Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"MADE IN ROME", "San Fernando" Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid (Spain)_

Next Friday February 24 at 7pm my fellow artists-in residence and myself will be opening "Hecho en Roma", the exhibition showcasing the projects developed last year at the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome. Everybody is welcome!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Jorge Conde's "A World-Size House" project, exhibited at the Accademia di Spagna in Rome_

Jorge Conde's exhibition at the Spanish Academy in Rome (RAER) consists of a selection of 9 works included in "A World-Size House", the artistic project he has created as resident artist at the said institution during the period 2015-16, thanks to a Visual Arts grant awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (MAEC-AECID).

"A World-Size House" is an artistic investigation on the social, architectural and urban impact derived from the recuperation and transformation of abandoned buildings and degraded urban areas in the city of Rome. To do so, Jorge Conde explores nearly fifteen obsolete, disused urban spaces that in the past three decades have been rescued from oblivion and given a second life as cultural institutions. In each case, he aims at discovering the memory of the territory (traces from the past), the existing venue's history, mission and resources, its impact on the neighborhood and the most significant challenges it'll be facing in the near future.

In the city of Rome there are plenty of such examples of urban rebirth, newly-born institutions of different types, ranging from public museums, art production centers and privately-run foundations, to occupied, self-managed, barely legal cultural centers or even historical sites, along with many other hybrid initiatives. Two of the most interesting examples are: in the first place the MAXXI (Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo), built after the partial recuperation of the former Italian Army barracks located in the Flaminio quarter, thanks to public funding and promoted by the Italian State. In 1999, Anglo-Iranian architect Zaha Hadid was commissioned the construction of a cutting-edge, iconic building which served the purpose of putting Rome on the map of the global contemporary art scene. And secondly, the creation of MAAM (Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove) in Metropoliz Città Meticcia, a quite singular inhabited museum that was self-instituted after the occupation of the "Fiorucci" building, a long-time abandoned meat packing factory situated in a peripheral suburb named Tor Sapienza, by a large number of homeless people, immigrants from various European and North-African countries, together with refugees from the recent wars taking place in Ukraine and Siria.

The transformation of disused spaces is a fairly effective strategy widely-used by the public and private sectors in may countries and diverse territories not only to promote creation, speed up the cultural scene and articulate society, but also to stimulate growth, economic speculation, and reactivate declining urban areas. This strategy, inserted within a more ambitious renovatio urbis process, undoubtedly establishes new paradigms and introduces a clear notion of cultural utopia. In some other cases, it is a response to a conflict of interest or a social emergency. As part of a "contagious", globally-applied phenomenon, it has also produced some negative effects such as gentrification, ghettoization, and mutation of urban identity.

Needless to say that whilst some of these transformations have succeeded, some others have faced great difficulties being therefore forced to reinvent themselves or adapt their action to a worsened context with decreasing resources. In addition, there are cases which could be regarded as truly disappointing, a complete failure or projects that, due to various reasons (i.e. budget cuts, lack of effective cultural policies, political disputes, poor management, change of priorities, etc.), still remain unfinished.

It is thus crucial to evaluate to what extent these transformations serve the purpose of getting people involved in the city’s cultural scene, or in delivering a higher quality cultural outcome. It is also worth analyzing whether this strategy only works well in the good times and in “healthy”, growing economies. From this perspective, crisis can be approached as an opportunity to rethink the role of cultural institutions, the concepts of social impact, creation and education, along with some utopia-generating mechanisms. Can this model survive and remain faithful to its essence?

As Jorge Conde says: "A World-Size House is a project strongly rooted in the tradition of conceptual art, in which I combine original and archival materials, where the documents collected and its processes are just as important as the creative works. Likewise, most of the artworks included in this project have been executed by using different techniques such as photography, video, sound art, artist's books, installation and a few other hybrid forms of art.

Moreover, from the very beginning I decided to use a so-called experiential immersion methodology which, aside from thoroughly exploring these urban areas, photographing, video recording and capturing its most significant sounds, involved the conducting of a series of interviews with the persons in charge of these newly-born cultural institutions. At this point it is important to highlight that, in order to experiment these institutions and get to know their true impact on the Roman "quartieri", I never abandoned Rome during the 4-month field work period, when I collected information, experiences, raw materials, memorabilia, and did most of the interviews. It was only during the final three months when I fully dedicated myself to the creative process and deliberately searched for the mental and physical distance needed to produce deep, meaningful pieces of art."

Video projection onto the ceiling of the Spanish Academy's entrance hall

Title: "A World-Size House" (included in "PROCESSI 143").
Venue: Spanish Academy in Rome / Real Academia de España en Roma (RAER).
Address: Piazza di San Pietro in Montorio, 3 (Gianicolo), 00153 ROMA (Italia).
Dates: June 23rd - September 30th, 2016.
Times: Tuesday through Sunday; 10 am to 6 pm. Free entrance.


“A World-Size House” è una ricerca artistica contestualizzata nella città di Roma su una selezione di edifici e spazi urbani abbandonati che in tempi recenti sono stati recuperati e dotati di nuova vita sotto forma di istituzioni culturali. Queste trasformazioni rispondono a iniziative molto diverse e hanno dato alla luce istituzioni di tipologia dissimile: dalla nascita del MAXXI (Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo) in seguito al recupero parziale delle caserme del quartiere Flaminio grazie all’iniziativa pubblica e all’intervento dello Stato italiano, che commissionò all’architetta anglo-iraniana Zaha Hadid la costruzione di un edificio iconico, fino alla creazione del MAAM (Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove) en Metropoliz Città Meticcia, sorto dall’occupazione dell’antica fabbrica di salumi Fiorucci nel quartiere periferico di Tor Sapienza.

