Culture Workers

As I promised on the 2#edition of this, my blog, I went back to A Peregrina. That workshop-house placed on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela, where interesting projects are been forged, where interesting people meet, and, provides me with, why not to say it so, interesting features. 

The reason, or reasons, which made me go there again, are: Culture Workers, the F.A.C., and Ania González (Vigo, 1977), who works as the anchoring point in between. She, graduated in law, decided to do an extreme makeover with her life. She left a stable and well-paid job in Barcelona, in which she spent three years as an attorney, trying to make her profession and her passion, become one.  

Whilst studying law at Compostela, back in the 90's, she and two of her classmates, created a young artist collective called Iniciativa Curva [Curved Initiative], that was able to get the cultural vice-rector to provide them with a space at the student residence Burgo das Nacións; which they adapted so to arrange poetry recitals and various art exhibitions (in which artists such as Jorge Perianes or Pablo Orza took part) proving, artistic concerns don't understand on degrees, titles or bureaucracy. Next year they were at the Coro da Igrexa da Universidade [University Church Chorus] with the program called Decoros 2000, where Eduardo Valiña e Montse Cea participated, and taking over, organized a year later the Procesalia 2001.

Culture Workers
Already in Barcelona, and taking her time, she became a proper lawyer studying through the UNED [University of Distance Learning]. There, where she found different jobs as art intern, as a secretary, and finally as a legal advisor for an international company, she didn't stop gaining knowledge in the art field, and made a Independent Studies Program (ISP) at the MACBA [Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum], where she did a major on museology and discourse theory. Here is, where the Culture Workers' creation arrives.

"In 2008 I was starting my ISP at the MACBA and Manolo Borja Villel, left the direction of this museum so to go and take up the Reina Sofía's management instead. At that moment some of us said, Why don't we present a collective project to direct the MACBA?", instead of having it to depend on the tastes or the specific formation of one person alone, so diverse people from diverse fields can participate in a sort of "interdisciplinary" project. Hence, Ania, together with the publicist Paula Mourenza, and the artist Jesús Rodríguez Santos, created a group of collective work. The team introduced itself to Pedro Soler, at that moment Hangar's director. In two days of intense work, with small groups of people, they were able to write a structured and organized project for the management of the MACBA. The report was well received, and Pedro Soler named them Culture Workers. 

A year later, already back in Galicia, the group kept on working and they developed a similar project, with an on-line workshop, so to direct the Centre of Contemporary Art (CGAC in Galician). The report was read, and considered.

Commissioners, Antón Reixa and Isaac Díaz Pardo
Ania questions a lot of terms and concepts that seem to be grounded in the artistic and creation argot. She does not like the commissioner label at all [in Spanish and Galicia the translation is comisario which is a word for police officer], she says it is a "cop language" as is the culture agent, "agents? The Gestapo ones", sentences, adding: "with this I've won the enemies I have left". 

During the interview, and in a natural way, the words the Galician artist Antón Reixa said on a well-known TV program called Salvados [Saved], about the hunger culture in Galicia, were brought up. And Ania, concerning the use of this past reality to explain the current situation, and the expressions of certain artistic groups, considered that "when you make profit out of a symbolic and collective capital, as it occurs in the culture industries, you are making a profit out of a workforce, but the benefit goes only to one, the enterpreneur, or five, the shareholders", and she finishes "I think the work of Isaac Díaz Pardo [a Galician artist] is more important than Atlántica".

Ania does not regret having left behind everything she had in Barcelona, to find a lifestyle that fits her devotion for the artistic creation, but she affirms not having calculated accurately "the jump distance" to Galicia. She thought it was going to be easier, but she wants to think that "all I have done in the past two years" will be rewarded, althought not with money. She wants to think that her hard work, in various projects, and her entire dedication would be, somehow, worthy. And here is where we arrive at the present time, at the F.A.C., her last project. It's the Furancho de Arte Contemporánea [the Contemporary Art Furancho] of the A Peregrina, which will be premiered next Friday, at the A Peregrina's house. She, together with her team (Diego Vites and Olmo Blanco) explains the project in this way:

"It's a self-managed artistic project . It's a middle-space for Art, not commercial, nor institutional or mediated by interests outside of the art creation, which adopts a strategy, part of the Galicia surroundings, which is the furancho. A furancho [which has a long-time history in this part of Spain] is a place that you create with the things you store in your shed to sell or give away a stock of your homemade production. Normally wine. But in this case we, as artists, have a stock of artworks, and we need to sell and show them. So we create a furancho in order to have a window-shop where we can output our production."

The opening will be Friday the 23rd, with the exhibition F.A.C. OFF, a declaration of intent, comments Ania, which comes from a personal necessity, parallel to the official market. CULTURADESEU will be there, cam on hand and even with our own new brand field-reporter. 

We are legion
Ania and I talked about lots of topics during our constructive conversation, which will be aired on further editions. I would like to put an end to this feature with:

Niether her, nor I belong to that trite figure of more than 5 million unemployed Spanish people. We are who clinging to a thin thread. But of the cotton eventually tearing, we are not afraid. Never. We, as Anonymous, are legion; we don't forget what we learn 'cause we are memory; we don't forgive insults and fallacies 'cause we got nothing else to lose; we wait...wait for the bus, wait for the tall latte at the Starbucks, and for that day when someone will dare to pay us for our work.


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