Galego | Castellano | English

Opening times: 11 to 20 h
Free entry
Closed on Monday

On Sunday, 12 July, the exhibition halls will be closed to the public due to the elections to the Parliament of Galicia.

Follow us on:
Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram rss

17 February - 6 May 2017


Critical Attempts is the discursive and theoretical focus of the exhibition project Critical [Ex]positions, which will culminate in the publication of three issues of a magazine where, among other contents, and along with the contributions made by the speakers at the panels, two dialogues between the project curators and Simón Marchán, María de Corral and Jesús Palomino will be published. By no means should they be understood as parallel or complementary activities, but as consubstancial elements of the exhibition.

In this project, complexity should be understood as an organic whole, and all of its elements as central cores, independent yet interdependent and part of the set. Nothing is parallel, everything is central. Each item is explained through its relationship with the rest.

That is why debates and discussions will take place in the exhibition halls themselves. Without separation, in contact with the pieces, and precisely in one of the parts that make it up: Pabellón de luz (Light Pavilion) a few benches crafted by the Laboratorio de Luz (research group at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia started by María José Martínez de Pisón, Trinidad García and Salomé Cuesta, among others) that form a hexagram from the I-Ching and which were designed—but finally not employed due to technical issues—to accommodate a few debates in ARCO 93.

Critical Attempts is a set of round tables and publications that promote discussions and the production of ideas in order to set up a possible map of current critical thinking regarding art in our country. Thus, the discussions have as objective the present and the future and, only in a contextual way, the past and the memory collected within the exhibition itself.

The territory of politics is today a focus of artistic creation and analysis. From theoretical positions—visual and gender studies, mediation policies, etc.—artistic research avenues are created, often not linked to the production of objects or to the usual circuits, but to the questioning of the roles of the artist, the viewer and the institution. The society of spectacle and new technologies produces new roles and behaviours.  Budget cuts have deeply affected the cultural sector. Global and local tensions are not only geographical and social realities, but also ideological and symbolic structures.

What about the intellectual referents that critics, curators and artists use to organize their own personal and social territory? What are their insights regarding their professional context? To what extent has the aesthetization of politics anesthetized their effectiveness? How to approach the changes in the social and cultural fabric that would seem to be out of the radar of the institution?

These are some of the issues that will be analysed in these meetings, which will be held in three sessions over three months. In total, ten round tables will take place bringing together more than forty Spanish artists, critics and curators, articulated around the following topics:



February 17
6.00 p.m. Mindmapping and Research Avenues
Dora García, Martí Manen, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina
Moderator: Juan Bosco Díaz Urmeneta

Discusses the intellectual referents that critics and artists use to organize their own personal and social territories. This mind map orients their research avenues.

Audio [spanish]

February 18
11.00 a.m. Theoretical Disciplines and Disciplinary Theories
Montse Badía, José Maldonado, Alberto Ruiz de Samaniego
Modera: Luis Francisco Pérez

If there is a distinctive feature of artistic practices from the nineteen-seventies it is the questioning of traditional disciplines and, with them, the concept of the avantgarde itself. The nineteen-nineties contributed to the progressive consolidation of other practices in new media, one of them the theory itself, and to the emergence of new unrestricted thematic lines arising from (im)purely theoretical research.

Audio [spanish]

12.30 p.m. The Artist as Critic
Concha Jerez, Rogelio López Cuenca, Juan Luis Moraza
Modera: Alicia Murría

The artist as critic from a dual perspective: their vision and critical judgment of the work, their own and others’, and its professional context; and their insights—textual, performative—on art as an instrument of knowledge in today's society.

Audio [spanish]



March 24
4.30 p.m. Politics of Beauty
Juan Navarro Baldeweg, Miguel Fernández-Cid, Guillermo Pérez Villalta
Moderator: Óscar Alonso Molina

The classical concept of beauty is surely the most disputed element of recent decades in the art field. However, many artists and critics maintain a deep engagement with this concept from a perspective linked to contemporary experience.

Audio [spanish]

6.30 p.m. Aestheticization of Politics
Daniel García Andújar, Mateo Maté, Fernando Sánchez-Castillo
Modera: Jorge Luis Marzo

It can very well be said that at the beginning of the 21st century the predominant motive of analysis and creation for a majority of artists has been the field of politics; politics, in turn, experiences the phenomenon stated in the title. To what extent this aestheticization anesthetizes their political effectiveness? This is what this table sets out to analyse.

