists from the core of artistic practice, namely autonomy? Is it possible that collaborative projects, instead of exploring visions and ideas that are close to the artist’s heart, instead succumbs to be part of a rather conventional idea of what collaboration and participation can be? British art critic Claire Bishop refers to this position as religious, as “Christian”, and argues that often in collaborative projects the artist takes on a self-sacrificial position and performs for the Other.

Now, one year after our first reunion in Madrid the time has come for presentation. Some of the questions posed above remain unanswered while others have been clarified. Additionally, some of the works presented have managed to generate new questions. This presentation is an opportunity to contemplate some of them.

Spain just took on the presidency of the European Union while the economical crisis keeps rattling the country. One of its most visible signs are the ghost towns that surrounds Madrid and which Laurence Bonvin has documented. Seseña for instance, is already a ghost town even before anyone moved in. And unlike the late 19th century Wild West where ghost towns began to appear after the California gold rush, its equivalent, the Spanish construction frenzy, collapsed quicker than anyone could have imagined. In the middle of crisis and as one hands-on way to deal with it, plan ñ was put to work. It is devised to improve infrastructure in the country while simultaneously provide job opportunities.  Lara Almarcegui is tapping into one part of the plan, the construction of a parking garage under Calle Serrano. The one day per week when workers are not excavating, guided tours will be arranged into the underworld of Madrid. This underbelly of Madrid, its intestines, its strata bared in layers, presents an uncanny side of the city otherwise perceived solely through its orderly constructed environment.  The excavated dirt with all its remnants of past lives naturally carries seeds for the future. Vegetation buried for years may be brought to life again when exposed to sunlight.

Lisa Cheung converted a truck into a mobile gardening centre that will tour Madrid, making stops once at week along a mapped out route. Raising questions about sustainability while sharing knowledge, the garden bus also aim to build a community of ‘city farmers’ by introducing a common theme which to gather around.Iñaki Larrimbe offers a different vehicle and presents a different range of tours. His refurbished caravan is stationary and parked in the city centre where it serves as an alternative tourist office from which specially commissioned maps will be distributed. The maps intend to make the city visible from distinct points of views and include, for instance, the best neon signs in Madrid, a selection of outstanding urban art as well as streets and squares where movies were filmed. All describe alternative routes for city visitors. His tours indicates the unusual, the often not seen and asks us to pay attention. In this he has something in common with Adaptive Actions (AA). AA’s temporary tent erected inside the Atocha train stationfunctions as a meeting point, as collection and exhibition site. AA intends to document the absurdities in the city such as illegible signage, incomprehensible rules, loitering, the strange, contradictory and often overlooked.

The idea of collecting, creating a meeting point and a place for sharing and belonging in your own community are topics explored by Susanne Bosch. Her initiative is to collect pesetas which went out of circulation in the New Year 2000. She is asking for a collaborative effort not only to collect remaining pesetas, but also to join forces and decide what to do with the money once collected and counted.  If Bosch’s work is about collecting old money, Gustavo Romano is issuing a new kind of currency. His performance based interaction operates from a converted tricycle equipped with wi-fi connection and a printer issuing Time Notes. These notes refer to an alternative currency ranging from 60 min to 1 year. It is a way of reimbursing people for their lost time while also questioning value systems embedded in monetary exchange. Making use of space in a most efficient way, counting its use by the minutes and converting the time into money paid for rent; Josep-Maria Martín have interviewed African immigrant living in Lavapiés in situations called ‘camas calientes’. Many people with varying legal statuses are all gathered in one apartment where they take turns to sleep. These beds are never cold. As soon as one is freed by one person, the next paying guest is waiting. Martín interviewed the people sharing these apartments and also left the video camera for them to document their lives. He conducted interviews with immigration officers and social workers. The resulting video is screened in the open air during the dark hours of the night.

Nights are cold in Madrid during February but Pablo Valbuena needs the darkness for his projections in public space. His discrete animations projected onto the façade of a building, track the outline of the architecture and bring new dimensions to an architectural reality which looks very different in daylight. While Valbuena works as a kind of architectural ghost writer, Teddy Cruz challenges a different façade, that of Casa de America for his intervention. In a parasite like manner, small room is positioned inside the hosting building and made accessible via ladders leaning against the facade. Part of Cruz’ project is also to invite Tijuana based Mexican artist Felipe Zuñiga in residency and to through education, establish links with immigrant children in the Madrid suburb of Puente de Vallecas. The façade of Casa de America will, in an amoeba like act of transformation, turn into a symbolic bridge that connects not only between countries, but also between periphery and centre.

It is my belief that the above projects, mentioned here only as brief summaries, carry the strengths to call for an initial awareness of contemporary cultural needs. How such needs may be accommodated in the future requires a longer commitment – projects that stretch over a longer period of time. The projects presented as part of this edition of MADRID ABIERTO gives shape to what is still unknown. As such they actively take part in defining the needs for tomorrow.


.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................CECILIA ANDERSSON Is curator and founder of Werk Ltd., a curator's studio in Stockholm. Her latest projects include Supersocial; a platform for events organised in different cities and On Cities; an exhibition at the Swedish Museum of Architecture, Stockholm. Curator of Madrid Abierto 2009-10.














