Support Manuel Borja-Villel, Director of Museo Reina Sofía, and the team at the Museo Reina Sofía in their opposition to the attempted censorship of a work of art in the exhibition “Really Useful Knowledge” (Madrid, Spain)
CIMAM wishes to express its support to Manuel Borja-Villel, Director of Museo Reina Sofía (MNCARS), Madrid, and the entire team at the Museum in their negative to censure a work of art* presented within the exhibition Really Useful Knowledge [curated by WHW (What, How and for Whom)]. Religious groups are pressuring the Spanish Ministry of Culture to censure this exhibition. CIMAM is against such pressures on any cultural institution dedicated to promoting the principles of artistic expression and freedom.
The exhibition endeavors to position the notion of critical pedagogy as a crucial element in collective struggles, and explore the tension between individual and social emancipation through education with examples that are both historical and current, and their relation to organizational forms capable of leading unified resistance to the reproduction of capital.
The programming of art institutions is done for the construction of a civil and public space of debate and of a critical discussion around the experiences we share. Art institutions are for freedom, respect and debate; never for repression, violence nor censorship.
CIMAM wishes to encourage debate and civilized exchange of ideas and wants to express the deep concern for the turn of the actions against the freedom of artistic expressions and of the values of dialogue defended by the Museo Reina Sofía (MNCARS).
CIMAM has initiated a petition addressed to the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, to support Manuel Borja-Villel, director of Museo Reina Sofía (MNCARS) and the entire team involved in this exhibition.
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(*) Mujeres Públicas’s “Cajita de fósforos” (2005) consists of two matchboxes depicting, on one side, a burning church building, and on the other, the slogan: “The only church that illuminates is one which burns. Contribute!” (La única iglesia que ilumina es la que arde. ¡Contribuya!). The presentation of the piece by Mujeres Públicas, an Argentine feminist collective, was equated by one religious organization to a use of public funds by the state museum to “insult Christians.”