Pandemic Community / Pandemic Community is the third exhibition of a trilogy of proposals of participatory transmedia public art of community connection. Following the pandemic produced by the COVID-19 I will curate the project Pandemic House / Pandemic Home in 2020, the first polyhedral and multidisciplinary artistic experience of virtual connection through the home, produced in the framework of confinement in Spain (15 March 2020 – 21 June 2020).
Referring to the feminist project Womenhouse, Pandemic House proposed the creation of a common house based on the empirical and personal environment of each member of the collective Pande-
mic Tactics, underlining the social closure and the importance of the domestic environment.
In 2021 the second exhibition was presented, Pandemic City / Pandemic City, a project that, in the online context of the pandemic, sought to articulate a debate around the changes that occurred in the public space of the city, highlighting those open spaces that link urban areas. This exhibition included a first glossary of terms in relation to the pandemic and the new social situation around the territory and its internal-external interrelationships; global-local; and personal-political.
In this third exhibition Pandemic Community / Pandemic Community, emphasis is placed on the online and hybrid community itself. Today, the presence in both outdoor and indoor spaces is intermingled with the new virtual environments thanks to the online platforms (Teams, Meet, Zoom, etc). These allow us to develop an art of community connection, interrelated with the fundamental issues that emerge in the most current public sphere, where the third phase of the pandemic has reached Europe, with the consequent opening of measures. In this context, the main ex-
hibition proposals of the selected emerging artists are located, adding to them the collaboration of invited artists of recognized international pres- tige, from the Latin American artistic context (Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Brazil). There are a total of thirty-eight artists who have worked individually and/or collectively, some professionally for this exhibition and others through contributions of their works conceived previously, adapted to one or several of the sections proposed.
At a time when we are faced with a “new planet” due to the presence of a new disease that has completely altered all spheres of human life, Some epidemiologists prefer to think of it as a passing issue while others advocate considering the situation from the perspective of the “new normal”, to which new viruses, zoonoses, variants and mutations will be added. In this sense, the organization Our World in Data is responsible for collecting data on the evolution of the pandemic in the world and visualizing them both by cases and by deaths depending on the population, without going beyond quantitative data. However, as we know, the very concept of community is being affected by this pandemic, which destroys entire families, peoples and communities, especially those with fewer resources, the poorest. An example is the Yanomamis, the indigenous community of the Amazon in Brazil, to whom the pandemic has already caused more than 70,000 deaths.
This exhibition Pandemic Community, is not a reflection on the pandemic itself but on the main consequences that have been implicitly reinforced as a result of it and that involve fundamentally the chains of care, the city, the territory, nature, resources, the economy, and new production and communication technologies. In this spirit, six sections have been formulated as main themes of the project, covering the following sections-concepts in relation to the public and private sphere:
1. The immunity
2. The maps
3. The consumption
4. The planet
5. The intersectionality
6. The networks
Immunity is defined as a state of resistance, natural or acquired, that certain individuals or species possess against certain pathogenic actions of microorganisms or foreign substances. This term has been acquiring relevance beyond the scientific fields of biology and medicine to materialize in a philosophical debate, as interpreted by the renowned Italian author, specialist in moral and political philosophy Roberto Espósito. From his anticipatory theories, “community, immunity and biopolitics are the terms that indicate the closure of the modern political lexicon in an era that moves far beyond its limits. They are also words that inaugurate a new way of thinking politics at the moment that most challenges life, understood in its biological dimension.”
In this sense, life itself can be understood as a political subject and no longer as an object, in an analysis that puts the community and the common good in the spotlight, and the collectivity as an inescapable way to achieve this “immunity”.
Although the term immune is synonymous with invulnerable, and immunity itself is conceptualized as a process or state that fights diseases to overcome, immunity can also be understood collectively under the umbrella of Espósito, who gives us the keys to interpret the need to generate inter-community protection in a globalized society. According to pandemics, wars and social inequalities, a social immunity would arise where the community itself would be mediated by life.
As an introduction to this proposal covering artistic development based on the concept of immunity, a workshop coordinated by the Platform for Action and Artistic Research Idensitat was held with the participation of the cultural manager Roser Colomar Palazón, developing emerging contemporary creation projects that were the starting point of the project. In this regard, the article by Roser Colomar can be consulted at: TALLER. Immunity – Comnidad. Also in previous years other topics had been developed through joint collaborations, as is the case of the publication edited by Roser Colomar and myself and entitled Transverse aesthetics. Ecosystems of Fiction: On està l’aigua de València (2021); as well as the collaboration carried out jointly with Chema Segovia in the workshop and publication entitled Public Tactics 05 / Leisure Ecosystems – Ecosystems of Leisure (2019). Some of the results of Concepts this project entitled Transverse aesthetics. Leisure ecosystems were shown in documentary format at the Centre del Carme CCCC in Valencia, Spain.
