University, research and artistic experience have always had a clear connection with each other. Many schools have nowadays exhibition spaces with stable and coherent programs. The Rovira i Virgili University, being honest, was quite late in this aspect and until last year it did not start to include such cultural offers inside its facilities. Only some small exhibitions were made at odd spaces such as the hall of the teachers building or in the courtyard.
Last year, the participants of the first time imparted course on Curatorial (organized by the Classroom Art) and conducted by the Department of Art History and the Aula d’Art of the same University, began to fit out CRAI’s hall (name given to the faculty library) to put artistic interventions that the own course students would use in their final thesis.
The Cultius team witnessed the birth of this new location last year, this small room / space / place (because basically it is still a hall of a library), with typical noises -of those places found in the border of silent areas- and computers, that has been used to expose or to somehow channel artistic feeling. The disadvantages that such a place intrinsically has can also stimulate artists with greater challenges because basically the key is to bring art to the public, and in this case the samples come to the people unexpectedly without deliberately searching for it, you find them in a crossing point. Jorge Conde, Asbel Esteve, Jordi Figuerola and Angel Llort–Pomerol were the four artists who last year took part in this adventure.
This year, the “kick” out was given by an exhibition called “La incomoditat. He fet caca al teu jardí “ (The inconvenience. I pooped in your garden), by Arnau Casanoves and curated by Aida Marin, fellow of the Doctoral Program and a student of the previous year.
So was the cycle started. The first exhibition was Map of a move by Nuria Rion and curated by Silvia Iturria, Quim Torres, David Aguilera and Lydia Moreno. The exhibition reflects on the fact of mobility, the exodus; the feeling of having to carry or leave a life behind. A work referred as Rastre (trail) (2012) is used, which was made by covering with plastics a shelf of an abandoned farmhouse in the mountains of Prades. The result is a semi–sculptural material located on planks of wood that gives a sense of rugged mountains. A piece made of latex and fiberglass located in the inner courtyard of the library, another space, another forest. The idea behind all of this was basically to document the move, creating a visual, cosmological map from the experiences that emerge. The exhibition is complemented with photographs and a map of almost a mystical transfer, and a recording of it. Leave, find, and rediscover.
The exhibition can be seen in the CRAI Campus Catalunya until 16th February. Then three more will come. One dedicated to fanzines made by women: their concerns and vicissitudes on a stand which recently underwent a major revival in the country (08 / 03-22 / 03).
Another about the massacre in the Syrian city of Kobanî in June last summer, that did not shake the conscience of humanity (one more among many others). This exhibition is made by Alba Sotorra (29 / 03-12 / 04). And the last one is dedicated to the irreverent citizen of the city of Reus Francesc Vidal (19 / 04-03-05).
Art that occupies spaces, art that is created in the university, exhibited art that meets you, art you should look for, art that can disturb you … But also art that has changed the original use of the building. And although the combination of art and university students may seem natural it has also created allergic reactions among users and artists. Much remains to be done so that artistic concerns become a scientific research axis of our universities.
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