CONSERVAS presents:

CCCB – July 2009, from 20h to 1h
What’s about



An unprecedented economic crisis, a transformation of the very postulates that have held up the world order.

Neoliberalism, which has been responding to critical voices since the fall of the Berlin wall with a “this is how things are, this is what works”, is seeing its logic come tumbling down.

This system that is now falling apart has been built over the last few decades on the foundations of two “phenomena” of rampant looting and privatisation that lie right at its heart. With varying degrees of willingness, artists have been the main agents of both phenomena through which the system:

1. Firstly, allows inner city areas, which are home to long-term residents without much wealth or power, to become rundown. Then it expects or forces the arrival of artists who change the physical characteristics of the area, raising its value without the need for developers or city councils to make social investments, and producing a bohemian attraction effect that encourages private capital to buy up properties. This is followed by speculation which, if left unchecked, expels the
neighbourhood’s natural residents via an unsustainable increase in prices. Et voilá! This is how the “real estate bubble” began.

2. The second “phenomenon” takes place directly in the name of artists. As part of the obsolete system’s last-ditch attempt to survive, the biggest effort to privatise knowledge since the invention of the printing press is now being carried out. We are seeing fanatical attacks on civil rights and access to knowledge and technological tools on a daily basis, all in the name of artists and the incongruous concept of “intellectual property”.

They are trying to criminalise the exchange of knowledge among citizens, like lending a book or copying a film from the tv or accessing a non-privately controlled free internet network. And they are calling it “piracy” with the fury of the inquisition, which persecuted and punished all those who were simply living, thinking and functioning “in step with the times”, in order to defend powerful private interests. The Digital Age is being “darkened”, paralysed in the name of protecting artists. Once again, artists are the willing and/or involuntary agents of this.

The “phenomena” described above give rise to a few questions:

Perhaps a more current model is the figure of the artist as a propaganda instrument, an ornament required to make the state of things palatable, to sweeten and camouflage the abuses of the powers-that-be and to disguise them. In this postmodernity endowed with a keen critical spirit, so keen that anything goes; so tolerant and even radical, so radical that nothing is immoral or unjust; so exquisitely self-centred and complacently indulgent of our irresponsibility that to go and see “art” is basically just a way to ease our consciences.

Even though, perhaps to their regret, artists are the main agents of the worse phenomena of our age, Do you take the hint?

Step right in.


– Area 1: What’s the purposes of artists?
– Crisis Area: We want our money back
– Area *<>: Divertimentos Pornográficos
Permanent Area