The maps are the next stop on our conceptual journey. There is no doubt that cartography has been the tool par excellence for the observation, construction and delimitation of the world and its borders. Although the maps are initiated with the purpose of knowing the world, supported on philosophical theories, these instruments today constitute an important source of information and a great part of human activity is related, in one way or another, to cartography, where maps are also supported by technological tools such as geolocations. The map, as a simplified graphic representation of a territory, involves geographical and biopolitical issues.
Sandra Sáenz-López, curator of the exhibitions Marginalia in cARTography at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison (Wisconsin, USA) and Cartographies of the Unknown. Maps in the BNE>>, has rightly pointed out that “behind a cartographer is what today we consider a painter”.
In this context, it is essential to highlight the pioneering work America Invertida by the Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres García; a drawing with pen and ink of 1943 where South America is oriented with the south at the top, emphasizing Native American cultures and becoming a precursor to the new “Epistemologies of the South” through its manifesto on the “School of the South”. This school affirms that its north -the artist’s own culture- is the south, so Torres García wants to place it where it belongs through a physical-epistemological turn. Precisely in our exhibition, Pandemic Community, we find the work of the Colombian artist Salomé Rodríguez, who starts from this cultural imperialism to deconstruct it from the pandemic in her work entitled Sin Orden (2019-2020).
Pandemic Community covers the new cartographies that are being generated globally, drawn through diaries, mental maps, and psychosocial maps through a hybrid and participatory art that go beyond borders, historical or statistical aspects, adding ethnographic issues as well. Through mapping tactics, the public and private spheres have been traced to account for the transformation processes of our local territory and our global planet earth. It is precisely from mapping that the exploration of the following two unavoidable concepts arises in our pandemic community: consumption and its relationship with the planet itself.
It is pertinent in this context, to refer to the art criticism and professor at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) Ana María Guasch, who has conducted several fundamental contemporary studies on the concept of archive, map and cartography. Particularly noteworthy is the publication entitled Critical cartography of art and visuality in the global era (Ana María Guasch and Nasheli Jiménez del Val, Eds., 2014), in which she also contributed personally as a researcher with the chapter “Towards a Socio-Political Ethics of Art and Technology in the Era of Globalization. Fighting Gender Violence in the Public Sphere” (pp. 215-242); also, Ana María Guash’s complete book El arte en la era de lo global, 1989-2015 stands out.
Excessive consumption is promoted through the globalized capitalist society that is inoculated in the blood of first-world girls and adolescents, while poverty is spreading more and more freely. Since childhood, advertising promotes the need for material objects to satisfy created needs, which at the same time produces addictive behaviors (compulsive shopping; compulsive use of technologies and social networks; video games; gambling addiction; work addiction, etc.) and substance use (addiction to legal and illegal substances, drugs and medicines).
When society speaks of profit, it refers to consumption as a way of life within a single thought, and when consumption is a problem, it is called a disease. The city is the maximum exponent of new and old addictions, because of its idiosyncrasy, favors the agglomeration of people, differences and large areas of programmed leisure.
Art has always echoed the consumer society, as exposed by the famous work Shit of an artist (1961) by the Italian conceptual artist Piero Manzoni.
Likewise, pop art, whose greatest exponent is Andy Warhol and his “machine culture” already made it clear in the 60s that «in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes», predicting with their theories the current influence of media and social networks. Also with his paintings of Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) the artist showed a consumption of processed materials totally unrelated to nature, as well as the importance of the brand as a logo and signature of the large emerging multinationals that Naomi Klein would later criticize in her famous book No Logo (2000).
The planet, par excellence, refers to the Earth; that celestial body without its own light that revolves around the Sun. Within the planet we find nature and, on the other hand, ecosystems, whose communities of living beings we relate to each other.
Human beings-especially first world-have transformed our relationship with the planet in the name of progress, starting with “science”, encouraging the indiscriminate consumption of energies and materials, and leading to the current climate emergency. The United Nations denounces that every year 11 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans, causing a crisis that is not solved by recycling and that annihilates entire species and ecosystems.
The exhibition Pandemic Community starts with environmentalism in defense of nature and the preservation of the environment, where the urban social fabric begins to defend its orchards, beaches and natural ecosystems. Likewise, the ecofeminist movement manifests itself in a vindication of the natural ecosystem, as do recent collectives such as Mothers for Climate, and exhibitions such as the one curated by the artist Mar Caldas, in which I have had the pleasure of participating recently, titled #ArtDonesEnMoviment #ArteyMujeresEnMovimiento (2022). In her curatorial text “Nuestra Matria tiene voz de mujer”, Caldas vindicates the work, voice and genealogies of women through an expanded exercise of motherhood, as claimed by the anthropologist, engineer and activist, Yayo Herrero, who claims that “there is no economy, no technology, no politics, no society without nature and care.”
