Observatorio de Cultura

Newsletter Nº 26. Culture Observatory (January2014)
Área de cultura del Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza

Editorial

 

2013, CULTURAL YEAR

We start a new year with new energy and hopes, reviewing some of the most important cultural events of 2013. This has been a cultural year full of positive and negative things, as any other, but that has left us a good taste and a pulsing and restless soul to continue to work to improve the cultural life of this city that we live in and love.

2013 has left a trace of cultural satisfaction in Zaragoza and an acknowledgement for the work done by its institutions, especially by its artists and creators. There has been very important and highly attended plastic exhibitions such as the retrospective of Eduardo Laborda; the prizes awarded to cultural journalists (Antón Castro), photographers (Rafael Navarro) and bookshops (Asociación de Librerías de Zaragoza); the opening of the Origami School-Museum of Zaragoza, the only one in Spain; or the 5th Iberoamerican Conference of Culture, all of them examples of the cultural atmosphere lived in the city in the year 2013.

Among the exhibitions we can highlight Eduardo Laborda, Retrospectiva 1972-2012, at la Lonja with an attendance of over 50,000 visitors. The show focused on his plastic works, including from sculpture paintings to urban landscapes. Special mention for his works on humanised mythology in which he draws goddesses of the Antiquity with present day faces taken from average women. 15 drawings, portraits from people closely related affectively with the artist, were included in another section.

Other important exhibitions in 2013 were: Santiago Lagunas at Palacio de Sástago, Bicentenario at Museo Ibercaja Camón Aznar, El eterno femenino at Patio de la Infanta of Ibercaja; at sala Luzán of CAI, Zaragoza 1988 by Cristina Huarte and Alejandro Monge, Blancanieves by José Luis Cano at Casa de los Morlanes, Espíritu creativo by María Cristina Gil Imaz at Palacio de Montemuzo and Sextas y Vísperas at the Museum of Caesaraugusta Theater, among others.

The Association of Professional Photographers of Aragon (AFPA) held on 26 January 2013 at the old Casino Mercantil of Zaragoza, current siege of Bantierra bank, the 15th Gala of the Goya Awards of Photography and Video, event with 448 photo works and 48 audiovisual proposals received from the whole of Spain.

The Faith Keepers was the most awarded band in the Aragonese Music Awards 2013: Best Band, Best Album with "Leap of Faith", and Best Live Show. Lírico was awarded in the category of Best Singer and the band with more future was Ticket. Aer. The Special Award for a Whole Life in Music was for Javier Ezpeleta, and Gavy Sander´s and Loquillo were awarded the Global Award of Aragon Music.

The Festival of Independent Music of Zaragoza (FIZ) held in 2013 its 13th edition with important international artists such the British disc-jockey Fatboy Slim and Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), and Spanish indie bands such as Dorian, Supersubmarina and The Zombie Kids; and among local bands Big City, Chelis, Galimatías and The Cigarettes.

Among the most important music concerts at Zaragoza Auditorium: Les Arts Florissants, The World Orchestra, the Chorus of the Opera of the National Theatre of Brno and the Symphonic Orchestra of Vienna, among others.

Los Lügers was the indie band winner of 2013 edition of Pop Rock contest for new bands organised by Interpeñas, with the participation also of Amorica (Huesca), Mârmara (Gerona), Ara Musa (Madrid), El Viejo Astra (Canary Isles), Camille (Huesca), and Los Chicos Voodoo, The Shimm, Grados, Krauss, SonosFear and Crisálida (Zaragoza).

 

The play Transición was chosen as the best play of 2013 by the critics of the magazine El Cultural. The authors of the text are Julio Salvatierra and Alfonso Plou and the directors Santiago Sánchez and Carlos Martín. Transición was born for the alliance of three companies: the Aragonese Teatro del Temple (Teatro de las Esquinas), Valencia L´Om-imprebís, and Teatro Meridional from Madrid, boosted by the National Drama Centre.

