Art and Transition

March 16 - 17, 2012 - 10:30 20:00 h
Sabatini Building, Auditorium
Organized by
Juan Albarrán and Darío Corbeira
In collaboration with
Brumaria and Museo Reina Sofía
La Familia Lavapiés. Artecontradicción. Poster, 1975
La Familia Lavapiés. Artecontradicción. Poster, 1975

Art and Transition is a seminar in which a group of artists and art historians will discuss their analyses of the collisions between art and politics during Spain's transition to democracy. From a critical perspective, and in connection with the new presentation of the Collection, the seminar recovers initiatives and spaces that are practically forgotten, focusing on issues related to the construction of the art-institution, the paradoxes of activism and the role of the media.

In recent years, various research projects have begun to question the hegemonic narratives that envelop the complex process by which Spain became a democracy in the 1970s. These narratives present the transition process as being free of fissures, led intelligently and responsibly by a group of politicians who determined (from above) the models, stages and the stations along the difficult road to democracy. In this version of the transition other important agents of change (from below) are excluded from the political field: feminist and community movements, working class and student struggles as well as all artistic manifestations produced and disseminated outside of the “official culture” channel.

It is necessary to reflect on the resistance and response strategies adopted by these practices during the final years of Franco's dictatorship, revealing the contradictions and inconsistencies and giving greater emphasis to those elements that may help reach an understanding of the potential of art in a climate of political struggle. Subsequently, as the transitional process went through its different stages, a gradual deactivation of artistic practices took place, as shown by certain works within the Museum Collection. This neutralization can be understood as the artistic correlate to the demobilization of civil society, the possibilist approach taken by the Left and the implementation of new cultural policies by the first democratic administrations. Seminar participants include Juan Albarrán, Alberto Berzosa, Valeriano Bozal, Jesús Carrillo, Darío Corbeira, Tino Calabuig, Alberto Corazón, Fernando Golvano, Simón Marchán, Guillem Martínez, Juan Pecourt, Giulia Quaggio y Daniel Verdú Schumann.


Friday, March 16

10:30 - 11 a.m.
Presentation (Darío Corbeira / Juan Albarrán)

Table 1: Spaces of transit

11:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Round table with Valeriano Bozal, Tino Calabuig, Alberto Corazón and Simón Marchán
Moderated by: Juan Albarrán

Table 2: The Spanish Transition and the media

5 - 6 p.m.
Juan Pecourt. The media and the role of intellectuals in the Spanish transition to democracy

Pause: 15min

6:15 - 7:15 p.m.
Alberto Berzosa. Film, activism and social movements in a Spain in transition
7:15 - 8 p.m.
Roundtable with Alberto Berzosa and Juan Pecourt
Moderated by: Darío Corbeira

Saturday March 17, 2012

Table 3: Other transitions

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Guillem Martínez. CT, or 35 years of Spanish culture. Description, stupor, trembling and a example in Barcelona of how Culture was deactivated in the Transition

Pause: 15min

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. 
Fernando Golvano. Dissidence and creation: a heteroclitic magma
12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
Roundtable with Fernando Golvano and Guillem Martínez
Moderated by: Jesús Carrillo

Table 4: The construction of the art institution

5 - 6 p.m.
Giulia Quaggio. Putting the canon back together again: Pío Cabanillas and the cultural policy of UCD (1977-1979)
6 - 7 p.m.
Daniel Verdú Schumann. The 1980s are ours. Aesthetic and ideological repositioning of art criticism from the end of Franco to the beginning of democracy

Pause: 15min

7:15 - 8:15 p.m.
Darío Corbeira. Conceptualisms (Symbolic), New behaviours (Imaginary), Political activism (Real). In transition: the historiographic vacuum.
8 - 9 p.m. 
Roundtable with Darío Corbeira, Giulia Quaggio and Daniel Verdú Schumann
Moderated by: Jazmín Beirak