While the SDGs adopted on 25 September 2015 by the UN, adopting the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, are global goals to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all communities, it has become clear that in order to achieve these goals, the private sector, governments, and civil society must act. Therefore, this exhibition becomes aware of the deficiencies and global and local planetary emergencies, trying to reflect on our human condition from the cares of the planet itself earth. As solutions and community keys, there are two fundamental aspects to work through: intersectionality and networking.
Intersectionality is an analytical tool that recognizes systemic inequalities, shaped by the overlap of different social factors such as gender, ethnicity and social class. The intersectional vision aims to overcome inequalities and stereotypes, and also faces all kinds of barriers, such as wars, migrations, poverty and gender-based violence. Do you use it? (2019) , Eulalia Lledó Cunill, PhD in Romance philology and pioneer in the use of non-sexist language -being the author of the first guide in Spain on the treatment of gender violence and the media- collaborates with undergraduate students in Fine Arts to reflect on the discriminatory use of language in their article: “Illiterate and radically insane feminists”. The use of language is indeed a crucial educational factor for the achievement of equality.
Political identity is a form of community social identity that marks membership of certain groups that have in common a struggle for some form of power. We reflect on this through the practice of emerging artists, still in a pre-pandemic context, in the exhibition Kapital 03 / Biotope(s) and Political Identities (2019).
Also, the exhibition Women in Work. Mujer, Arte y Trabajo en la globalización, curated by me between 2017 and 2018, presents a review of some artistic practices since the 1990s in Spain and internationally where we cover gender gaps and the glass ceiling from feminist activism. The exhibition was attended by the Chilean Art and Education Collective Ser & Gráfica, present at the current exhibition Pandemic Community, where these activist artists, like then, underline the poli-
tical identity of women in relation to their environment and their maisocial struggles.
Feminism has historically been dedicated to the fight for equality and Dona Haraway has provided us with the keys to a knowledge situated as a critique of the global homogeneous in Science, cyborgs and women: the reinvention of nature (Ediciones Cátedra, Madrid, 1995). Precisely, technology and social networks also build our identities, so it is necessary to apply a gender perspective in relation to all community aspects and especially to education, which is the source of knowledge for future generations.
Our project promotes values that are not rising, such as sustainability, solidarity, the fight for human rights, and the fight against gender vio- lence. Precisely, this feminist struggle has been a fundamental Leitmotiv in my entire career as a curator, where the direction and foundation of the Platform against Gender Violence ACVG of Spanish and Latin American artists stands out since 2009.
Also, in 2012 I curated the exhibition In-Out House. Circuits of gender and violence in the technological era, with 48 Spanish and Latin American artists including the work of the Mexican artist Lorena Wolffer; the Guatemalan artist Regina José Galindo; and the Catalan artist Nuria Güell, and which included texts, also among others, the philosopher, art critic and curator Rocío de la Villa, as well as Juan Vicente Aliaga, curator and teaching researcher at the UPV.
More recently I have published as editor the book Art and Activism against Gender Violence (Brumaria 2020), which gathers a series of contributions from artists and theorists in the field of art and art criticism in collaboration with the ALANNA Association, a non-profit organization created in 2002, with the primary objective of achieving an equal society and the inclusion of women in situations of serious vulnerability.
In this genealogical line, the exhibition Pandemic Community raises several projects directly related to the fight against gender violence, aware that this, our post-pandemic community, requires these forms of “community immunity”.
Networks, finally, deal with how to communicate through the coordinated and reciprocal interaction of senders and receivers through the places we inhabit. These are configured from different perspectives and means, giving rise to a community social system of values and norms that regulate the conventions and discourses of power established both in cities, as in the neighborhoods, as well as in the virtual spaces and the metaverse.
In this sense it is worth highlighting one of the most recent studies on networked art edited by Laura Baigorri and Pedro Ortuño and published by Dykinson, SL. (Madrid, 2021). Under the title Connected Bodies. Art, identity and self-representation in transmedia society, a series of artistic works and critical texts are shown that analyze this new communicative condition necessarily technological. Specifically, the chapter entitled Identity, gender violence and feminist activism in transmedia art. The daily video and the digital diary (pp. 153-163), is a study on the projects of the twin artists Art Al Quadrat, myself as an artist; the artist Elisabeth Merino Alday and the artist Lorena Wolffer, where our artistic practice is committed to the prolongation of the oral tradition through communication technologies and new multimedia formats.
