THE MALADY OF WRITING. A PROJECT ON TEXT AND SPECULATIVE IMAGINATION
08/10/2009 - 01/02/2010 Centre d'Estudis i Documentació, MACBA
Curator: Chus Martínez
Production: Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Mark Klienberg, writing in 1975, posed the question: "Could there be someone capable of writing a science-fiction thriller based on the intention of presenting an alternative interpretation of modernist art that is readable and appreciated by the wider public?" The reply should possibly be sought in the incipient interest that a generation of today's artists seems to have in generating text and thinking of the unstable relationship between reality and fiction, but also between genre, form, typology and content. Under the title The Malady of Writing, the MACBA Study Center presents a hybrid project (exhibition, creation of an active space for reading, discussion and production of writings in seminars led by artists) which invites the viewer to think about such important notions as 'academia', 'education', 'transmission of knowledge', 'production of ideas' and 'political conscience' from the perspective of a genre -fiction - alien to those who are traditionally linked to the formulation of these questions.
The Malady of Writing brings together the proposals of some fifteen artists, such as Will Holder (United Kingdom), Falke Pisano (The Netherlands), Seth Price (USA) and the Bernardette Corporation collective, whose works reflect upon the narrative form understood as an artistic production strategy. The exhibition is presented as an "imaginative space for mere conjecture", paraphrasing the artist, writer, editor and designer Will Holder, founder of the magazine DotDotDot. And hence the subtitle: A Project on Text and Speculative Imagination. The artists show us how the analysis of the very form of the text and its narrative hides an opportunity to emphasise the need to strengthen the speculative imagination.
The MACBA presents a variety of materials that make up a huge library, which is open to the public, while a series of lectures offers artists, academics and the public an opportunity to think about the possibilities and limitations of a specific kind of communication. Finally, a series of seminars will enable participants to study the forms that texts acquire, such as the documentary Helvetica (Gary Hustwit) and the publication F.R. David (De Appel). While Pisano prefers writing and reading an academic lecture as an artwork, Bernardette Corporation opts for the novel, Price for the essay and Holder for an analysis of the relationship between typography and content. These are but a few examples of the work of a numerous group of contemporary artists who take Modernity as the starting point to adopt strategies of production and dissemination of different ideas, while alluding to the possibility of reflecting upon academic ideas through other languages.