Dissociations. Conversations with the works of the MACBA Collection

Abril – June 2023

Workshop within the framework of the “Sponsor your equipment” program, of the MACBA with the first year group of artistic baccalaureate of the IES Consell de Cent, Barcelona.


What voices are heard in the museum? What would the works on display tell us if they could read our minds and talk to us as we walk through the rooms?

From these questions arises the proposed dissociations. Conversations with the works of the MACBA Collection, an open invitation to all audiences who come to visit the MACBA Collection exhibition. Prelude. Poetic intention and want to be accompanied by imaginaries, voices and informal thoughts that do not usually have an impact in museum rooms. Framed in the program Sponsor your equipment, it is the result of the work process carried out between the group of first-year high school students from the IES Consell de Cent, the artist Anna Dot, the teaching team responsible for the group and the Department of Education of the MACBA.

The proposal responds to the shared desire to activate other forms of exploration of the artistic fact through a process of interpretation, imagination and speculation about the works in the MACBA Collection. And to open a space for research around the individual voice and the collective voice through work with text, action and drawing.

The work process has been divided into two key stages. At first, the artist proposed an individual encounter with the works based on the texts that make up the posters that accompany the pieces, to imagine and draw them without having seen them. With the imagined works we entered the rooms of the Collection. This meeting collectively brought up key words that synthesized the main ideas that had been detected during the visit: colonialism, absence, poetry, motherhood, communism, history, writing, childhood… are just a few. This first stage ended by focusing attention on the inside and outside of the museum, through an action inspired by the piece Following Piece, by Vito Acconci, in which each student followed an unknown person, without them being able to see them. taking written and drawn notes about it.

The second stage focused on finding the form and specific content of the proposal, taking into consideration all the material previously worked on. Each student had to develop a different imaginary character, with the most precise detail possible, and embody it in the rooms of the Collection with the aim of having a conversation with the works. This exercise gave rise to multiple scenes: robberies, dialogues with the past, discussions about racism, vindication of children’s rights… which we shared and articulated throughout the various rooms, with the help of key words. arising during the work process. And they have taken the final narrative form of vignettes and sound dialogues.