In the context of the Pandemic Community exhibition project, our collective of artists is made up of a network of professional and emerging people who have joined through face-to-face, hybrid or online networks to defend common interests. In particular, associations and collectives can have transformative power, working in an interconnected and participatory manner. In addition, new technologies and the internet allow us to create nodes, which are non-hierarchical networks. In this sense it is worth highlighting the work of the Collective Equality Portal that works since 2020 for compliance with the Equality Law in Spain, specifically in the museum context, and of which I am a founding member, together with the writer, philosopher and art critic, Amparo Zacarés Pamblanco and the professor of aesthetics and theory of the arts, as well as Director of the Museum of contemporary art Vicente Aguilera Cerni de Vilafamés MACVAC, Rosalía Torrent, among other women and men. The curator and research artist Lilián Amaral, present in this exhibition, also belongs to this Collective Equality Portal. She is the Leader of the Holos Research Collective (Brazil), which like the Ser & Gráfica Art and Education Collective (Chile); and the group Las Andariegas specialized in video games (Colombia), and present in this exhibition, bet on a non-hierarchical work, community and nodal, which goes beyond artistic creation to situate itself in a hybrid field between research and social activism.
Today, the RR.SS. are mostly multimodal, as there are several types of actors. In our case, in this exhibition Pandemic Community we wanted to generate a context of multimodal and transnational hybrid network, where we meet artists from different countries, ages, sexes, as well as
A total of eight emerging artists of different nationalities have participated in the Pandemic Community project: Marina Osca i Redón (Spain); Paula Navarro Pérez (Spain); Alejandro Nehru Martínez Richart (Spain); Miguel Ángel Tudela (Spain); Sabrina Ayelen Fonseca (Argentina)Sandra Jover Ruano (Spain); Irene Monje Martínez (Spain); and Lucas Selezio de Souza (Brazil).
All of them have in common the fact of having studied the subject “Tactics of intervention of public art” leading to the Graduation in Artistic Production, in the Faculty of Fine Arts (UPV)and having worked extensively for more than three months on this community project. In this way, a selection of each artist has been made, who has contributed a work in one or more of the six sections proposed, emphasizing its community interconnection and its work in network. Although it is not possible to mention all the works exhibited, in this text I will name those that offer an overview of some of the sections in which a multidisciplinary, polyphonic and vindictive discourse is presented.
Starting with a vision that goes from the local to the global we find the work of Sandra Jover Ruano who has chosen to unfold his concern for speculation and territory in all sections of the exhibition. In this way, in his project entitled COL – lectiu, it is a series of collages and transfers with solvent on paper where a dialogue is already established between the natural landscape and the urban, making a criticism of the modernisation and its consequent speculation through the concrete case of the football field Nou Mestalla of Valencia. This football stadium is unfinished for ten and six years due to lack of funding, which has destroyed the fertile ground of the Valencian orchard as well as the social fabric of the area against the citizenship itself.
Also in her work COR-NER, an intervention with lime on the ditches of the Valencian orchard, the artist starts from the same premises to deconstruct the limits of the “stadium” football, breaking with the mandates of power and the society of leisure immersed in the capitalist economy, through a photographic and audiovisual record.
The Brazilian artist Lucas Selezio de Souza has also worked from the limits in his sense of border. Displacement as a mark of life is present in all its projects, which also cover forced displacement, such as migration. Displacements. Inhabiting the intangible (2022), is an installation that arises from his research around construction materials and the relationships between fashion, architecture and sculpture, where it is based on the eclectic theories of the German architect of the nineteenth century, Gottfried Semper and especially in his work in The Four Elements of Architecture. Here the displacement is linked to the settlement, reflecting on the nomadic condition of the human being.
The artist intervenes in fabrics linked to the world of civil construction with techniques typical of fashion and clothing, giving account of the intrinsic relationship between clothing and architecture and also producing a displacement of materials found in the public space into the exhibition space as settlements. That is why the installation is conceived as a specific site for the exhibition hall of the Espai Jove VLC, dialoguing with the space and history of the neighborhood in which it is located, going back to the old road of Algirós and the constant transit between the Cabañal and the old channel of the Turia.
In another work entitled Lost in translation, the artist alludes to the work On Translation: Museum, by the Catalan artist Premio Nacional de artes plásticas (2005) Antoni Muntadas, to make a found footage exhibited in a loop on a single screen and monofocal video projection that starts from the expression that gives title to the work and that means “lost translation”. It refers here to the superabundance of information in the contemporary world as a consumer good and its condition as a commodity.
