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Group show: Medianoche en la ciudad (over)

29 January 2011 until 27 March 2011 ARTIUM - Basque Museum Center of Contemporary Art

ARTIUM - Basque Museum Center of Contemporary Art
C/ Francia 24
01002 Vitoria-Gasteiz
Spain (city map)

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tel +34 945 - 209 0 00

The city should not be read solely as a spatial situation but also as an event in time in which a wide diversity of urban experiences occur. The aim of this exhibition is to attempt to identify or guess the way in which the night—as a specific space/time unlike any other—generates a new urban imaginary with its own codes, experiences and boundaries. In other words, our purpose is to identify how the night modifies the perception and experiences of the city, how it redraws the city’s geography and reconstructs its various metaphors. The night is thus understood as a period spanning a number of hours in which the imagination broadens and we are more receptive to perceptions and sensations which (in the reigning darkness and far from the hubbub of the day) we are incapable of discerning solely with our eyes. The nocturnal landscape of the cities is not a mere interval of time during which to prepare for or await the new day. On the contrary, during the nighttime, new capabilities are exercised, different situations are created and itineraries are established that are unknown, and not even contemplated, during the daytime.

In some respects, the daytime appears at first sight (when all the shops are open, the streets are full of people and the city is bathed in sunshine) to be more plural, varied and colourful than at nighttime, when darkness seems to give a more monochrome sense to the available possibilities, since colours tend to disappear and shapes and reliefs are imperfectly perceived.

As dusk falls, however, when businesses and shops shut up for the night and public centres close, the mute city takes on new faces and forms different landscapes, landscapes that not everyone is familiar with or wishes to discover, landscapes that in some instances remain unexplored by the large majority of the population. From the most violent urban riots and aggressive personal attitudes to the most suggestive poetics, the most fun atmospheres and the most radical festivals, as well as the most prosaic jobs, nighttime in the city is a rich and multifaceted stage, a public space that is difficult to describe or straitjacket, a place where everything seems more fragile and ephemeral in nature, giving it a particularly fascinating aura. The paths, situations, behaviour, attitudes and expectations that nighttime experiences give rise to can lead us to unexpected discoveries.

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