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MACBA Barcelona: Art, Porn & Bears, Oh My!

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MACBA-at-night-la-nit-dels-museus-barcelona-may-16

MACBA Museum

In San Francisco, the idea of keeping a museum open after dark seems like the only logical thing to do. One must keep the playground open for adults after dark.  Where else could you touch the exhibits while getting turnt on delicious libations?? Barcelona is also well-known for the fun and debauchery, but usually, most businesses close at reasonable hours (presumably so the owners can also go drink). However, once a year, in the sun-soaked streets of Barcelona, all museums stay open past their bedtime, even later than they do in San Francisco.

European Museum Night (or “La Nit dels Museus” in Catalan) happens every year on the 16th of May, directly prior to International Museum Day (May 18th). During that time, from 7 pm to 1 am, not only are all museums FREE, but they also organize activities for children and inebriated adults alike.

La-Nit-Dels-Museus-Barcelona

Barcelona may be more well-known for its Ken-Kesey-becomes-an-architect-after-playing-too-much-Candyland style buildings than for its museums. However, there’s still a wide enough selection to paralyze my already bad decision-making abilities.

I had to choose between a Pablo Picasso Museum, a Joan Miró Museum, a Chocolate Museum, and a Weed Museum. After much deliberation, I decided to start from one of the more visited ones: the MACBA, Barcelona’s contemporary art museum. Like any self-respecting contemporary art museum, has an acronym like a East Berlin techno dungeon. It was opened recently, in 1995, and has been slowly building up to becoming more and more relevant in the world of contemporary art.

It’s a must-see while in Barcelona. Plus, sometimes they have porn there!


Osvaldo Lamborghini’s Teatro Proletario de Cámara

I was vaguely aware of the nature of the exposition because occasional tourist who I’d spoken to had tried to describe it, and subsequently turned into a blushing, stuttering puritan maiden. This intrigued me.

The collection is comprised of the famed Argentinian writer‘s expressionist drawings, hand-made books, and collages combining the two and using ’80s porn. This was both really cool, aesthetically beautiful, super NSFW (hooray!) and either thought-provoking, sexy, or hilarious (insert joke about my own sex life).

In the spirit of being an adult who understands that sex is a beautiful and natural thing, my friend and I played the Penis Game because performance art.

treatro-proletario-de-camara-osvaldo-lamborghini-macba-barcelona-la-nit-dels-museus-art-blowjob

treatro-proletario-de-camara-osvaldo-lamborghini-macba-barcelona-la-nit-dels-museus-people

treatro-proletario-de-camara-osvaldo-lamborghini-macba-barcelona-la-nit-dels-museus-book

Ah, sí?

treatro-proletario-de-camara-osvaldo-lamborghini-macba-barcelona-la-nit-dels-museus-art

treatro-proletario-de-camara-osvaldo-lamborghini-macba-barcelona-la-nit-dels-museus-art

As my editor so delicately put it – behold, a wall of porn.

treatro-proletario-de-camara-osvaldo-lamborghini-macba-barcelona-la-nit-dels-museus-art-girl

treatro-proletario-de-camara-osvaldo-lamborghini-macba-barcelona-la-nit-dels-museus-art-bald-spot-guy-eating-a-girl-out

Nobody I was with seemed to find male pattern baldness in porn as hilarious as I did.

Learn more about the magic behind the porn here.


Past Disquiet

Narratives and Ghosts from the International Art Exhibition for Palestine, 1978

In 1978, Beirut (Lebanon) held the International Art Exhibition for Palestine in solidarity with and recognition of Palestinian artists. Past Disquiet, a revival of said exhibit, was a still version of a documentary. A room filled with archives, prints, videos, propaganda, all from the solidarity movement from Lebanon to Palestine.

Perhaps most interesting about this exhibit (and about its original predecessor) is that it had all but been erased from the local archives. It was salvaged in an effort both dedicated to recovering lost art, finding the truth, and understanding today’s society. It exists today thanks to the tireless research work from Kristin Khouri and Rasha Salti (advised by Paul B. Preciado), and with material compiled by Claude Lazar. Read more of the story here.

Past-Dsiquiet-propaganda-tapes


The Immaterial Legacy

An Essay on the Collection

This is essentially your Inception exhibit, your pimp-your-exhibit exhibit. In other words, if you aren’t up on the hopelessly dumb references I’m making – it’s a MACBA exhibit about MACBA exhibits.

Mi Pathos Doy, Carlos Pazos, 1981

And it features a stuffed bear.

Apart from the extremely likable teddy bear (“Mi Pathos Doy, Carlos Pazos, 1981) this exhibit turned out to be a veritable tangled mass of everything, ever, but skillfully arranged in an eye-gasm, minimal way. The exhibit plays on the concept of Microhistory: a focus on a community, a person, or even a single event, “[asking] large questions in small places” (Charles Joyner). This exhibit can essentially be what you want: in and of itself, it’s fun. Looking deeper, each single piece was selected for a reason (which I am not aware of, as I am but a pretend writer/80s porn enthusiast, not an art critic. Sorrynotsorry).

Beneyto, Antonio - Nina Hagen - 1982

Beneyto, Antonio, “Nina Hagen” 1982

Hernández-Díez, José Antonio Vehículos Perfectos (4, 15, 19, 25, 26) 1993

Hernández-Díez, José Antonio
“Vehículos Perfectos (4, 15, 19, 25, 26)”
1993

homeless-in-barcelona-esperanca (19 of 25)

Locher, Thomas "Fx bis Zz" 1990

Locher, Thomas
“Fx bis Zz”
1990

Possibly one of the more amusing parts of the exhibition, if I must be honest, was to watch people take selfies with the bear. Luckily no-one pulled out a selfie stick, or the bear would have probably come alive, mauled them, and picked his stuffed-animal-teeth with said selfie stick. Obviously.

Now they too can tell their friends they've been in one of those new, fashionable threesomes!

Now they too can tell their friends they’ve been in one of those new, fashionable threesomes! This is a “bear,” right?

Learn more about the exhibit from people who understand it on a deeper level than just neon skateboards and huggable bears here.


The MACBA museum, in all it’s illustrious splendor, wasn’t offering much as far as activities beyond  a swanky bar outside.

macba-barcelona-la-nit-dels-museus-2015-outside-patio (1 of 1)

My friend and I, logically, opted for the Bigger, Better, more Broke Ass version of this and bought street beers, sat on the steps in front of the museum, and watched a man who couldn’t walk without crutches on a skateboard.

crutches-man-on-skateboard-macba-barcelona-nit-dels-museus

macba-barcelona-la-nit-dels-museus-2015-view-from-above (1 of 1)

 

All photo credit: me!

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Rae Bathgate - Down and Out and Overseas

Rae Bathgate - Down and Out and Overseas

Rae, known also (depending on the country) as Rachelle/Raquel/ Rachele (and often sadly mistaken as Richard, because biblical names are hard you guys) is an aspiring writer and now sort of a dick for having actually defined herself as such. She was born and lived over the first half of her life in Italy; she then moved to the States and lived a good ten years there (including in SF). Currently back in Europe, she is neither a hapless American tourist nor a snobby European jerkyjerk; luckily for you, she is some weird ungodly combination of both. Also, she’s broke and is probably stealing bread crumbs from pigeons.