(Re)searching the social element
As part of the CAPP programme, Medialab-Prado and hablarenarte are jointly organising a residency programme and a commission extending from November 2016 to the end of 2017.
The goal of this programme, which consists of various brief residencies by art professionals from the local and international scene, is to discuss the true value of collaborative artworks for the social collectives participating in them, especially from the standpoint of that participation. In addition to this there will be a commissioned project developed by the Union of the Street Vendors in Madrid and the artists Byron maher and Alexander Ríos.
We begin with the conviction that collaborative artistic practices can benefit work in, on and for social contexts. Nonetheless, there is still considerable need for intense discussion from different perspectives in order to identify the premises for collaborative artworks of this sort that will be advantageous for all of the people and groups involved. In fact, regardless of their excellence as art, such projects frequently fail to attain the intended degree of efficiency and/or social relevance.
Many art projects have little or no social impact on the communities where they are carried out because they fail to take local organizations and agents into account—not to mention local professionals with specific training in community development processes, such as social workers. The present residency program seeks to develop true collaboration by placing artists and collectives on the same footing. The idea is to interconnect cultural agents with social workers to foster dialog on both collaborative art in social contexts, and social work’s skepticism about it. The goal is consensus between both parties about guidelines to be put into practice in response to the following questions, among others:
- From the standpoint of direct cooperation with socially vulnerable groups, what are the differences/similarities between projects stemming from art, and social projects?
- Under what circumstances is it useful to undertake collaborative art projects with people or groups in socially vulnerable contexts outside the art world?
- In those art projects, what are the proper strategies for obtaining the most efficient collaboration and the most horizontal structures?
- How could the basic tools and starting points be defined?
- What characteristics should define art projects rooted in a social context in order to be recognized in the art world and simultaneously compatible with a social mission?
COMMUNITY_ Street vendors in Madrid
ART FORM_ Collaborative
CONTEXT_ City of Madrid, mix of activists and cultural agents