Among the plays of 2013 it can be highlighted Julio César by W. Shakespeare, Lúcido by Rafael Spregelburd, the Bolero of Ravel by the ballet of Victor Ullate at Teatro Principal; teatro Che y Moche, La Copla Negra by Chirigóticas or El Licenciado Vidriera by Cervantes, performed by Teatro del Temple at the Teatro de las Esquinas

Antón Castro was National Prize of Cultural Journalism 2013. The jury stressed the work done by Antón Castro in the media, especially in the paper Heraldo de Aragón and the tv programme Borradores of Aragón Televisión.

2013 has been the year of the bookshops of Zaragoza. Three of them have celebrated its anniversary: Antígona, 25 years; Cálamo, 30 and Librería París, 50. Los Portadores de Sueños has been chosen as the best Cultural Bookshop by its work in the diffusion of reading. Zaragoza Association of Bookshops does an essential work for the promotion of these indispensable literary places, being awarded the Aragonese of Year award in the cultural area in 2012.

 

The photographer Rafael Navarro was awarded Aragón Goya Award 2013 for his "rigor and technical perfection of a meticulous researcher in a constant artistic renovation, with a work that occupies a fundamental place in current Aragonese photography". Rafael Navarro is one the pioneers of artistic photography in Spain.

 

At the end of 2013 opened the Origami Museum-School of Zaragoza at the Centro de Historias, the first European museum of the origami, thanks to the collaboration between Zaragoza Group of Origami and the Municipality of the City. The museum organises activities and courses for partners and fans on the art of the origami. More information: www.emoz.es.

Without any doubt, one of the most important cultural events of Zaragoza in 2013 has been the 5th Iberoamerican Conference of Culture. During three days, from 20 to 22 November 2013, more than 1,400 people and representatives from 12 official delegations of Iberoamerican countries have listened to 174 speakers, have attended to 21 round tables and have known 20 digital experiences and 21 projects of cultural entrepreneurship. More than 4,000 tweets were recorded, reaching an audience of over 12 million people added to the more than 5,000 people who followed online the event through a streaming broadcasting of the main papers, tables and speeches. More information: www.culturaiberoamerica.org.

 

 

Observing Zaragoza

 

Teatro Principal will take part in 2014 in the Programa Platea of the Ministry of Culture

The goal of PLATEA program is to boost a joint program by local stage companies in order to reactivate and enrich its cultural program, making it easier communication between them and favouring the access of citizens to culture

http://www.mcu.es/principal/docs/novedades/2013/lista_parcial_entidades.pdf

Centenary of Julio Cortázar

Two speeches by Jorge Sanz Barajas: Un cronopio es una flor, dos son un jardín and No es absurdo, es ignorancia have served to celebrate the centenary of Julio Cortázar at Centro Pignatelli.

13th edition of Cálamo Awards 2013

La habitación oscura by Isaac Rosa (Seix Barral) has obtained the award "Book of the Year 2013". The award Cálamo "Otra Mirada 2013" has been for Daniela Astor y la caja negra by Marta Sanz (Anagrama); the award "Extraordinary 2013" for Oh, la l?art by El Roto (Libros del Zorro Rojo).

 

Observing Zaragoza Cultural Firms

We interview Julio Alvarez Sotos, director of Galería Spectrum Sotos

How do you come up with the idea of creating this project and why? What is its distinguishing feature? Galería Spectrum Sotos was founded in 1977 with the goal of spreading and boosting photography as a work of art, proposed by Albert Guspi who was the director of the Galería Spectrum Canon of Barcelona. From the very beginning Spectrum Sotos has developed also education activities, giving courses of photography, filling out with this activity the formation aspect of this plastic discipline. This has been fundamentally the differential factor compared to other similar projects.

What difficulties have you found? Have you received any aid? During the first decades, lack of understanding and skepticism by part of the arts sector and economic difficulties that continue up to now. During the first five years we have been sponsored by Canon and occasionally we have received aids and grants from Aragonese institutions for taking part in art fairs and exhibitions.

