An editorial project by Prom collective
Texts by Jordi Claramonte Arrufat, Prom and Tomás Ruiz-Rivas
With the collaboration of Curro Aix, Raisa Maudit and Ramón Mateos
Advisory Board: Diana Ganea and Barbara Krulick
This project is the result of the activities of our collective Prom, a group for artistic production with little hope for commercialization. Since the very beginning, we accepted our lack of ‘coupling’ to artistic circuits and decided to make a virtue of necessity. We found that some interesting things happened once we assumed it. During the time we employed in collective art-making, we followed our own objectives in a whole new way and, more importantly, had to think and do things differently. We became entangled in a collaborative dynamic. The individual gave way to working together and learning from each other.
This platform aims to give continuity to such a way of doing. The different members of our collective search for things and refer them to each other, often adding explanations or translating bit and pieces to facilitate the access for the rest. Every day, we exchange emails and messages under the subject: ‘Hey, check this out!’ Based on the belief that if we kept these materials and connections private they would be lost, we started this project.
In Prom.run we will publish translations, interviews or other records of our own collaborative research. We will rework the materials and suggest those connections that once a member of the collective brought up to the rest. For this first issue, we have recovered some of the materials and ideas from our time in Madrid. Prom met in this Spanish city and where our activity started. So, although now we are scattered around Europe, this is the context of our original exchanges. The material possibilities that this place allowed, the nature of its contemporary art activity and the forms of intellectual activities inspired this dynamic.
However, this is not a sample of what contemporary art is in Madrid. The majority of our collective lives abroad (United Kingdom, Netherlands and Italy) and if our trajectory is marked by something--well, it is by our total lack of connection to the Spanish art scene. To a certain extent, we are 'decoupled' from the Spanish system. Furthermore, we are completely ignorant of the global circuits of contemporary art. None of us has an individual artistic career worth mentioning. For this reason, we are forced to work in different ways—namely, as a collective. There is nothing heroic about this decision. It emerges from our particular condition. In this first issue, we have included a text by Jordi Claramonte’s book “Decoupled”, where this idea is explored drawing on materials from Westerns. Although we do not see ourselves in the heroic nature of the American Star system, there are some resonances with the lack of place for our dispositions in the art world.
Perhaps we could connect this ‘decoupling’ of ours to a more general lack of synchronicity between the Spanish scene and others in Europe. From the outside, it seems like a very active place, where self-man-aged initiatives thrive. But for many people in Madrid, this is the only way to go about it, lacking the infrastructure. During our interviews with people who have been working in this city since the 1990s, we discovered that there was always a need for establishing their own conditions before starting to work properly. Its formulation, however, was different from the traditional institutional critique. We constantly found ourselves discussing cultural policies and the ‘fabric’ of the arts in Spain. Closing this issue, you will find a text by Tomás Ruiz-Rivas, where major preoccupations for structural problems in the country find representation. Most importantly, the statal use of contemporary art as a form of propaganda for national and international audiences.
This publication comes together as translations of materials we find useful, some interviews and introductions to these bits and pieces, and a brief research work. This will be the objective of Prom.run from now on: to provide things that we find useful in navigating the world and rework them for better availability. As Jordi Claramonte Arrufat would say, to create ‘repertoires’ that are ‘generative’, that have a potential for spreading and contaminating other ways of doing. We do not aspire to become an art journal. Even if we wanted to, this is not a possibility: we work slow and half of the time is spent undoing what was already done. And as ‘decoupled’ as we are also from the specialized media, this gives us the chance to do things differently. Why would we try to compete with the Art Newspaper?
Printed by Silvio Corsini at La Cooperativa Tipolitografica, Carrara (Italy)
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