The five-minute video deals with disinformation in contemporary society since the crisis of COVID-19 and the impact of social networks on traditional media. Its main objective is to transmit hoaxes about the coronavirus that circulated on social networks in the first months of the pandemic to alert us about the “Fake” condition of our information society.
Marina Osca i Redón (Spain) does activist work under the title No a l’ampliación del port (2022), where part of the exploitation of the planet earth. In this collaborative project, the artist uses dry-tipped stampings on canson paper to claim the non-extension of the port of Valencia, consists in the construction of a new dock for the storage of containers. This project would have a very negative environmental impact, affecting both the beaches closest to the port, the Albufera de Valencia and the commercial system of the city.
In this context, Marina Osca is placed at the disposal of the Comissió Ciutat-Port, formed by various collectives that have been dedicated from the beginning to try to stop it by all means this project. Through different stamps, the Comissió Ciutat-Port can make use of these for signage, future events, etc. that help stop the expansion of the port of Valencia.
In this same line of reflection about the planet we find the work Planeta o barbarie by the artist Irene Monje Martínez who tries to underline small details of nature in a context of outskirts of the city. Specifically, the artist wants to activate public awareness so that they ask “Why do plants bleed? Why is nature dead?”. The methodology used is based on a situationist drift in which we can see the wild nature that sprouts in an urban, rectilinear and gray environment to detect those “emergencies” of the urban environment and “frame them” through minimal interventions that follow the micropolitical spirit. In this way, the artist proposes to become aware of the climate emergency in our daily lives.
In continuation with this line of work of denunciation on pressing issues related to our behaviors in front of the planet earth is the work of Paula Navarro Pérez and specifically his video of 1:54 minutes of duration entitled Cartridges. This is an audiovisual project that criticizes hunting in Spain, where between 103,000 and 405,000 birds are caught or killed illegally every year. In Europe the number of bird deaths is esti- mated at 0.4-2.1 million per year, which is also a crime against animal life. In this video, Paula Navarro has used real cartridges collected in El Sargal (Jérica) eroded by time and mixed with the earth to impact, through the traces of their pain. It is a complaint without sound but not mute, which makes us aware of this problem of animal extermination.
Alejandro Nehru Martínez Richart presents his work Anamorfosis in the section dedicated to consumption, composed of a piece of video art and a collage that seek the immersive effect through inverted images that incite the sexual.
As if it were images of the unconscious, the project reflects on the overexposure of today’s society to sexual means, distorting the general vision of the body and sex. The new technologies, internet, and communication in RRSS have opened a space of consumption in which the very identity of our bodies is questioned and also lacerated, according to the compulsive and addictive behaviors expanded by these networks of consumption.
Miguel Ángel Tudela is the author of the work entitled 339 sites, where the artist has used digital collage from screenshots to create a new personal psychogeographic map.
From the routes that have been saved in google as a permanent record since the person accepts the terms and conditions of use, Michelangelo compares Google with the dreaded biblical dragon the Leviathan of Job, attributing to this platform a kind of “violation” of the individual privacy of each person.
The work explores different fragments of the artist’s own personal chronology that becomes a biopolitical issue here, reflecting on the sense of one’s functions, the control, yoke and normalization of the immoral google through mapping strategies and screenshots.
As the last artist to exhibit her project in this emerging section, we find the work of the Argentine artist Sabrina Ayelen Fonseca; a varied and committed work whose starting point is feminist demands in the face of gender gaps and the care crisis. This is shown in his work entitled Uncle, you know how much you earn (2022), where he makes a very original incursion into the issue of the wage gap by appealing directly to a male audience, to become aware of this problem.
Also noteworthy is his participatory project Who cleans up what you dirty? (2022) , where the artist starts again from the interrogative appeal under the umbrella of feminist referents such as the Guerrilla Girls and their activist and awareness projects. In this performative project that gives rise to a photographic record made during the 8M Valencia Demonstration, Spain, 2022, works from the framework of a society that minimizes cleaning and care work, through the collective embodiment of gender roles and stereotypes imposed on female bodies with respect to cleaning tasks.
This performance carried out in the public space also expands the tradition of the “maintenance” projects of the American artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles, who makes visible, through the cleanliness of the city, the invisible tasks that women have historically performed in the private spaces of the house. For Sabrina Ayelen, we are at a time when women must unite to denounce our gender oppression, and that is why it is important to work from the intersectionality, without neglecting issues such as skin color, the social class and gender of the women’s collective.