What have you learnt from this initiative? To have a wonderful job as a gallery owner despite the economic problems derived from doing this in a city such as Zaragoza not very inclined to this kind of cultural projects.

What projects are you developing right now? Some of them in collaboration with other firms? An exhibition of the collection of Galería Spectrum Sotos with the Municipality of Pamplona for next summer in a municipal space.

What will you recommend to somebody thinking on starting an entrepreneurial project? If it is a cultural project, to think it over since economic profitability is not assured today. Profits are more personal that entrepreneurial.

 

We interview Eugenio Mateo Otto, coordinator of the art space Nazca

How do you come up with the idea of creating this project and why? What is the distinguishing feature of it? After the closing of the Espacio Cultural Adolfo Dominguez after four years, we launched a new exhibition project that we had previously designed in a room fully prepared for it. This was the beginning of Espacio de Arte Nazca. As a difference with the rest of galleries, ours is a non-lucrative space and our goal is to help the promotion of plastic artists.

What difficulties have you found? Have you received any aid? We can´t talk about difficulties. All has been easy thanks to the collaboration of our sponsor. We have received a total help from them.

What have you learnt from this initiative? As we are in the beginning, we can only stress the wholehearted support of the world of culture, media and so many friends of the ECAD. It hasn´t been a trivial contribution.

What projects are you developing right now? And in collaboration with other firms? On 22 January starts our project with the first exhibition. We collaborate for spreading and synergies with the traveling company Doctor Vacaciones, placed at the top floor of the EDAN.

What will you recommend to somebody thinking on starting an entrepreneurial project? That once established the goals and possibilities of continuity and if the prospects are favourable, don´t think twice.

 

Observing Spain

 

In this number of our newsletter, we take a look at some of the most important cultural events of 2013.

In cinema, Blancanieves by Pablo Berger obtained the Goya prize 2013 to the best film of the year. Among films released in 2013 we can stress 15 años y un día by Gracia Querejeta, selected by the Spanish Academy to represent Spain in the Oscars but not shortlisted. Mama and Zipi y Zape y el club de la canica by Oskar Santos have been the top blockbusters in 2013, and La gran familia española by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo and Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi by Álex de la Iglesia are among the most seen films. Several film critics, journalists and professionals have chosen as the best Spanish films of the year Gente en sitios by Juan Cavestany, Caníbal by Manuel Martín Cuenca and La herida by Fernando Franco.

In 2013 the money obtained from tickets sold has continued to go down, a 16% less than in 2012, whereas the Ministry of Finance has collected three times more thanks to the increase of the TVA, from 8% to a 21%. According to experts, this is due to the combination of three factors: piracy, increase of the TVA from 8% to 21% and the economic crisis. During the fiesta del Cine, 1,573,412 tickets were sold at 2.90 Euro each one, in other words seven days more than the three days of the previous week and doubling the attendance at the Fiesta del Cine in 2012. We can draw a first conclusion: the price of the tickets is an important factor for the fall in the attendance.

In the field of plastic arts, the exhibition on Salvador Dalí Sueños y pesadillas held in the Museo Reina Sofía of Madrid and composed of 200 works of art, has been the most visited event with 732,339 people during its four months, and according to the main Spanish journals one of the ten best of the country. Among them La belleza encerrada and Velazquez at the Museo del Prado (Madrid) and La Villa de los Papiros at la Casa del Lector on Herculano and its library buried by the Vesubius. These exhibitions are open until next February.

 

Other exhibitions were Yo Picasso. Autorretrato at the Museo Picasso, and George Méliès. La magia del cine at CaixaForum, a retrospective exhibition devoted to the first magician of the cinema and a unique opportunity to deepen into the universe of one of the biggest visionaries of the Seven art.