Juan Albarrán holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Salamanca and is associate professor of Art Theory at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Cuenca, University of Castilla-La Mancha. He is on the editorial board of Brumaria and is the art critic for the newspaper ABC-Castilla y León. 
Jazmín Beirak has an undergraduate degree in the History and Theory of Art from the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid. She has researched the configuration of the art system in Spain as part of her work Política cultural en arte contemporáneo. Centro Nacional de Exposiciones (1983-1989).
Alberto Berzosa is working on his PhD with the dissertation La sexualidad como arma política. Cine homosexual subversivo en España en los años setenta y ochenta. His publications include Cámara en mano contra el franquismo. De Cataluña a Europa, 1968-1982 (Al Margen, 2009).
Valeriano Bozal is a chaired professor of Art History at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He is the author of numerous books, including El realismo entre el desarrollo y el subdesarrollo (1967), El realismo plástico en España 1900-1936 (1968), the two-volume work Arte del siglo XX en España(1991, 1995, 2001) and Los primeros diez años. 1900-1910 (1991, 1993). 
Tino Calabuig is an artist, photographer and filmmaker. After spending some time in the United States, he participated actively in the Painters Cell of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) (starting in 1968), and also in the creation of the workshop-gallery Redor (with Alberto Corazón). Founding member of the Colectivo de Cine de Madrid (1975-1977), he made documentaries such as La ciudad es nuestra(1975), which reflected the political activation of Spanish society during the transition to democracy. 
Jesús Carrillo is head of Cultural Programs at Museo Reina Sofía. He has worked as the editor of the series Desacuerdos: sobre arte, políticas y esfera pública en el Estado español and was the co-curator of From the uprisings to post-modernism (1962-1982). Collection III
Darío Corbeira is an artist and professor at the University of Salamanca and was instrumental in the founding of the platformBrumaria ( He edited the book Construir... o deconstruir(University of Salamanca, 2001), a collection of writings about Gordon Matta-Clark, and was the curator of Comer o no comer(Salamanca, 2002). 
Alberto Corazón is an artist and designer who founded (with Tino Calabuig) the workshop-gallery Redor, where his work Leer la imagen was shown for the first time. In 1973 he began the series Documentos, which provided a channel for the experiences of several conceptual artists in Madrid and Cataluña. In 1974 he participated in the New Behaviour Series, with the collective work called Plaza Mayor. Análisis de un espacio, which is now part of the Museum's collection. 
Fernando Golvano is a profesor of Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts at the University of the Basque Country. He also works as an art critic and and independent curator. Among the exhibitions he has curated, especially worth highlighting are Oteiza: memoria y apropiaciones (Pamplona, 2008) and Laboratorios 70 (Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, 2009). 
Simón Marchán is a chaired professor of Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts in the Faculty of Philosophy of Spain's National University of Distance Education (UNED). He has written numerous books on art theory, including Del arte objetual al arte de concepto (1972-1987). In the 1970s, his work played a fundamental role in the development of the new art behaviours and he co-ordinated a series of events on this topic at the Goethe Institute in 1974. 
Guillem Martínez is a journalist and screenwriter. He has written opinion pieces and features for Interviú, Tiempo, Playboyand, since 1996, for El País. He is the author of Franquismo Pop (a first approach to democratic Spanish culture, Mondadori, 2001), Pásalo (about the functioning of Spanish culture during the March 11 episode, Mondadori, 2004) and Barcelona Rebelde(Debate, 2009). 
Alfonso Pinilla is a professor of Contemporary History at the University of Extremadura, where he has carried out numerous projects on theoretical methodological innovation in history. Of particular importance among his publications are La transición de papel (Biblioteca Nueva, 2008) and El laberinto del 23-F (Biblioteca Nueva, 2010). 
Juan Pecourtis a professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Valencia. His works include various articles published in scientific journals, and also the book Los intelectuales y la transición política (CIS, 2008).
Giulia Quaggio holds a PhD from the University of Florence. Her dissertation is entitled Cultural policies and the transition to democracy: the case of the Ministry of Culture in Spain (1975-1986). She is a researcher in the Department of the History of Thought and of Social and Political Movements at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where her current project is The cultural policies of the Spanish Socialist Party: foundations for the consolidation of democracy in Spain (1982-1992).
Daniel Verdú Schumann holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and History and a PhD in Philosophy. He is currently a professor at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid. He is the author of many books, including Crítica y pintura en los años ochenta(2007), Los años ochenta: dentro y fuera de la tela (2010) and De la tregua a la deserción: la crítica de arte en España 1975-1989 (2010).