Now giving way to the section that covers the work of the invited artists, the exhibition is nourished by the collaboration of artists of recognized international prestige, with whom, in some cases, we have had the opportunity to work on other projects (In-Out House. Circuits of gender and violence in the technological era, 2012; Women in Work, 2017-18), as is the case of the Mexican artist Lorena Wolffer or the Chilean Art and Education Collective Ser & Gráfica.
We find a total of thirty artists working individually and/or collectively in the following list of participants: Holos research collective. Lilian Amaral – Leader of the co-investigative and co-creative collective in the Ibero-American network (Marcos Umpièrrez, Josep Cerdá, Laurita Salles, Leonardo Gironacci, Ivonne Villamil, Roser Domingo, Roseli Amado S. Garcia, Sissa, Aneleh Batista de Assis, Karla Brunet, Paula Carolei, Luiza Helena Guimarães, Adriana dos Santos Araujo, Andrea Ortega, Regina Liliana Fracasona) (Brazil); Desirée Ferreira (Brazil); Ser & Gráfica. Art and Education Collective (Chile); Lorena Wolffer (Mexico); Ana María Millán and Las Andariegas (Alejandra Téllez, Angie Vanessa Álvarez, Erika Vargas, Juliana Rodríguez Alfonso, Natalia González Gil, Vanessa Eslava, Tarsila Beita) (Colombia); and Salomé Rodríguez González (Colombia).
All of them present projects related to some or several of the categories of the exhibition, and have been selected based on their original contributions in the context of our “pandemic community”as well as being necessary benchmarks for emerging artists.
Lorena Wolffer has worked for thirty years as an artist and cultural activist, becoming an obligatory reference for enunciation and resistance at the intersection of art, activism and feminisms. She is known for her performances on gender-based violence as well as for her latest work online.
In this exhibition she presents her chain~of~care project, an online participatory cultural intervention where the artist visibilizes the differentiated impact of the Covid-19 in the lives of girls, young women and women, from the exponential increase of our unpaid workloads in the sphere of emotional and affective work. The project, in which the participations are anonymous, consists of testimonials and online statements collected through a form https:/forms.gle/TXURzDqiZMHTygb79 that remains open to participation.
The Holos Research Collective is led by visual artist, researcher and independent curator Lilian Amaral. For its part, the Collective has an international and inter-institutional character, composed of teaching research artists working in the field of art, science and technology in an Ibero-American context. Amaral proposes for this exhibition a collaborative sound-visual installation, elaborated in network for its presentation in a cylindrical screen of 25 meters of perimeter and 3 meters of height. It is an immersive work initially presented at the Josep Renau gallery of the UPV, in the context of the International Symposium that has gathered three international events -SIIMI- International Symposium on Innovation and Interactive Media, the ANIAV Symposium – National Association of Researchers in Visual Arts/ES and Balance UnBalance – Canada.
The work is shown here in the section dedicated to the Planet, and deals with global warming and the impacts on environmental, social and cultural ecosystems that have driven a radical change in the way of thinking, producing and circulating knowledge.
Also the artist, photographer and researcher Desirée Ferreira (1993) comes from Brazil, working in this case on the occupation and transformation of urban space and addressing issues such as the relationship of women with the city and feminism. In his work entitled Poetic Maps / Poetic Maps / Poetic Maps (2020), Ferreira uses the digital image to ask himself several questions: “How can I walk around my city, Porto Alegre (BR) without fear? What are the ways to visually approach a feeling, a feeling, something intangible?”
From these questions the artist carries out a mapping work following the psychogeographic tradition of situationism, this time through Google Maps, to understand the own paths that she herself was taking andtransform them into Maps-Poetics.
In the context of the most committed activist Chilean art we find the work of the Ser & Gráfica Art and Education Collective. They are Drina Y Karine, the members of @serygrafica, two women artivists feminist fighters, pedagogues and dissident insurrectionists. His work is based on community practice focused on a participatory public art, which is often projected in the spaces of coeducation and public demonstration. In this exhibition, Pandemic Community, the artists make a foray into each of the sections proposed through their collective graphics, participating in the aspects of map generation, as well as contributing to intersectionality; creating maps from a gender perspective; pointing to feminist criticism of consumption; invoking mother earth and planet –
the pacha mama; creating networks; and reinforcing the possibility of community immunity through all its actions.
The artist Salomé Rodríguez is born in Cali, Colombia, and lives in Valencia, Spain. Interdisciplinary artist with training in Sociology, Visual Arts and PhD in Public Art by the UPV, in her career as a creator highlights her involvement with situated knowledge and southern methodologies. Specifically, his work Sin Orden is an installation composed of four analog photos taken in a trace of a socially vulnerable area in the city of Cali-Colombia and intervened with texts of the Popol vuh and the Timeo to be installed on the map of the inverted world, making a nod to the aforementioned work América Invertida, by Joaquín Torres García. Now, as a fictional cartography, the artist presents us with a dialogical relationship based on her reflection on universal cartographies and the influence that the post-covid map is leaving on humanity. In this way, the anonymous archive indicates its necessary belonging to the place, a place that in itself is pure narrative and that relates globally to the situation in which the media construct the narratives about the pandemic itself.
