Due to the current situation, programming in GRAF has been affected. Now, in phase 1, some spaces are open by appointment, check their websites and social media for more info!

March 2020
by Ricardo Cárdenas

Quarantine dreams

Two weeks ago when I was asked to develop this route, we were living in a radically different situation from what today seems a sort of a global reality show, inspired by that surreal fiction of Buñuel, El ángel exterminador

Our reality, without knowing for how long, keeps us confined to the interior of our homes. The most recent signal about the mistakes of the Anthropocene brought the message in the form of a virus. A reminder of the fragility and finitude of the human body once again highlighted the structural flaws of the irresponsible economic system, which mainly re-victimizes the lives of those that itself unprotects, makes precarious and violates.

I began to look for activities to trace the route before our daily vocabulary was contaminated by hyper-hygienist terms, with measures of social distancing or that the absurd accumulation of the capitalist individual had a roll of toilet paper as its representation.

The afternoon of the 8M, in an emotional condition very different from the current one, moved and excited to see my friends and colleagues in the force of their manifestation, with the display of care, rage and overwhelmed joy that only feminisms can build, I tried to point out the route in the direction of artistic practices committed to the contextual, social and historical importance that come cross us.

The route that I’m sharing, rather than proposing artistic activities that I could not attend, serves as a device of imagination since the just one week confinement, to think about physical movements through a city with a cultural oversupply in which I feel I am always running late.

I think of the journey in the same way that I understand artistic production, a strategy vindicating the importance of affective encounters and ties (and hugs) as political and resistance actions, complicities that I seek daily and that today can only take virtual forms with a group of loving people who welcomed me three years ago since I came to Barcelona. I amuse myself wondering who would come with me to the tour and possible conversations.

We start with Can Felipa, meeting with A, to see the exhibition No one knows that the germs have just arrived.

Life and my friend have an exquisite ironic sense of humour, in addition to having knowledge on issues about extra-terrestrial lives. We made a few laughs about her nights in Montserrat waiting for sightings and the surprise of the small chance that an exhibition project that was being prepared since September, coincided in such a way with the current situation we are living.

The exhibition includes work by Anna Dot, Nicolás Lamas, Lucía C. Pino, Domas van Wijk, Josie Perry and Momu & No Es; curated by Adriana A. Leanza and María Lucía Marcote García, it takes as its starting point an article by the Mexican writer Octavio Paz, which reviewed theories about the origin of life on Earth. One of them, developed by Francis Crick, proposed that beginning with the colonizing germs, sent to the planet by a decaying extra-terrestrial civilization that in search of survival, were waiting organized for favourable conditions for its development.

The exhibition aims to analyse certain contemporary ways of life, which surely in this imposed time of slowdown, many are now rethinking and questioning.

We crossed the city towards Raval to catch up at MACBA with M, L and J, in a very familiar space where we met and I now work.

At the Center for Studies and Documentation there is the presentation of Riots, mourning and parties, a research project developed by Carolina Campos, Claudia Ventola, Eduardo Carrera, Eugenia Salama, Henrique Lukas, Joana Castella, Jorge Sánchez, Julia Salgueiro, Julia Tealdi, Lizette Nin, Lucila Prestach, Luna Acosta and Margherita Fabbri, members of the 2019-20 Independent Study Program, in coordination with Lucía Egaña.

An archival exhibition that reviews practices of survival and resistances against the violence of colonial regimes, applied to certain excluded subjects in the city of Barcelona.

Photographs, posters and interviews account for a mapping of care practices, alliances and affections shared from the sexual disagreements, bodily diversity and migrant condition.

Later we all walked to Les Corts district, to La Caldera. A wonderful space that was once a cinema, today adapted to the investigation of contemporary dance and living arts; to whom I was introduced by I a long time ago, who generously always shares her sensitivity towards these type of practices. We vibrate with Catalina, a work presented by the free and anarchist contemporary dance collective, Female Sex Initiative, made up of Élise Moreau, Elisa Keisanen and Cristina Morales, who describe their practice from a feminist and anti-academism perspective.

Already induced to the vindictive and liberating effects of moving the bodies, we hurried towards the last point of the journey.

We return to Poblenou, for the Prom party at Sala VOL, a party organized by the artist and DJ Isamit Morales, as the closing of the course for her artistic-pedagogical-musical project Sin Sync. A theoretical-practical space that since 2018 gives Dj-ing basics to beginners, from a horizontal and feminist position of learning exchange.

Ending the night sweating and overflowing the body on the dance floor, surrounded by A, I, M, L and J will not be a nihilistic act, but the reaffirmation of the affections as a battle space to continue building and disputing a part of what we lost these days, the pleasure of being part and joining the mass of a collective body.


Text by Ricardo Cárdenas, resident at FASE, for GRAF. Ricardo is a visual artist and researcher.