In literature, according to the ISBN -the agency that collects the data of the books published every year in Spain- a fall of a 15% has been registered in 2013. From 85,261 publications in 2012 we are now in 72,494. The fall is even bigger if compared with 2011 when 98,254 publications were published, a 26% more than in 2013. Nevertheless the publication of e-books increased a 2% compared to last year. The number of reissues has plunged: a fall of a 31% compared to 2012. The year has not been good for reprinting either: a 14% less than in 2012.

About awards, Antonio Muñoz Molina has obtained the prize Príncipe de Asturias of the Arts.

In music, in 2013 took place the first centenary of Verdi and the second of Wagner with many concerts, and in popular music, over 10,000 netsurfers voted in the poll of a national paper for Lori Meyers, Guadalupe Plata and Bunbury as the authors of the three best albums of pop music in Spain. At the end of November Promusicae published the White Book of Music with the confirmation of the fall in the number of CDs sold. 11.4 millions of albums were sold in 2012 compared to the more than 52 millions a decade before (which means a fall of a 71.5%). And that despite of the fact that the average price of CDs has not stopped to fall in Spain: 9.18 Euro in 2014, 7.93 in 2008 and 7.41 euros in 2012 (despite the drastic increase of the VAT). According to these figures, Spain occupies the seventh place in the European market of music after Britain, Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands and Sweden.

In theatre, the actor and director Ramón Barea has been National Prize of Theatre 2013 given by the Ministry of Culture "by his large trajectory as a global man of theatre, developing all the works in this field: actor, director, playwright and producer" and " combining risky projects with others with a wide national spreading". The playwright Antonio Morcillo has won the Prize SGAE of Theatre 2013 for his play Bangkok.

 

Observing Europe

 

Marseille and Kosice have been the European Capitals of Culture 2013. As every year, two European cities have been chosen as European capitals of culture, this time representing France and Slovakia. Both cities have developed an extent agenda of cultural activities.

 

Among the most successful exhibitions organised in Europe in 2013 is Il Palazzo Enciclopedico in Venice with works of Spanish artists such as Paloma Polo and José Carlos Casado, forming part of the 55th edition of Venice Biennial, one of the biggest art showcases of the world labiennale.org). The Musée d´Orsay of Paris organised the exhibition L´ange du bizarre. Le romantisme noir de Goya a Max Ernst with works of Delacroix, Géricault, Goya and Max Ernst (musee-orsay.fr). It is also important the reopening of the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam (www.rijksmuseum.nl).

 

In music, in 2013 have been celebrated the 50 years of the first album of the Beatles, released in 1963, and the return to the stages of stars such as David Bowie and Paul McCartney.

 

Observing Latin America

 

Montevideo has been the Iberoamerican capital of culture in 2013 and has organised many different cultural events: music, theatre, cinema, festivals, meetings? that can be visited in:

http://capitalcultural2013.montevideo.gub.uy/la-memoria

In cinema, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Venezuela or Brazil join other countries with a long film tradition such as Mexico, Cuba and Argentina, with very interesting films that are obtaining international awards and an increasing presence abroad. It must also be stressed co-productions, increasingly frequent among Latin America and other countries, opening more doors to distribution, mainly in Spain. Some of them have been distributed this year in our country.

Cuba has held in Havana the 35th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, incorporating irony to its social cinema. The First Prize of this festival held the first week of December was awarded to the Mexican film Heli by Amat Escalante, that also obtained the Prize to the Best Director in Cannes Festival. The second prize was for El lugar del hijo, by the Uruguayan Manuel Nieto Zas, whereas the Special Prize of the Jury was for Wacolda of the Argentinian Lucía Puenzo, also awarded as the best director at the Festival Sur.

