081012: MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Utopia is Possible. ICSID. Elvissa 1971

MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Utopia is Possible. ICSID. Elvissa 1971 21.06.12 – 20.01.13 Woodstock for industrial designers By Wolfgang Pichler Or how to build utopias! For the first time, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) is presenting an extensive documentation about the trend-setting seventh congress of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) held in Ibiza. When the ICSID conference began in Ibiza on October 14, 1971 no one would have guessed that this would be the starting point of the emergence of arts in Franco’s Spain. What started as a meeting of more or less matter-of-fact designers quickly transformed into a kind of Hippie event with cult-like rituals, celebrating the freedom and power of art and imagination. This proves how, at the end of the 1960’s and beginning of the 1970’s, a today practically inaccessible spirit of optimism had spread among the youth and the progressive powers - a feeling that promised nothing less than changing the world for the better. That an event in the then still fascist Spain would develop such a momentum shows, on the one hand, how strong the utopia of a better world was, but also that the regime was coming to an end. Among the projects and designs shown in this exhibition, the “Instant City” – an inflatable, extendable modular construction by Carlos Ferrater, Fernando Bendito and José Miguel de Prada Poole – is definitely the most memorable and design historically interesting object. It reminds of the inflatable architectures by Hans-Rucker-Co that were created in Vienna a couple of years earlier. The “Instant City” clearly depicts which utopias were created during those days – it represents a building that can be enlarged and changed by its inhabitants; a product that resulted from collective effort, which doesn’t postulate hierarchy or ownership. A temporary organically grown structure made of plastic and air. The charm of the exhibition lies, for those that are not specialized on design history, in the colourfulness and wildness of ideas and projects, especially in comparison to today’s totally commercialized design-world. Another fantastically absurd project is a sculpture floating on the sea by Josep Ponsati, made of of folded air cushions that are tied to one another with ropes and remind of huge beanbags. And sitting in just these beanbags, which are so defining for this era, one can enjoy the authentic ambience of the early 70’s in which the entire exhibition is designed, and watch videos with interviews of the artists - in Catalan. Only a few amateur videos and superb black-and-white photographs are reminiscent of the former spirit of optimism. Today, these same designers do good business with their products. The time to build utopias is long gone. MACBA - Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona 08001 Barcelona, Plaça dels Angels, 1 Tel: +34 93 412 08 10 Fax: +34 93 412 46 02 http://www.macba.cat/ Opening Hours: Mon, Wed – Fri: 11 – 20 hours, Sat: 10 – 20 hours, Sun (except holidays) 10 - 15 hours, Closed on Tuesdays.

MACBA - Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
08001 Barcelona, Plaça dels Angels, 1
Tel: +34 93 412 08 10, Fax: +34 93 412 46 02
Öffnungszeiten: Mo, Mi - Fr 11 - 20, Sa 10 - 20, So (ausgenommen Feiertage) 10 - 15 h, Dienstag geschlossen

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