Seeing MACBA Collection 31 at MACBA


A collective expo — MACBA Collection 31 — described as

a series of artistic itineraries built around three main subjects: experience, time and conflict. A museum collection is not only one of its main working areas, but also what configures its identity and determines its capacity to interact with the present.

Of all the exhibits, there were a few that caught my eye.

Surplus Production Line

A work by Adrian Melis. Advertise for people to do some part-time work. Their job: print out the CV of the other (failed) applicants and shred. Poking a satirical finger to Schumpeter and his maxim that capitalism creates wealth by destroying existing economic and social structures.



I suspect this is the type of work that people who don’t like modern art would really hate. After all, its just a pile of shredded paper.

Condensation Cube

By Hans Haacke, a closed cube, containing water, illustrating natural processes, influenced bye Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s General System Theory.

One of those pieces that appears simple, but is a metaphor for something more complex. Its not static but dynamic, reacting to environment in which its placed.


Ice Ring

Also by Haacke, but this time, using cooling system from a fridge. Condensation Cube is all about evaporation, Ice Ring is all about condensation. A bit of a juxtaposition there. While cube is a nice closed system, this is more open, needing external energy (electricity) and interacting with its environment more (heat drawn from the water tray expelled through the condensator).



Situation of Time


By David Lamelas, this artwork from 1967 is a a room full of TVs displaying “white noise”. Building on perception and time. On a more subtle note, by depriving a television of a signal, it can no longer do what it was intended to do (display pictures, information) and so becomes a commentary on “technological pervasiveness and the way it inevitably alters and modifies the environment”.


An interesting group expo. Sure, some pieces did not gel with me, while others, especially those above, did. Its also interesting to see how the space in the MACBA is used. Having visited a few times now the layout is becoming familiar, only the configuration changes with each expo.

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