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2007. Jorge Díez. PRESENTATION

 MADRID ABIERTO is an international artistic initiatives programme which is held throughout the month of February in the junction Paseo de la Castellana-Recoletos-Prado since 2004. It is an avenue for approaching the interpretation and comprehension of how the public space is constructed from the sphere of art. Since its first open invitation announcement it has received more than 1.200 proposals. Out of all the projects presented, 29 were exhibited in the previous three editions and 13 will be exhibited this year, selected by different juries comprised by international experts.

Organised by the Cultural Association MADRID ABIERTO, the 2007 edition of the programme is promoted by the Altadis Foundation, the Department of Culture and Sport of the Autonomous Community of Madrid and the Governing Department for the Arts of the City Council of Madrid, with the collaboration of the Telefónica Foundation, La Casa Encendida of Obra Social Caja Madrid, the Ministry of Culture, ARCO, Radio 3 of RNE, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Canal Metro, Cemusa, Centro Cultural de la Villa of Madrid, Remo, Mediazero and Metro.

For this fourth edition, which will be held from the 1st to the 28th of February, a total of 658 projects were presented; 471 for the general invitation, 61 for the façade of La Casa de América, 28 for the façade of Círculo de Bellas Artes, 74 works for Canal Metro and 24 sonorous initiatives for Radio 3. The breakdown by countries of the projects presented is as follows: Spain (174), Italy (46), USA (46), Mexico (40), Argentina (33), Germany (28), Colombia (28), France (25), Brazil (18), Canada (16), Cuba (16), Ecuador (14), Chile (13), The Netherlands (13), Portugal (12), Ireland (9), Sweden (9), United Kingdom (9), Venezuela (9), Japan (7), Austria (6), Yugoslavia (6), Australia (5), Peru (5), Belgium (4), Costa Rica (4), Finland (4), Norway (4), Poland (4), Turkey (4), China (3), Croatia (3), Slovenia (3), Russia (3), Switzerland (3), Uruguay (3), Bulgaria (2), El Salvador (2), Georgia (2), Guatemala (2), India (2), Iceland (2), Israel (2), New Zealand (2), Czech Republic (2), Cyprus (1), Denmark (1), Estonia (1), The Philippines (1), Greece (1), Hungary (1), Latvia (1), Lithuania (1), The Dominican Republic (1), Serbia (1) and Singapore (1).

The selection committee was comprised by Juan Antonio Álvarez-Reyes (curator of Madrid Abierto 2007), Ramon Parramon (director of Idensitat), Cecilia Andersson (director of Werk) and Guillaume Désanges (co-ordinator of art projects in Les Laboratoires D’Aubervilliers, Ille de France). We declared the project for the façade of Círculo de Bellas Artes unfulfilled and pre-selected thirty projects, from which the curator finally selected Fernando(We were young. Full of life. None of us prepared to die) by the collective Discoteca Flaming Star; proyecto_nexus* by the collective [nexus*] art group; I Lay My Ear To Furious Latin by Ben Frost; Rezos/Prayers by Dora García;Pictures by Mandla Reuter; Guantanamera by Alonso Gil and Francis Gomila and Short Circuit/Cortocircuito by Dirk Vollenbroich. In addition to these seven selected projects, the current edition is complemented by other projects from artists invited by the curator: Dan Perjovschi, Susan Philipsz, Johanna Billing, Leopold Kessler, Oswaldo Maciá and Annika Ström. Through this mixed selection model our intention is to continue to make progress in our objective of broadening each annual proposal of MADRID ABIERTO.

In this year’s edition, for the first time, two specific invitations for audiovisual and sonorous works were announced, which were selected by the curator, myself, Arturo Rodríguez and José Iges. The following 11 works were selected for projecting on Canal Metro: Rothkovisión 3.0 by Daniel Silvo; Mierda de caballos y príncipes by Fernando Baena; Rest by Carolina Jonsson; Every Word is becoming by Alexander Vaindorf; Alpenflug (Alpine Flight) by Juan Carlos Robles; Himno by Cristian Villavicencio; PlasmaLux06-7 by Tanja Vujinovic-Zvonka Simcic; Mis Quince by Alfredo Pérez; Lucía by Pere Ginard and Laura Ginés; Candy by Mai Yamashita and Naoto Kobayashi and The Toro’s Revenge by María Cañas. For broadcasting on Radio 3, the following 8 works were selected: Am I walking by Jouni Tauriainen; Bendicho juez de la verdad by Eldad Tsabary; Reiterations (Elizabeth Street) by Sonia Leber and David Chesworth; Postal Densa. Postal Sonora. Madrid-Bogotá by Mauricio Bejarano; Alkaline by Paul Devens; Funkenspiel by David Halsell; Poema Jazz (a Clara Gari) by Luis Eligio Pérez and BihotzBi by Zuriñe Gerenabarrena.

Likewise, following on with the work of the previous editions, E451 continues to develop the graphic image and web page and, for the second year running, together with various debate tables on public art, the selected artists will present their work in La Casa Encendida on the 1st and 2nd of February.

