Unleashing the event

Seminar with Brian Holmes

May 20 and 21, 2013 - 6:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Nouvel Building, Study Centre


Free of charge. Advance registration is required. Write to programasculturales2@museoreinasofia.es. Maximum of 40 participants. NO SPACE LEFT

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In each period of public life, under the pressure of social evolution, these four fields are shaped into original constellations, forming a matrix that is able to generate events. In this seminar, Holmes describes this quadruple matrix and tries to give examples of its irruption in the public sphere. The subsequent workshop offers participants the opportunity to analyse the current situation in Spain and to identify its existential, aesthetic, organisational and theoretical components.


Monday, May 20. 6:00 p.m.
Study Centre
What do political events, such as those that are currently rocking the streets of Spain almost every day, consist of? Behind the voices, the gestures, the cameras and the police, there is a complex fabric of bodies, affects, ideas and ways of organising that come together briefly in the heat of the moment, before becoming dispersed once again. Art and theory's mobilising forces acquire their meaning through social articulation processes that unfold in specific realms.

There are four realms of political elaboration: abstract ideas, aesthetic intensities, movements and the media - four existential territories. Understanding their interaction – something that Holmes calls eventwork – is the purpose behind this lecture.

Tuesday, May 21. 5:00 p.m.
Study Centre
Nowadays, popular politics seem to be a mere reaction, an immediate response to the urgencies of a critical situation. It is thus possible to identify different forms, styles, behaviours, discourses, objects of desire that make up the life of a city and a country. In normal times, these heterogeneous motivations are perfectly channelled through work, public institutions and commercial offerings. But at this point normality has been suspended, giving way to passion and anger, but also to invention. The aim of the workshop is to name different sources of behaviour, so as to draw a map of current cultural and political happenings and of their future potential.


Brian Holmes is an art and cultural critic. The author of numerous essays, he is also an instigator of collaborative research processes and activities that explore urban settings. These are the strong points of Continental Drift, an activity organised with New York's 16 Beaver group and the Compass group in the Chicago area. He is currently devoting most of his time to the project “Three Crises: 30s - 70s - Now”, a historical study of the economic, social, cultural and geopolitical roots of the current crisis.

Presented and moderated by

Marcelo Expósito is an artist whose work often expands towards the territories of critical theory, publishing, curating, teaching and translating. He is currently co-director of the Independent Studies Program (PEI) at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (Cuenca). He is a member of the Universidad Nómada and of the network Conceptualismos del Sur.