La trasformazione di spazi obsoleti o in disuso è una strategia che non soltanto serve a dinamizzare la scena culturale, ma anche ad alimentare la riflessione, a creare prestigio, a riunire la società civile e riattivare le zone depresse del paesaggio urbano. Integrata in una renovatio urbis di più ampio respiro, stabilisce nuovi paradigmi e mette in atto un’idea dell’utopia culturale contemporanea. In altri casi si pone come la risposta a un conflitto d’interessi o a un’emergenza sociale. Come strategia contagiosa di portata internazionale, sfocia anche in fenomeni non particolarmente positivi, come l’applicazione di politiche culturali discutibili, gestione carente, alterazione dell’identità urbana, gentrificazione e ghettificazione. Sebbene alcune di queste trasformazioni abbiano ottenuto un successo notevole, la crisi economico-finanziaria degli ultimi anni e il suo indiscutibile impatto sociale, ha comportato serie difficoltà per molti di questi spazi, che hanno dovuto reinventarsi o prefissarsi obiettivi più modesti, adattati a circostanze avverse e a risorse in calo. Può resistere il modello senza che cambi la sua essenza?

AWSH, 2016. Installation consisting of 6 videos, various objects and other materials.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"Processi 143". Accademia di Spagna in Rome_

Jorge Conde presents his latest project "A World-Size House" at the Spanish Academy in Rome (RAER). This is included in "Processi 143", the annual exhibition where artists, writers and researchers residing at the Academy exhibit their works focusing on their creative process.

For this event, Jorge Conde showcases a selection of 9 works he has created in Italy as resident artist at the Spanish Academy for the period 2015-16.


« PROCESSI 143 »

Roma è una città eterna, ma soprattutto è una città infinita che mette a dura prova anche la curiosità più insaziabile. La densità e i contrasti storici, vitali e sociali che si accumulano in ogni dettaglio urbano provocano nel soggetto moderno, nel soggetto Wikipedia, uno scontro con il rumore e il caos. Trovare un significato in ciò che si vede – e costruire l’identità di chi guarda - diviene un’operazione densa d’ansia e complessità.

Giovedì 23 giugno, in occasione dei 143 anni della Real Academia de España, i 23 artisti ivi residenti esporranno ed illustreranno i loro lavori dedicati a Roma in un anno di residenza nella Città Eterna. Un saggio, un’esposizione, un momento di incontro che intende celebrare anche la lunga ed intensa attività della prestigiosa Accademia che continua da decenni, con il sostegno del Ministero degli Affari Esteri spagnolo, a dare ospitalità a talenti delle discipline più diversificate. Sotto l’egida dell’attuale “Directora”, María Ángeles Albert de León, a partire dalle 19 si darà vita ad un vero e proprio concentrato di cultura in cui, di persona, sarà possibile interagire con i creatori di progetti tanto innovativi quanto attuali, dal punto di vista concettuale, tecnologico e di argomentazione.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Il Museo dell'Altro e dell'Altrove o Perché fare un museo sulla Luna?". Round table at the Spanish Academy in Rome_

Jorge Conde will be presenting at the round table on "Art, Occupation and Utopia" to be held today at the Spanish Academy in Rome.


Giorgio de Finis, anthropologist, curator and founder of MAAM (Rome).
Jorge Conde, visual artist in residence at the Spanish Academy in Rome (RAER). Author of "A World-Size House Project".
Julia Ramírez Blanco, Art historian in residence at the Spanish Academy in Rome (RAER).

EVENT: “Il Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove o Perché fare un museo sulla Luna?” / Why to Build a Museum on the Moon? Round table on "Art, Occupation and Utopia".
DATE: June 14th at 8:30 pm.
PLACE: Academia de España / Spanish Academy (RAER). Piazza di San Pietro in Montorio, 3 (Gianicolo), 00153 ROME

TAVOLA ROTONDA “Il Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove o Perché fare un museo sulla Luna?”

Dopo quattro anni di percorso, Giorgio de Finis, ideatore del Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove, ci accompagnerà nella cornice dell’Accademia per riflettere su come è cambiato e sulla direzione che ha preso ciò che viene definito il “primo museo abitato del pianeta”. Insieme a lui ci saranno Jorge Conde e Julia Ramírez, artisti residenti dell’Accademia di Spagna a Roma, che, sulla base dei propri studi e lavori realizzati quest’anno, parteciperanno alla tavola rotonda.

Giorgio de Finis, antropologo, artista e curatore indipendente.
Jorge Conde, artista visivo residente alla Real Academia de España en Roma
Julia Ramírez Blanco, residente alla Real Academia de España en Roma.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Jorge Conde participates in "Open Studios" at the Spanish Academy In Rome_

Next Thursday 17th, OPEN STUDIOS will be held at the Accademia di Spagna In Rome (RAER).
This show is conceived as an opportunity for professionals from the contemporary art sector and other cultural initiatives to get familiar with some of the projects resident artists are being developing as part of their residency program (ARP) at the Spanish Academy.

PLACE: STUDIO 6 (Jorge Conde will be showing his project "A World-Size House")
DATE: March 17th,  2016
TIMES: 10am - 5pm for professionals; 5pm - 7pm for the general public.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016