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LOOP Festival 2020

— A hybrid programme of collaborative proposals, taking place online and offline.

10-22 Nov 2020
Map of LOOP Festival locations

–> Browse through the complete programme of exhibitions (here) and discover all the participants of the City Screen (here).


Learning from lichens, rehearsing the future to come

Crisis, from the greek “krisis”, means a moment of radical separation or rupture between a before and an after. This rupture indicates a void and, therefore, a fertile space for analysis and reflection. In the point of tension between the inertia of the status quo and its abrupt alteration, a horizon of possibilities emerges, a context –privileged, yes– to imagine and rehearse the future to come.

In one of the first articles included in the recent publication series by Caja Negra, Chronicles of psychodeflation, Franco Bifo Berardi reflects on the current pandemic and argues that the virus, among other things, has generated “the condition of a mental leap that no political preaching could have produced”. In other words, a critical contingency to rethink the time and space that we occupy in order that we may put an end to the structural pathologies of a system on the verge of collapse.

Although the positive social effects are not immediately visible, these imaginative exercises could lay the foundations for a collective and inclusive horizon. If on the one hand, the virus has exposed bodies, both individual and institutional, as incredibly vulnerable entities, it has also accentuated the unsustainability of a system based on human supremacy in opposition to interspecies proliferation.

Theorist Donna Haraway insists on “staying with the trouble” –, unraveling it from within in order to reconfigure our relationship with planet earth and its inhabitants. We must adopt speculative fiction as an alternative methodology of work and thought, and tell visionary stories that take over, and reconfigure, institutions.

Perhaps, we should learn from lichens, corals, and all the living organisms that prosper through symbiosis. Perhaps eco-socialist or “tentacular” thought is a possible way to halt the schizophrenic machinery of neoliberal production: joint thinking, collaboration, cohabitation.

Taking into account their existing contradictions, the arts and culture sectors could then become meeting spaces to promote change, and to develop relationships outside of traditional narratives constructed by institutions. From the creative field, the origins of video art could also provide very valuable tools. From this history, we must recover the urgency of political momentum and of contested issues, such as democratic access to the media, aspirations to equality, and the feeling of community.

The emotional, physical and social exhaustion caused by uncertainty–and often by the precariousness and absence of collective guardianship systems–is undeniable. It is also likely that society’s sickly body will take a long time to heal, but it will be worth trying.

While traversing these complex circumstances, LOOP Festival 2020 proposes a hybrid program, with virtual and in-person events, built by professionals and entities committed to creating much-needed spaces for exchange and reflection.

Highlighting in particular local artists and their collaborators, the projects that make up the program will explore, naturally, some common and recurring concerns of the present moment. How do we relate to our surroundings, be it the natural landscape, the urban context or the bodies in proximity to objects and other living beings?

LOOP Festival activities

Museu de la Música de Barcelona

Fundació Vila Casas – Espais VolART

Casa Amèrica de Catalunya

MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona

MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
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