Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) opens Antoni Abad–2014

The Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) presents Antoni Abad–2014 on view 19 February–24 June 2014.

Antoni Abad,, 2006. San José, Costa Rica, CC (by-nc-nd).

Antoni Abad,, 2006. San José, Costa Rica, CC (by-nc-nd).

In 1996, following an invitation from Roc Parés for the platform MACBA online, a project initiated by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and MACBA, Antoni Abad (b. 1958, Lleida) made Sisyphus, a video installation that reinterprets the classic myth and that also unfolds into a new version for the web: his first foray into the Internet. Since then Antoni Abad has focused on digital media, making proposals as emblematic as Z (2001–3), a work that anticipates the use of social networks.

Based on the above-mentioned investigations, pioneers the exploration of other possible social and communicative uses for mobile phone technologies. Created in 2004, has remained active until the present, not only running parallel to the purely technical transformations of the mobile phone, but also questioning the very different cultural realities and the varied economic and political contexts. This has transformed the project into a real observatory of experiences and positions on the voice of the community and its various problems. is a communicative speaker configured as an invitation to the social groups pushed to the margins of society by the dominant structures: people with limited mobility, illegal immigrants, political refugees, displaced communities, sex workers and professional sectors such as taxi drivers and motorcycle messengers. Through face-to-face meetings and through the use of mobile phones, the proposal encourages these groups to create their own sound recordings, video and photography, which are published instantly on the web. With this, the work becomes a sort of digital megaphone—hence its name—that amplifies the testimony of these groups and communities, often ignored or misrepresented by the mass media, as well as stigmatised by stereotypes. During its first ten years of activity, has explored urban contexts as diverse as Mexico City, Lleida, Geneva, São Paulo, Tindouf (Algeria), Montreal and Manizales (Colombia). In 2006, this proposal received the National Visual Arts Prize of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Golden Nica Award in the Digital Communities category at the Arts Electronica festival in Linz, Austria.

The exhibition at MACBA reunites for the first time the extensive documentation on this decade of activity of, presenting it as an interactive audiovisual installation specifically designed by Antoni Abad for the museum spaces. The museographic presentation particularly explores the transfers between users and the artist, as catalyst. In this way, these experiences go beyond institutional boundaries, transforming the museum into a receptacle for these works, processes and exchanges and, at the same time, connecting it not only with the physical spaces of the city and its geographies, but also with the virtual space, with the perhaps invisible territory—although tangible and above all useful—of the web.

More information: / @MACBA_Barcelona / #megafone

Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona
Hours: Monday, Wednesday–Friday 11am–7:30pm,
Saturday 10am–9pm, Sundays and
public holidays 10am–3pm