Critical Practices Seminar

29 april, 2011
Nouvel Building, Centro de Estudios
Programa de Prácticas Críticas
Programa de Prácticas Críticas

The Critical Practices Seminar seeks to deepen the capacity for critical judgement by students and stimulate thinking based on a thorough knowledge of contemporary currents of thought.

The program consists of three seminar-workshops, each lasting one month, in which students will acquire tools for the critical analysis of culture and art through direct work with its agents.

The point of departure of the workshops is the reading and analysis of the documentation and other materials proposed by each of the professors, and therefore active participation by students is essential for the functioning of the program.

Each workshop will benefit from the participation of a guest, whose theoretical, artistic or political work is the object of debate.

New communities

Professor: Nina Möntmann
Guest: Yael Bartana
Dates: October 15, 22, 29 and 30 
Public activity: October 29


This seminar explores contemporary participatory artistic practices and the possibilities for community in today's world. New categories such as the notion of network and others of growing importance in the critical debate, such as the relationship between morals, ethics and art, are debated. These issues give rise to a discussion of possible ways to conceive of a new institutionality.

The Israeli artist Yael Bartana participates in the workshop, in the public activity of October 29th, which examines two types of social practices, one based on co-operation (collective or participatory artistic production) and another that points to the speciousness of defining social groups by national, ethnic or religious criteria.

Link to public activity


Overflows of institutional critique

Professor: Marcelo Expósito
Guest: Grupo de Arte Callejero (GAC, Buenos Aires)
Dates: February 2, 9, 16, 23 and March 2 

This seminar's starting point is the institutional critique tradition that has developed since the early 1970s. The limitations and potential of institutional critique are examined. It looks at art/political articulation as a process that tends towards overflow and decentralisation, identifying work methods and memory narratives as spaces of antagonism, through a discussion of the work of Marcelo Expósito. 
The Grupo de Arte Callejero from Buenos Aires participates in the workshop.


Reversible modernities

Professor: Alberto Corsín
Guest: Rane Willersley
Dates: March 31 - April 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 28, 29 

Critical and cultural theory has entered the new millennium with unforeseen strength and depth: a way of seeing that looks at objects and matter in hopes of finding new possibilities for re-enchanting the world, new ontologies of relations and new politics of hope. Through encounters with the new cultural and social theory, this seminar intends to offer some analytical tools with which to go in and out of (turn around or revert) our modernity.


Nina Möntmann (Stockholm) is an art critic and curator, as well as professor and director of the Art Theory and the History of Ideas department at Stockholm's Royal University College of Fine Arts. She has organized, among other exhibitions If we can't get it together. Artists rethinking the (mal)function of Communities(Power Plant, Toronto, 2008-2009) and, with Jack Pereskian The Jerusalem Syndrome (2009). Since 2006 she has been participating in the Israeli/Palestinian project "Liminal Spaces". Among her most important publications are Art and its institutions (Black Dog Publishing, 2006) and New communities (Power Plant, 2009)

Marcelo Expósito (Barcelona and Buenos Aires) is an artist and professor at MACBA's Independent Studies Program and at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Castilla La Mancha. He is a member of the Universidad Nómada and the network Conceptualismos del Sur. His activities often expand towards the territories of critical theory, publishing, curating, teaching and translation. He is on the editorial boards of the online journals transversal y desbordes. He was co-founder and co-editor of the magazine brumaria (2002-2006). He has published in collaboration with others and individually, and his works include Chris Marker. Retorno a la inmemoria del cineasta (Ediciones de La Mirada, Fundaçió Tàpies, CAAC Sevilla, 2000), Modos de hacer. Arte crítico, esfera pública y acción directa (Universidad de Salamanca, 2001), Historias sin argumento. El cine de Pere Portabella (MACBA, 2001), Producción cultural y prácticas instituyentes. Líneas de ruptura en la crítica institucional (Traficantes de Sueños, 2008) andLos nuevos productivismos (MACBA, 2010).

Alberto Corsín Jiménez is a researcher at the Centre for Social and Human Sciences (of the Spanish National Research Council-CSIC). He has been the dean of the School for Industrial Organisation and professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. He is also the author of numerous articles and the editor of several books. Especially important among the latter areCulture and well-being: anthropological approaches to freedom and political ethics (Pluto Press, 2008) and The Anthropology of organizations (Ashgate Publishing, 2007).



Yael Bartana is an Israeli artist whose work deals with the relationship between ritual and identity in Israeli society. She reviews the practices that constitute identity, especially in relation to the traditional and more current notions of gender, belonging and place. She has exhibited her art at Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, at Sommer Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv and at the Moderna Museet of Malmö, among other venues.

El GAC (Grupo de Arte Callejero) is an Argentinean collective formed in 1997 out of the need to create a space in which artistic and political questions come together in a single production mechanism. Often working anonymously, the group encourages the re-appropriation of its practices and methodologies by groups or individuals with similar interests, and aims to blur the lines frequently drawn between militancy and art.

Rane Willerslev is an anthropologist and ethnographer. He teaches at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. He has published analyses of animism in works such as Hunting, Animism, and Personhood among the Siberian Yukaghirs(University of California Press, 2007) and Transcultural Montage (Berghahn Books, 2010).