Pilar Parcerisas is an art critic, art historian, essayist and exhibition curator based in Barcelona. She trained as a curator with Harald Szeemann. She has been President of ACCA, the Catalan Association of Art Critics, as well as Vice-President of the new Catalonia Arts Council in Barcelona.
A Skype conversation with Pilar Parcerisas about the present art scene in Spain (November 2012)
Conversation description below
Part 1 of 2
Part 2 of 2
In the first part of the conversation Pilar Parcerisas talks about the lacking of the public support to the visual arts in Spain. The economic crisis in Spain is very visible, the majority of the artist cannot make their living out of their work; they all have to make extra works such as hanging exhibitions or teaching. Because of the crisis and lack of public funding, the institutions have shorter programs and they manage to publish only few catalogues. Artists are still very creative but surviving without a market, and/or very strong public institutions, is difficult. Artists have to leave the country, many of them are trying to work in Brasil, Berlin or Paris.
During the conversation, Pilar Parcerisas mentions the interview she read on L’Officiel Art with Carsten Höller where he says that we are living at the end of the representation era. The artist is formulating questions in order to test the reality, but he has not answers; the whole idea that the artist is a guide into the society is disappearing. Artists are at the same level of reality. In the interview, Carsten Höller says that he took a sabbatic year in order to rethink his own work and to write something. Now the artist does not need to follow the rhythm of production anymore. This stress for the production is finally probably finished.
Pilar Parcerisas analyzes the art scene in Spain and she says that we are at the end of the conceptual generation. Now there is a new generation of artists such as Fernando Sánchez Castillo (Madrid, 1970) who is very critical about the political situation, but also Francesc Ruiz (Barcelona, 1971) who makes installation with comics and drawings. There are artists who refer to other disciplines such a literature or theatre like Oriol Vilanova, a very young artist living in Paris. Or well-known artists such as Antonio Abad or Ignasi Aballí who is working between painting and conceptual art. There are strong artists, such as Pep Agut who is projecting his conceptual art into the installations, or Eulalia Valdosera a very good artist who is raising issues on gender and feminism. Regarding the galleries Pilar Parcerisas mentions those that try to involve the new generation of artists such as Juana de Aizupuru in Madrid who works, for example, with Dora García, or Nogueras Blanchard Gallery that also tries to involve new artists. In Madrid the galleries are more active than in Barcelona, but Barcelona is more active in terms of public centers and institutions. She also mentions the art center Fabra i Coats in Barcelona, a very big factory that opened last month with a new exhibition with installations and performances.
In the last part of the conversation, Pilar Parcerisas looks for the possibility to turn the present economic crisis into a positive challenge. She says that we have to work into the crisis, trying to benefit from this situation, and to do so we must be more imaginative, more open to the world. We must connect with the other parts of the work. It is also important to open to other disciplines and to try to be stronger in the creative proposals.
We need to use new ways of connection, use technologies, and constantly formulate questions about art, and ask, for example, why do we need art, how can we all be more creative within the society. We cannot remain completely closed in ourselves, we must project creativity onto the society, and to impulse new ideas into the society.
It is important to be aware about the necessity to socialize art, to enter in communication with other parts of the world, to open new doors and new windows.
Europe itself has to overcome the old concept of the closed nation-state. To get over this crisis, Europe has to become a Federal Union. If we want to reinforce our currency, euro, Europe has to provoke a real union. Nations must give away part of their sovereignty to Europe.
This is the only solution for surviving economically in front of the global world which is constantly mutating. In order to positively go through the crisis, we have to adapt ourselves to this new situation, to the fluctuation of our times.
As we said we have abandoned the old economy and we are now part of a global world. We have lost the concept of production as our main goal and we have abandoned the idea that the economy and the capital can keep increasing and increasing. Many are the artists working in this field: Thomas Hirschhorn, Mark Wallinger, Isa Genzken, to name a few. The Symposium that will be held at the Macba, Barcelona, this coming Friday and Saturday (Nov. 16th and 17th) will focus on this specific feeling of precariousness.