Other awards obtained by Latin American cinema in 2013 has been the Goya Prize 2013 to the best Iberoamerican film to the Cuban Juan de los muertos by Alejandro Bruqués, and one of the nominations for the Oscar 2013 in the category of Best Foreign Film has been for the Chilean No of Pablo Larraín, even though the Oscar went to the French film L´Amour by Michael Haneke. The Concha de Oro to the best film of San Sebastián Film Festival 2013 was for Pelo Malo of the Venezuelan Mariana Rondón, a film co-produced by Venezuela, Peru and Germany, and the Concha de Plata to the best director was for the Mexican Fernando Eimbcke for his film Club Sandwich.

 

Observar Latinoamérica

 

In literature, in 2013 took place the 6th International Conference of Spanish Language in Panama where it was shown the competence existing for a market of nearly 500 millions of Spanish language speakers, with an important number of young people and children. The two sectors fighting are the sector of cultural digital distribution and traditional publishing, presently being restructured. According to the vicepresident of Grupo Planeta, José Creuheras Margenat, the six big Western publishing houses had a turnover of 25,000 million euros last year, whereas the biggest Internet firms 160,000 million euros, nearly six times more.

 

Especially important in the year 2013 has been the Cervantes Prize awarded to Elena Poniatowska, a writer living in Mexico and the fourth woman to obtain it in the 37 years of these awards.

 

Altazor Prizes of Chile awarded the Prize of Fiction to Antonio Gil for Retrato del diablo, and that of poetry to Rosabathy Muñoz for Polvo de huesos.

 

We want to mark the death of one of the great Latin American writers. At the beginning of this year 2014 has died the Argentinean writer Juan Gelman, considered as the greatest poet of his country. He has written more than 30 books and has won important prizes of literature in Spanish, among them the Cervantes, Juan Rulfo and the Iberoamerican Pablo Neruda and the Reina Sofía of poetry.

 

In music, the Grammy awards of this year have been these: Best album of Latin Pop for Juanes, best album of Latin Jazz for Ritmo of the Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band, best album of Latin rock, urban or alternative to Imaginaries by Quetzal. The Cuban musician Arturo Sandoval has also obtained the Grammy to the best album of a Jazz Big Band for Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You).

 

In the USA, among independent musicians with Hispanic ancestors, there has been awarded in 2013 Devendra Banhart, a Texan singer-songwriter of Venezuelan mother; and the Californian-Ecuadorian Roberto Carlos Lange.

 

Observing the World

 

In cinema, the most recognised films by professionals and the public in 2013 have been La vie d´Adèle by Abdellatif Kechiche, winner of the Palm d´Or of Cannes, Django Unchained by Quentin Tarantino, Mud by Jeffe Nichols, Gravity by Alfonso Cuarón, L´amour by Michael Haneke (who has also been awarded the Prize Príncipe de Asturias of the Arts 2013), The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino, 12 Years a Slave by Steve McQueen, and American Hustle. At Cannes Festival, the Prize of the Jury was for Like Father, Like Son, by the Japanese Hirokazu Kore-eda and the Best Screenplay for Jia Zhangke for A Touch of Sin. The Oscar to the best film was to Argo by Ben Affleck.

In literature Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize of Literature and her last work Dear Life has been chosen as one of the best books of the year. Among the books published in Africa we can stress We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, winner of the Caine Prize in 2011 and nominated to the Booker Prize 2013 and first black women (Zimbabwean) to obtain this award. Nevertheless, the Booker Prize 2013 was for the New Zealander Eleanor Catton, that being 28 years old, is the youngest author to obtain this award of 50,000 pounds (59,000 euros) with her novel The Luminaries.

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2013/10/16/cultura/1381915260.html . http://enpositivo.com/2014/01/mejor-literatura-africana-2013/

 

 

 

In classical music the most important albums have been: Bartók/Prokófiev. Concerts for Piano number 2 y 3 by Lang Lang and the Philarmonica of Berlin, and Liebe paradiso, by Celso Fonseca and Ronaldo Bastos.