The project entitled Las Socias (2019-2021) is a video game directed by Ana María Millán and Las Andariegas, in which six people travel through nine worlds facing various problems. They possess powers to create new worlds through four elements: fire, water, plants and earth. In this sense, the video game is closely related to the section dedicated to planet earth, where women are vindicated for their struggle for good living and peace. The project also reveals new forms of relations between living beings and ecosystems in a fictional world that, beyond destruction and emergency, seeks an ecofeminist and harmonious relationship with life itself.
In short, our exhibition has an in-depth reflection on the most burning issues in this historical moment in which life realizes the need for a community immunity through resistance practices for which art becomes a ally and exponent.
Finally, all the artists present in this project, Pandemic Community, both emerging and invited and consolidated artists, have in common the concern for an art that goes beyond aesthetics to make ethics a space of their own and shared. Through their public art projects; video art; performance; transmedia; installation; participatory intervention; workshops; graphics; photography; sculpture and objects; show us that the pandemic or post-pandemic community, as many like to name, connects our bodies and also our sensibilities in a community and artistic reflection crossing borders and limits.
This exhibition, Pandemic Community / Pandemic Community, 2022, as well as the two previous ones that make up the trilogy (Pandemic House / Pandemic Home, 2020 and Pandemic City / Pandemic City, 2021)has been possible thanks to the continuous effort of the artists present in the exhibition, their reflections and their praxisEllas are the engine of this initiative.
I must also thank the artist and cultural manager Roser Colomar for her collaboration in this project through the workshop taught.
Finally, thanks to the Universitat Politècnica de València and especially to the Area of the Student House, its direction Ximo Mora and the Vice-rectorate of Students and Entrepreneurship of the UPV for their support and confidence.
INMUNITY – COMMUNITY
IDENSITAT together with the Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valenciana activate the third edition of the Transversal Aesthetics program through production and experimentation actions along with artistic spaces and educational environments where to combine artistic practices and social spaces in specific contexts of Valencia, Castelló and Alicante. Under the title IMMUNITY – COMMUNITY are carried out three projects combining mediation, research and production as well as a workshop in collaboration with the subject of Tactics of intervention of public art, of the Degree in Fine Arts of the Polytechnic University of Valencia. The programme will take place during 2022 and early 2023, and is in turn part of the European project Who Cares?
Transverse Aesthetics is a research and experimentation program at the crossroads between art, mediation and social space. A place of confluence between artistic practices as a space for critical research; mediation actions as a space for content production, interaction and transfer of learning; and the context as a space of relationship between a work theme and a certain active social space around it.
The framework of the programme proposes to work from the tensions, paradoxes or connections that are generated between the terms Immunity and Community. Usually the concept of community is used to value a group of people who share elements that give them a certain specificity, be it identity, place, ideology, beliefs, or other elements of belonging to a collective (or group of people) that maintains ties of connection between them and that for one reason or another, makes them distinguishable in relation to the others, but also unites them, strengthens them and immunizes them.
In this sense, the concept of immunity reappears strongly in this specific context of pandemic, and is related to the community since it refers to what protects it from what a community identifies as threatening or dangerous. From this perspective, the community and immunity form a whole that retreats on itself, trying to establish protection and isolation to avoid any external contagion, offering links, relations of proximity and organization in the face of a threat, but also, it can establish border, rejection or fear of otherness.
Both concepts are treated by Roberto Espósito, in a direction that we are interested in taking to adapt them to this project. According to this author, taking into account the etymological root of the word and questioning the neoconservative and negative component that they entail, he proposes that the community opens, exposes, turns the individual towards his own outside, frees him towards his exteriority. It is not the place of identity, of belonging, of appropriation, but, on the contrary, of plurality, of difference or otherness. Immunity, according to Espósito, retracts the individual into himself, secludes him in his own skin, turns the outside inward, eliminates it as soon as outside.
In a context such as the current one immunity is perceived as the general objective, as the globalized cure that must preserve the different communities of contagion. And this extends beyond the sanitary, it is established as policies that reaffirm national, neighborhood and domestic territories. Techno-politics of immunity and fear contribute to generating closed communities that foster inequality.
