Open Source Prototypes

Valiz & L'Internationale

Reviewing text of Open Source Prototypes, a project held by Fundació Antoni Tàpies from 2011 to 2016. Published into: J Byrne, E Morgan, N Paynter, A Sánchez de Serdio, A Zeleznik (eds.): The Constituent Museum. Constellations of Knowledge, Politics and Mediation. A Generator of Social Change. pp. 342 – 355. Amsterdam: Valiz & L’Internationale

Open Source Prototypes was a collaborative network developed by the Fundació Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona) in relation to its institutional archive. Between 2011 and 2016, different groups with ties to education were involved in conducting research and intervention projects that revolved around contemporary artistic practices, setting out from the documentary material contained in said archive. The initiative was promoted by Laurence Rassel, curated by Oriol Fontdevila, coordinated by Linda Valdés, and featured the ongoing involvement of Núria Solé, head of the Archive Department, and the Education Department’s Rosa Eva Campo and Maria Sellarès. In the project’s five editions, decidedly heterogeneous proposals were developed, with the Fundació team, archive material, and the institution’s resources coming into play and varying according to the definition of each project.

For instance, over a five-year period, work was carried out on ‘Prototypes’ with the Escola d’Art i Superior de Disseny Deià, and the collaboration with the Fundació came to form the basis of an optional subject in Advanced Design Studies. Within this framework students considered the possibility of conducting an analysis of the institution, resulting in ephemeral intervention proposals generally carried out in the same spaces in the museum. According to Joan Vilapuig, a teacher at the school:

The documentation on exhibitions kept by the archive could provide us with details of how they were managed, to allow work and discussions on legal and financial aspects that would not emerge in any analysis of the exhibition as an end product.

In 2011, a collaboration was also set up with the CandeL’Hart collective, with emphasis on analysing the distance, physical and symbolic, that opens between an institution like the Fundació and this group of amateur painters from Bellvitge, a working-class neighbourhood in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Mariló Fernández, a member of CandeL’Hart, commented:

If there is one thing we consider to be entirely positive, it is the opportunity to respect and create a space in which different times and processes can coexist … [so that] we have been able to gradually build up our way of dealing with the archive, approaching it cautiously, taking the time necessary to rethink why, for what and how to construct this relationship.

In the years the project was active, around twenty collaborations were carried out with different groups. Other projects, large in scope and time, were the Laboratory of Visual Arts Oficials, training for municipal civil servants specializing in arts and culture in collaboration with the Diputació de Barcelona, and Time Explorers, a two-year project on the memory of the Poble Nou area, within the framework of the workshop on visual arts from the Sant Martí primary school.

Open Source Prototypes was re-approached in 2016 to be developed as a public archive programme from the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, under the wings of the European project ‘Performing the Museum’. In this instance, the invitation to conduct research and intervention processed in the museum has primarily focused on independent agents, identified through art work—Roger Bernat, Lúa Coderch and Pep Vidal—or education work: Experimentem amb l’ART, LaFundició and Objetologías.

* The quotes that appear in the text come from the assessments carried out over the years. The majority of those featured here were previously published in an extended version in: Aleksandra Sekulić and Dušan Grlja eds., Performing the Museum: The Reader (Vojvodina Novi Sad: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2016).