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The artists denounce the interference of the mayor of Vigo when taking control of the Marco Museum

A group of creators presents today a manifesto with 500 companies of the sector demanding a public contest to direct the center that the Council considers elitist

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The artists denounce the interference of the mayor of Vigo when taking control of the Marco Museum

The Museum of Contemporary Art (Marco) in Vigo, public space that gained respect for rigor of its proposals, accumulates dust. After 15 years of activity, in ir halls hangs since January only silence. The withdrawal of financial support from old savings banks absorbed by government, depletion of or contributions and rivalries between institutions of different signs have been vaciándolo. Without director and without responsible for exhibitions, he reopened in April with a program prepared by City Council of Vigo, its owner, which is far from its founding objective. The local institution has taken power of framework by appealing to "lack of social profitability" to defend its conversion into "a space in which to welcome enormous patrimony of Galician art that owns this city". Nothing has served requests of institutions, curators, collectors and artists who warn that "Finiquita Model Museum" betting on a "populist, taste of Lord Mayor", socialist Abel Caballero.

Artists warn that "Finiquita Model Museum" betting on a "populist, taste of Lord Mayor"

This same Tuesday a group of Galician artists presents in Vigo a manifesto that have subscribed more than 500 firms of professionals of art sector of Spain, between directors of museums, critics, artists or curators that demands convocation of a public contest For direction of centre and absence of political interference.

The first battle for control of Marco liberated Knight at meeting of patronage held last June. Taking advantage of tie provoked by absence of one of four vowels of PP, mayor, president of organism, used his vote of quality to "enforce statutes that say that institution with greater financial contribution also has power of Decision ". The city Council, which at this time contributes 74.33% of an annual budget around 800,000 euros (one million less than in 2010), compared to 12.29% of Xunta and 4.30% of Ministry of Culture, took command. He immediately extended members of Board by reinforcing local institution. The Xunta set out in anger and annulled agreement that Ayutamiento has resorted to with argument that far from amending statutes "we have complied".

Ánxel Huete Exhibition last year in Marco. Enrique Touriño

In midst of institutional fray Caballero announced that management would exercise city itself and modified founding objective converting museum in a space open to all kinds of artistic representations (not only plastic and not just art And all local creators. In this case, he crisped artistic institutions that accused him of "fulminating" autonomy that corresponded to framework "as a foundation of Galician interest".

Association of Directors of Contemporary Art of Spain (Adace), Council of Critics of Visual arts, Consortium of Galleries, women in visual arts, union of Associations of Artists of Spain, professional association of Astistas of Galicia and Federation State Association of Cultural Managers (FEAGC) signed a written claiming maintenance of framework "as an essential infrastructure for education and cultural growth of citizenship" and asked interviews with mayor that until Moment has not received m.

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To this request were added artists, gallery owners, art critics, cultural managers, collectors and professors and students of Faculty of Fine Arts in Pontevedra in addition to 7,000 citizens who signed a manifesto, "SOS Marco", driven by Group of friends he claims to remain faithful to founding bylaws.

Firm in its position regarding change of course of museum, alderman tried to stop wave of discomfort summoning a score of contemporary artists to participate in a collective, Metrópole, urban perspective gives Galician art that embedded in midst of a programming It includes a sample of paintings by Colmeiro, a referent of modern art, an exhibition about Jules Verne and a multidisciplinary project (photography, video, sculpture and poetry), Patoque, which aims to explore working process of a shipyard. An offer "that has nothing to do with contemporary art" and which, in opinion of artists "only aims to attract masses to overcome figure of 90,000 annual visitors of Marco, greater than rest of all museums of Vigo toger."

17 of se 20 artists rejected offer and signed a letter claiming alderman to maintain museum as "public space for study, documentation and dissemination of contemporary art" and to ensure, in addition, election of a management team "through Open public contest, transparent and respectful with agreements of good practices in museums and centers of art. "

Gentleman did not yield. He said future of museum would be decided by city. "From now on it will be better," he said. He said that director's Square would be amortized "which saves a very important money" while announcing that it would not yield "to lobbies". "It's all settled," settled. However, city council ended up offering individual exhibitions to artists who rejected collective and who have again dismissed for most part.

A "very expensive" room

In face of protests, councillor for culture, Cayetano Rodríguez, argues that framework "has never been a museum, as evidenced by fact that in 15 years he has been unable to create a collection of his own." The mayor opposes aforementioned "failure" of management to municipal proposal to "adapt it to interest of population of Vigo and Galicia". In his opinion, museums such as framework are nothing more than "very expensive" showrooms that encourage artistic tendencies "at expense of ors".

"We ratify commitment to contemporary art, although desvinculándolo elitist character it has maintained so far and which has always obeyed interests of a perfectly identified pressure group," Rodriguez says in reference to nucleus Founding of framework: a score of artists who in 80s renewed Galician plastic with creation of Atlantica; A project that sought to "discuss country" Galician with technical approaches related to abstract expressionism composed of artists such as Manolo moldes, Ánxel Huete, Ignacio Basalo, Menchu Lamas, Anton Patiño, Mills and Francisco Leiro, among ors.

Convinced that ir discomfort is due only to " loss of control of management" of framework, mayor of Culture affirms that this group "of pressure" vetoed artists of or tendencies. " Why, if not, did y not protest when Xunta reduced by two thirds its economic contribution? Why have y been silent so far? "

The artist and curator Ángel Cerviño reply: "What we demand is absence of political interference in management of framework; That director is not mayor. We want democratic and transparent control of decisions that affect this artistic space. "

Cerviño recognizes that it is necessary to solve problem of low budgetary appropriation that jeopardizes viability of museum but insists that its dismantling "will be an irreparable loss".


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