But also, in this tension, other dimensions of the concept community are opened, where communities of knowledge related to ecology are generated, with dissident archives, local memories, virtual communities, interspecies communities, and a long etcetera, where the community becomes almost a militancy; the resistance and the survival supposes, precisely, to strengthen its community dimension to immunize itself before the globality.
The philosophy of this project operates under the premise of imagining possible futures where self-care and mutual care or care of our environment are placed in the foreground, for an improvement of subjective relations, and a recovery of the community as public res, as a space of the common, of affectivity and of learning, identifying the dangers of becoming an environment of difference and/or exclusion. It is from this perspective that we propose a critical workspace, problematizing the concepts of community and immunity, as a metaphor for the flow of connections with the inside and the outside, with us and the other, as an opening space and occasionally overflowing, where the contagion also allows to incorporate new strange organisms, survive them and rediscover the balance that contributes to recover the sociability, especially this context of pandemic.
If the raw material of social life is co-presential interactive sociability we have now learned to coexist in a regime where this co-pressentials interaction is subjected to the strategy of isolation and the construction of the bubble community. This fruitful and found relationship between community, immunity, encourages us to open this call for projects that propose creative responses to the complexity of this approach, which is at the same time the complexity of our most recent contemporaneity.
Within the framework of this project and taking the theme of tensions and connections between Community and Immunity, Mau Monleón Pradas is invited, artist, curator and teacher of the subject “Tactics of intervention of public art” of the Degree in Fine Arts of the Universitat Politècnica de València, to participate in a workshop coordinated by Roser Colomar de Idensitat, called Pandemic Community, to address together with the students of this symbol some of the key concepts that cross the project, such as community, care or strategies or networks that we establish to immunize ourselves against a new reality marked by fear of contagion, social distance or isolation.
The situation arising from the COVID 19 has made it impossible for the artistic community to come together in its historic meeting spaces: openings, festivals, theatres and cinemas, collective actions… In an area such as art, where the relational dimension is so important for the creation of work and personal ties, for mutual support between artists and their production network, even for edges whose methodology is often based on collaboration, What happens when immunity and the danger of contagion fragments the artistic community? How can we reinvent community spaces for artists and cultural agents where we can immunize ourselves against this situation and continue to relate as a sector? How can we imagine spaces for our encounter and relationship in this new present context? Is this class, of this subject, a possible opportunity to generate an artistic community and produce from this starting point in the midst of all this chaos?
During the 1990s, hundreds of people experienced one of the largest health emergencies (and institutional neglect) in our recent history: HIV. A virus that strongly attacked the bodies, the possibilities of affection, and also, served as a stigma towards the LGBTI community as well as carte blanche to generate many of the narratives of class and gender hygiene, also linked to concepts of Community Immunity. In this context, some artists produced iconic pieces of art where they denounced the institutional helplessness, the lack of resources to sustain their health conditions and made visible the support and care networks that arose among family members, friends and members of the LGTBI collective faced with the abandonment and stigma of a society in full capitalist expansion.
The performance Carring by Pepe Espaliú (3) was one of the most interesting examples in that sense; an action of great beauty and strength that serves us in this workshop as an example of artistic ac-
tion where these concepts are clearly appreciated. The artist is transported by couples of friends and acquaintances from the door of the Congress of Deputies to the Reina Sofía Museum, two of the institutions that as an artist and as a citizen go through him in his situation of vulnerability and exclusion because of HIV. A kilometer in total that Espaliú repeated in Madrid and San Sebastián, where a game of sonorities is established between the concepts sustain (carrying) and care (caring), and where the artist visibilizes and values the work of the network of care, the emotional support and emotional burden sustained by their community in the absence of an institutional response to this crisis.
So, the objective of this workshop is to propose gestures or minimal exercises from our artistic practices that expand the sense of community / immunity to open a way to rethink the words commu-
nity-immunity beyond the pandemic sense, where social distancing, individualisation, de-socialization, communal isolation, increased techno-presence, fear of contagion, or the desire to achieve immunity have reappeared in our relations as an artistic community, with otherness, and also with our own bodies.
In this practice, the students identify some face-to-face or virtual spaces that have been key in their artistic communities from 2020 until today, communities that have created them and themselves or that have sustained them during these two years. The workshop has had different initiatives linked to the image, video, audio, performative actions or the activation of a public space.
Participants: Mau Monleón Pradas, teacher, artist and curator, with students: Marina Osca i Redón, Paula Navarro Pérez, Alejandro Nehru Martínez Richart, Miguel Ángel Tudela, Antonio Martínez Gallego, Sabrina Ayelen Fonseca, Sandra Jover Ruano, Irene Monje Martínez and Pia Altmann.
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*Several of the publications mentioned in these texts are available for downloading here*