We are continuing the process of creating an initiative of a scale manageable by a small team without a permanent or continuous structure, based on an open invitation announcement geared towards the production of ephemeral or temporary projects for the public space of the city of Madrid.

Jorge Díez







2004. Jorge Díez. PRESENTATION


Art Interventions in Madrid. MADRID ABIERTO is a project framed within so-called Public Art i.e. interventions and performances derived from an artistic concept and developed preferably in a public and open context. Interacting with social and political processes, these works are aimed at the active or passive protagonists of such processes, i.e. all those people who, directly or indirectly, regularly or occasionally, live together in a specific physical, communicative, social and symbolic space, in this case, the City of Madrid.

The aim of this first edition of MADRID ABIERTO 2004 —to be held from 5th to 22nd February— is to act as a prototype or model for future editions, which will be extended to the rest of the City and Community of Madrid. The intervention will be restricted to the area comprising the Plaza de Colón (Jardines del Descubrimiento), the Plaza de la Independencia (Puerta de Alcalá), the junction of the Calle Alcalá with Gran Vía, and the Paseo del Prado —though a site-specific work will also be produced for the Depósito Elevado (Water Tank) in the grounds of the Fundación Canal in the Plaza de Castilla.

The international MADRID ABIERTO competition received 234 projects from 316 artists, with 57 projects for the site-specific installation for the Water Tank at the Canal Foundation. The competition had an extensive reception worldwide, with the following distribution of projects per country of residence of the participating artists: Spain (129), Italy (16), United Kingdom (11), United States (10), Argentina (10), Mexico (7), Germany (7), Brazil (7), Cuba (5), France (4), Holland (4), Colombia (3), Switzerland (3), Belgium (2), South Korea (2), Chile (2), Australia (2), Portugal (2), Greece (2), Austria (1), Peru (1), Japan (1), China (1), Turkey (1) and the Dutch Antilles (1).

The jury -Paloma Blanco, Ramon Parramon and Jorge Díez (programme director)- has selected the following projects: house-Madrid by Wolfgang Weileder (Munich, 1964), a synchronized process of construction and deconstruction of two identical, front and rear façades, in the form of a sequential choreography in which two different buildings appear on the same site on the Paseo de Recoletos; Silent by Elena Bajo (Madrid, 1972) /Warren Neidich (New York, 1952), a plexiglass acoustic sculpture to be installed on a section of the Paseo de la Castellana close to the open-air Museum of Sculpture as an ephemeral gesture limiting the noise pollution in the City; and Emancipator Bubble, an inflatable dwelling in the form of a bubble, which permits a high degree of independence without leaving home. A product of Bubble Business, S.A., based on an original idea by architects Alex Mitxelena and Hugo Olaizola, directed by Saioa Olmo and produced by Amasté, the Bubble will be installed in the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid. To these three will be added the proposal from Sans Façon -Charles Blanc (Saint Etienne, France, 1974) and Tristan Surtees (Leeds, England, 1977)- for the raised Water Tank in the Plaza de Castilla: by playing with the architectural quality of the construction -the pillars will be covered with acrylic mirrors- a different perception of the object and its surroundings will be generated.

Together with the above projects selected from the international submissions, MADRID ABIERTO will contain interventions by El Perro, Maider López, etoy, Diana Larrea, Fernando Sánchez Castillo and 451. We shall thus encounter interventions alluding to normal urban communication systems like that of Maider López (San Sebastián, 1975) on the municipal advertising supports, the appropriation of a mythic image from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds by Diana Larrea (Madrid, 1972) on the façade of the Casa de América, via the most overtly political by Fernando Sánchez Castillo (Madrid, 1970) which, with the collaboration of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, will make one of the most emblematic monuments of the capital -Pietro Tacca’s equestrian statue of Philip IV in the Plaza de Oriente- accessible to pedestrians. Other projects with a more active participation are also included: the El Perro group who, after a public vote, propose the virtual demolition of some of the most representative buildings in the Paseo de la Castellan area, and etoy, a Swiss group who will instal the offices of their data-processing corporation in the Plaza de Colón to research the art market and initiate their own collection. The 451 team has designed the image and web-page of MADRID ABIERTO and is developing a specific project on all the applications and graphic identity of the programme.

There are also four associate projects: Luciano Matus (Mexico, D.F.,1971) will intervene in various interior and exterior spaces of the Casa de América; NEO2 magazine will include in its February issue a Madrid Abierto dossier that can be used as a programme for the event; in the audiovisual field, Metrópolis, broadcast weekly on Spanish Television’s second channel (a pioneer programme in Spain on contemporary culture specialized in the research and diffusion of the new artistic languages), will produce their own monograph on MADRID ABIERTO. This autonomous piece will then be presented in ARCO 2004 together with all the art interventions in the framework of Bulevares ARCO: Fragmentos de una ciudad interior, also produced as an associate project by the Sociedad Estatal para el Desarrollo del Diseño y la Innovación (D.Di).

January 2004Jorge Díez