 

The 55th edition of the Grammy Award 2013 held in Los Angeles, awarded to the indie rock band The Black Keys its prizes to the Best Band, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance. This 2013 edition has been one of the most shared. The band Fun has obtained two Golden Gramophones to the Best Song of the Year for We are young and the best New Band. The award for the Best Album of the Year has been for Babel by the Londoners Mumford & Sons and the Best Record of the Year for the Belgium Gotye and his Somebody That I Used to Know. The British singer Adele obtained six Grammy in last year´s edition and, by second year in a row has been awarded the prize to the Best Pop Solo Performance for her song Set fire to the rain.

 

 

In 2013 has also died Lou Reed, one of the referents of alt. rock.

In Africa, plastic artist have continued with their internationalization without losing their distinguishing features. New York´s Brooklyn Museum has hosted the works of the Ghana artist El Anatsui in an individual exhibition, and a magic sculpture-fabric hanged on the facade of Burlington House, a few metres from Piccadilly Circus in London. The British Royal Academy of Art also awarded him the prestigious Prize Charles Wollaston of 25,000 pounds and the most important award of the famous Summer Exhibition. Art Depot included this sculpture in the list of the 30 artistic events to attend in 2013. In Sudan is born a new generation of artists searching for innovation. This is the case of Dar Al Naim Mubarak, Dara a Spanish-Sudanese artist that represents a new form of see Contemporary art. Her work is founded in a mix of different worlds and has been exposed in London, Berlin, New York, Khartoum and in 2013 in Barcelona.

El Anatsui (Ghana, 1944) is considered today as one of the most important artists of contemporary art. This artist experiments in his works with recycled objects, among them aluminium and small objects, thousands of small pieces "sew" by the artist and creating sumptuous and huge fabrics. Due to its brightness, the observer thinks that s/he is seeing luxurious fabrics, as imitations of golden clothes of an Ashanti king or the chain mail of a medieval warrior. The effect is surprising while one approaches and discovers that they are made of banal and everyday objects. http://www.afribuku.com/

Among cultural events of 2013, a new edition of the Festival Vivid Sydney took place in this Australian city,tripling the area devoted to lights and with the participation of international artists from USA, Germany, Italy, Greece, Malaysia, Korea, Poland, Brazil and New Zealand.

For the first time, the famous Harbour Bridge of Sydney was lit with an installation of programmable and interactive lights placed at the Western side of the bridge and controlled by the public from an interactive tactile screen, with the collaboration of Intel and Sydney 32 Hundred Lightning. There were also impressive water sources, showings in a water screen and lights and water shows. The Opera of Sydney opened with presentations by Bobby Womack, legend of rhythm and blues and soul, and Kraftwerk, one of the pioneers of electronic music, that opened the first of four nights of its acclaimed retrospective series who had a sold-out in New York´s MoMA and London´s TATE Modern.

http://www.vividsydney.com/media-centre/

 

Calls

 

Program for the Creation and Consolidation of Cultural and Creative Industries. From 3 February to 14 March 2014. Free. Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Zaragoza.

fundacion@basilioparaiso.com

 

Contest of digital photography Leica and The Macallan: Capture the Character of Your Land. Forming part of the 4th edition of "Masters of Photography". Open until 30 January 2014.

www.themastersofphotography.com

 

 

Fundación Contemporánea and the Círculo de Bellas Artes of Madrid present the fourth edition of the most important event for the professionals of cultural management in Spain. The program of activities will focus on the internationalization of the Spanish institutions and companies and the support to cultural entrepreneurs. Until 31 January.

www.fundacioncontemporanea.com/publica-14

 

Open the call for plastic artists for a period of residence at the Rijksmuseum

ww.rijksakademie.nl application@rijksakademie.nl

 

Information day of the program "Creative Europe" and "Europe with the Citizens", 30 January 2014 at 10 am in the Conference Hall of the Aragonese Institute of the Youth (c/Franco y López, 4). Free entrance until the venue is full. Confirm attendance at:

dgcultura@aragon.es