AICA Spain: International Congress "Art Criticism: crises and renewal"

A Congress on Art Criticism in Madrid

The Spanish Association of Art Critics – AICA Spain, in collaboration with the Museu Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, held from 21-23 June , an International Congress “Art Criticism: crises and renewal”, under the direction of Tomás Paredes, President of AECA.

Delegates were art critics, cultural managers, collectors and professors from several universities and included  Juan Manuel Bonet, Director of the Instituto Cervantes; Pablo Jiménez, cultural Director of La Fundación Mpfre; Javier Martin, José María Juarranz , who presented a new interpretation of “El Guernica”; Maria João Fernandes, Pilar Aumente, Maite Méndez Baiges, Blanca Garcia Vega, Brane Kovic, Carlos Pérez Reyes, Manuel Parralo, Antonio Domínguez Rey, Miguel Ángel Chávez Martín, Julia Sáez-Angulo.  30 papers were presented by professors and critics from Spain, Colombia, Brazil, Italy Portugal, Japan and UAE and United Kingdom.
Congress sessions took place at the Sabatini Auditorium in the Reina Sofia Museum which was represented by the Deputy Director Joao Fernandes. There were also three round tables focused on the influence of criticism on the formation of  public and private collections and on the perpetual necessity of the renewal of art criticism.

 Closing ceremony | From left to right: Blanca Garcia Vega, Julia Sáez-Angulo, Tomás Paredes and Brane Kovic.

Closing ceremony | From left to right: Blanca Garcia Vega, Julia Sáez-Angulo, Tomás Paredes and Brane Kovic.

Among the conclusions were the place of criticism in the context of crisis and  social and globalized turmoil, the necessity of permanent renewal and of the defence of the art critic as a mediator between the public and the artist’s work of art. The critic must demand continuous validation in order to compete in new processes of creative reflection and to participate in the new cultural ecology.  And a maxim: the only way for art criticism to have a future is to strengthen its present thinking.

The programme also had visits to the exhibitions of the Reina Sofia and to adjacent art galleries. The Congress closed with a performance “The word, the music and the voice”, in which Tomás Paredes, Romeral, the concretist flamenco guitar player Paulo Garcia Palomo  and the singer Eloy Cortés took the floor, highlighting that art is ennobled by the interaction of different modes of expression.

(original text in Spanish by Tomas Paredes)