Picasso in the Monster Institution

Art, the Culture Industry and the Right to the City

25 - 26 March 2017
En el marco de
Organized by
eipcp (European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies), Museo Reina Sofía and La Invisible

Picasso in the Monster Institution. Art, the Culture Industry and the Right to the City strives to create distance from the predominant sense of celebrations and large-scale cultural commemorations which, in understanding art as an attractive resource, place history and artistic experience inside a frame with exclusive ties to tourism and urban leisure. It also calls into question these logics and explores possible alternatives.

This seminar unfolds inside the context of Midstream, a European network of university and institutional research into new audiences and devices of cultural mediation, comprising eiPCP (the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies), Museo Reina Sofía, and the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, and seeks to reflect on and debate the role of culture and art in those social movements that vindicate uses of urban space outside a city model which looks towards art to strengthen tourist imaginaries, thus conditioning its institutions and reception.

The recognition of Picasso’s work is one of the best examples to analyse the contradictions and complexities of these logics. Today, the work of the artist from Málaga is broadly appreciated and disseminated, yet, equally, such a reception cements stereotypes associated with the heroic and fetichized idea of artistic avant-garde movements and their most unrelenting myths, for instance the originality, brilliance and autonomy of art. These values obscure one of the 20th century’s most complex bodies of work.

How can the contemporary city fight against this integration of art, and its audiences and institutions, in the service economy and recover the potential of one of the most challenging oeuvres from the avant-gardes in its historical scope? What are the devices and anomalous or “monstrous” institutions which are able to place the work in a space which is alien to this integration? The seminar sets out to reflect on these questions via two round-table discussions and a workshop on the monumental imagary of Picasso and the contemporary city, conducted by Rogelio López Cuenca and Elo Vega, which will begin at the close of the lectures and shall be expanded upon in the future. The first session will debate monstrous institutionalism’s modes of relationship, calling upon different European networks and spaces (S.a.L.E., Venice; Transform-eiPCP, Berlin and Vienna; and La Invisible, Málaga), and theorists specialised in testing mediation experiments with these instituent machines. The second analyses the relationship between art and gentrification through the uses and abuses of Picasso’s work, putting forward a model of artistic experience which eludes the so-called creative industries and economies.


Actividad pasada Saturday, 25 March
Monster Institutions

17:30 hrs. Gerald Raunig. Technecologies. Milieus, Midstreams, Monsters
18:30 hrs. Florencio Cabello. Notions of Public in Collective Intelligence
19:30 hrs. Roberta Da Soller (S.a.L.E., Venice), Kelly Mulvaney (Transform-eiPCP, Berlin and Vienna) and Manuela Zechner (Barcelona). Moderated by: Raúl Sánchez Cedillo. European Cities, from Care and Shelter to Fear, War, and Debt
21:00 hrs. Debate with the session participants


Florencio Cabello has a PhD in Communication Studies and is a lecturer at the University of Málaga. His teaching and research focuses on ways of forming cooperatives inspired by the free software and culture movements, under the perspective of constructing a commons in communicative and cultural domains. He is coordinator of the Medialab-Prado project Traducciones del Laboratorio del Procomún (Translations of the Commons Laboratory).

Roberta Da Soller is an activist and member of the collective which operates S.a.L.E. Docks, an independent space of contemporary art and cultural practices in Venice which has been running since 2008. S.a.L.E. Docks programmes seminars, exhibitions, research projects, workshops and public actions that seek to create an environment in which art and culture are removed from the market value logic.

Kelly Mulvaney is an anthropologist, translator and activist. She is a member of eiPCP and the editorial board for transversal texts. Furthermore, she is a professor at the Faculty for Cultural Studies at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, and actively participates in the networks of transnational anti-austerity movements in Europe.

Gerald Raunig is a philosopher and art theorist. He is a lecturer at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (Zurich), and is co-editor of eiPCP and its online publication transversal text. His most recent publications include Producción cultural y prácticas instituyentes. Líneas de ruptura en la crítica institucional (2008), Mil máquinas. Breve filosofía de las máquinas como movimiento social (2008), Fabbriche del sapere, industrie della creatività (2012), and DIVIDUUM. Machinic Capitalism and Molecular Revolution (2016).

Raúl Sánchez Cedillo is a philosopher, activist and translator. He has collaborated with the Universidad Nómada and is currently a member of Fundación de los Comunes. He has also edited and translated theorists such as Paolo Virno, Antonio Negri, Felix Guattari, Luce Irigaray, Yan Moulier-Boutang and Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello into Spanish, and some of his writings appear in the book Producción cultural y prácticas instituyentes. Líneas de ruptura en la crítica institucional (2008) and in the prefaces to different essays by Antonio Negri and Paolo Virno.

Manuela Zechner is a researcher and independent cultural worker. Her work revolves around migration, micropolitics, care and pedagogy, with an emphasis on social movements. She is the coordinator of Future Archive (Intermediae-Matadero, Madrid), the Project for Radical Collective Care Practices, alongside Julia Wieger and Bue Rübner Hansern, and the free radio programme Sounds of Movement (Radio Orange, Radio Helsinki and live streaming). She has also worked as a lecturer at the Queen Mary University of London.

Actividad pasada Sunday, 26 March
The Artist in the City-Brand

17:30 hrs. Rogelio López Cuenca. In the Genius City
This presentation will lead on to a workshop with the artist and Elo Vega.
18:30 hrs. Isabell Lorey. Precarization, Indebtedness, Giving Time
19:30 hrs. Debate with the session participants


Rogelio López Cuenca. Artist. A member of the former direct action collective Agustín Parejo School between 1982 and 1984, his work stands at the crossroads between visual poetry, archival research and public intervention, exploring the relationships between art, memory and ideology. Málaga/Guernica 951 (2017), Ciudad Picasso (2011), Malagana (2000) and Sobrevivir a Picasso (2012) are some of his projects under construction and centre on contemporary interpretations of Pablo Picasso. He has exhibited at the Museo Reina Sofía, IVAM, MACBA, MUSAC, CGAC and Artium, among other institutions.

Isabell Lorey is a professor of International Gender Politics in the Institute for Political Science at the University of Kassel. She has taught feminist and post-colonial theory at the University of Humboldt, Berlin, and at the Universities of Vienna and Basel, and is also a member of eiPCP and co-editor of its online publication transversal text. She conducts research into the precariousness of work and life in neoliberal society, social movements, democracy and representation. Her most recent publication is Estado de Inseguridad. Gobernar la Precariedad (2016).

Elo Vega is an artist and researcher. Her work addresses social, political and gender issues through art projects which are at once cultural critique devices and a political instrument. In recent years she has worked with the artist Rogelio López Cuenca in workshops and collective projects related to history, memory and monumentalization as an element of ideological control, for instance Gitanos de papel (Cultural Centre of Spain in Montevideo), Historia de dos ciudades/Saharawhy (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Chile), Efigies y fantasmas (Museo de Huelva) and Granada. Guía monumental (Centro José Guerrero).