On Monday 5 November 2018, the young artists in residence met the Spanish artist Antoni Muntadas, an artist of international renown and appreciation.
The work of Muntadas, which extends from the 1970s to the present day, has taken many different forms: photography, video, multimedia installations, urban interventions and networking projects employing pioneering methods.
At the centre of his research is the analysis of the discursive and linguistic mechanisms that shape the social experience, through the recurring themes of the landscape outlined by the mass media, of the relationship between public and private. He has been a teacher and visiting professor in various institutions, including the LUAV University in Venice, where he has taught since 2004.
Muntadas presented to the artists in the Manifattura his most recent publication Reflections on project methodology, providing important insights. The starting point is the attempt to define what is meant when we talk about a project, a form of work that characterises contemporary artistic practices and that is born, according to Muntadas, “when we begin to conceive of the development of a work closely related to a context“.
The project methodology stands diametrically opposed to the conception of the artistic object as an end and a product. At the centre of the artistic process there is instead a process which is open to the questions of: Who?, What?, Why?, How?, Where?, When?, For whom? and How much does it cost?.
The artist showed the six residents some emblematic examples of the concepts of site specific and time specific, in relation to these questions. This first aspect was addressed by looking at the installations of Micheal Asher, created at the Whitney Museum of American Art and at MOMA in New York at the end of the 1960s, for the ability that they had to become an act of critique on the exhibition spaces themselves. For the second aspect, Muntadas analysed the historical-temporal context in which Picasso’s Guernica was created.
The reflection is full of ideas for artistic project planning: from fund raising and budget administration to team work, in order to arrive at a point where you can start questioning the values and meanings that the artist brings to a specific community through their work.