Audio [spanish]

March 25
11.00 a.m. Net-Pop Aesthetics
Ana Laura Aláez, Eloy Fernández Porta, David G. Torres
Moderator: Bea Espejo

The generation of new roles and behaviors, arising from the society of spectacle and new technologies, often without proposals or initial political approaches, produces changes in the social and cultural fabric that would seem to be off the radar of the institution. The tensions arising from the intention to integrate these aesthetics into the institution and its possible degree of resistance will be addressed at this meeting.

Audio [spanish]

12.30 p.m.
Suso Fandiño, Pablo Fanego, Manuel Segade
Moderator: Chus Martínez Domínguez

In the Galician context there have been great achievements, which have been very fragile successes, and deep disruptions, that must be addressed as conflicts for discussion and debate: the difficulties of visibility outside Galicia, the conflictive consciousness of our own history that points to a discursive absence and a permanent presence in the Spanish context, a transverse political patronage, etc.

Audio [spanish and galician] (1ª parte)

Audio [spanish and galician] (2ª parte)



May 5
4.30 p.m. Critical Aesthetics
Juan Albarrán, Javier Tudela
Moderator: Pedro Medina

From theoretical positions—visual and gender studies, etc.—artistic research avenues are created which question the institutional, social, and cultural policies, and employ both traditional disciplines as well as new languages.

Audio [spanish]

6.30 p.m. Relational Criticism
Peio Aguirre, Darío Corbeira, Juan de Nieves
Modera: José Manuel Costa

From a different idea of the processes constituting the aesthetic, economic, and institutional relations in the artistic field, new practices arise that are not linked to the production of objects or to the usual circuits, but to the questioning of the roles of the artist, the viewer and the institution.


May 6
11.00 a.m. Global and Local. Territory and Power
J. A. Álvarez Reyes, Javier Hontoria, María Virginia Jaua
Moderator: Pedro de Llano Neira

Centre and Periphery. Global and Local. Not only geographical and social realities, but also ideological and symbolic structures that can be used as elements of control or liberation. The values of the economic and institutional powers versus the citizens’ knowledge of their needs and of the medium—ecological, cultural, and symbolic—that they inhabit.

Audio [spanish]


Armando Montesinos. Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Castille - La Mancha. Since 1989 he is a professor at the Department of Fine Arts of Cuenca (UCLM). A specialist in contemporary art, he has organized more than a hundred exhibitions of national and international artists, as an independent curator and director of the Gallery Fernando Vijande in the 1980s, and Juana Mordó and Helga de Alvear Gallery in the nineteen-nineties. From 1983 to 1985 he was Deputy Director of the TVE program La Edad de Oro, dedicated to music and the arts. He has published numerous texts in catalogs, newspapers and specialized magazines. He is a member of the Consejo de Críticos y Comisarios de Artes Visuales (Board of Critics and Curators of Visual Arts), of which he is currently President.

Mariano Navarro. Art critic and exhibition curator. From 2005 to 2009 he has been Chairman of the Consejo de Críticos y Comisarios de Artes Visuales (Board of Critics and Curators of Visual Arts), of which he is currently the spokesperson. He has performed his critical work in print media such as El País, ABC, La Razón and, currently, in the supplement El Cultural of the El Mundo newspaper. Works also in Artecontexto, Solar, Campo de relámpagos, etc. A curator of more than fifty exhibitions and author of the book La luz y las sombras en la pintura española (Espasa-Calpe, Madrid, 1999). In addition, since the year 2000, member of the jury of the Altadis Prize, Spain / France, of which he has been curator in the 2001 and 2006-2007 editions. Screenwriter of cultural TV programming such as Trazos, Imágenes, Tiempo de Papel and La Gran Galería, and contributor to the publishers Espasa-Calpe, Anaya, Acento and Ediciones B, among others.

Free admission until full capacity is reached.

DIRECTORS: Armando Montesinos / Mariano Navarro


Rúa Valle Inclán, 2
15703 Santiago de Compostela
Ph.: (+34) 981 546 619