Art transforms and improves us
Enjoy our exhibitions on Museum Day
One year ago, on May 18, 2020, all the world’s museums were closed. Back then, in many countries we had been deprived for more than two months of that face-to-face encounter with works of art, and in many of them the institutions, artists, curators and creators – everyone, to a greater or lesser degree – galvanized themselves online so that society, our audience, could continue to enjoy our collections. Because culture is oxygen, and in every area – theater, dance, publishing, music – we set about continuing to generate it. And as soon as we possibly could, we reopened our venues and spaces to welcome back our audience. I still remember the contained excitement I felt when our first visitors reentered our exhibition venues on June 2.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has been a challenge and has forced us, in leaps and bounds, to transform ourselves. Digital platforms, social networks and virtual channels have all become the showcases through which we have been able to generate new cultural content to stay connected with our audiences – with all of you – during this time and in any circumstances: to do so, we have adapted and increased our digital activities. We could not continue to do the same things; we could not remain immovable before the same gaze nor maintain the same voice after what we experienced. The digital world is a great open showcase that brings us closer and connects us to a new world that expands what we are and what we do. And something we have learnt is that it is always accessible. It never closes.
Here at Fundación MAPFRE we embarked at an almost dizzying pace on the creation of a project we have called “Digital Culture” which aims to amplify the activities which, up to that point, had been focused on our venues. Now that we can take our exhibitions to more people, we wanted to do so from new points of view, with the fresh outlook provided by different collaborators from other cultural fields who further enrich our offering: Nicolás Combarro, Sara Herranz, Luna Miguel and Antonio J. Rodríguez and the figures who they, in turn, wanted to invite to talk about what we do. With them, we want to arouse new curiosities, get closer, discover art through digital channels, because we are convinced that art transforms us and makes us better people.
Digital platforms make culture more accessible, but if there is one thing we are sure of it is that this transformation is generated at the moment we come face-to-face with a work of art, or hand-in-hand with literature, or one-on-one with theater… The magic happens in a close-up situation, when you stand in front of a work in the exhibition room, when a work grabs your attention from the other end of the room and you feel paralyzed by its power, its delicacy, by what it represents, by the framing or the light… it is a healing moment that allows you to rebuild, to escape, to rest, to enjoy, to step outside your reality before returning to it. Museum institutions want to continue generating these kinds of encounters; we want to carry on surprising you ‘up close’, and if you are further away physically we want to give you that same experience through our digital platforms. We are convinced that art leaves no-one indifferent, and, I reiterate, it is transformative.
From now on, we want to consider our exhibitions based on the visitor who might be coming alone, accompanied or in a group, to whom we want to offer an experience. The person is placed at the center; each individual, their capacity for surprise, their desire to learn, their pursuit of enjoyment, the time they have to spend… a one-on-one encounter as the central point.
Fundación MAPFRE will continue to build on the academic discourses that gift us with different worlds, eras and cultures. Our commitment is to continue advocating that one-on-one experience with the work; with the magic of its aura that stops us in our tracks and sometimes even paralyzes us.
Happy Museum Day.
We look forward to seeing you. Always.
Nadia Arroyo Arce, Director of Culture, Fundación MAPFRE.
Feel the magic. Listen to the art.
We want to offer you a world of sensations that every sense will enjoy, in which the melodies of great songs, from Satie to Green Day, accompany you on your museum tour. Thrill to the music on our Museums in Fiction playlist. You’ll enjoy an experience that will change the way you contemplate art.
Get carried away. Immerse yourself in the sound.