Anna Moreno

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Anna Moreno, Spain

Solo Exhibiton
2011  The Barnum Effect. Nau Estruch. Sabadell (october)

Group exhibitions (selection)
2011 Museum Cemento Rezola 10º Aniversario, San Sebastián
         Etapa de Potència. Centre d'Art Torre Muntadas. El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona
         ArteCittà. Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistolerro, Italy
         The Stateless Pavilion. Pirate Camp, 54th Venice Biennale, Italy
         Jour de Fête. The Private Space Gallery, Barcelona
         Speaking Corner. NauEstruch, Sabadell
2010 Unidee Open Studio 2010. Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy
         (D)FEFV videofestival in KrK, Croatia.
         Hours in Fabra & Coats. Fabra & Coats creation factory, Barcelona
         Inund’art. Street Art Festival, Culture House, Girona
2009 Mostra d’Art Jove de Mataró, Barcelona

Performances, interventions and Screenings
2011 The Art of Money Getting. Conference at Teatre Estruch, Sabadell
2010 On Discomfort. Conference at Caixaforum. Barcelona
         Backstage, performance with Kosta Tonev. Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy
2009 L’Alternativa. Screening in the Alternative Film Festival of Barcelona, CCCB.
         Blocs & Docs. Screening in La Capella, Barcelona

2011 Sólo Vídeo: book+dvd, curated by David Arlandis and Javier Marroquí 
         promoted by Sant Andreu Contemporani, Barcelona.
2009 QUAM’09: El Relat de l’Art. ACVIC (Barcelona)
         Development of the online project
         Duetos for the research project Binary Prospections in the University of Barcelona

Prizes and grants
2010 Grant Museum Cemento Rezola (San Sebastián). Mention

Seminars and Workshops (selection)
2011 Speaking Corner, with Antonio Ortega. NauEstruch, Sabadell.
2010 Streaming and online-tv workshop. La Capella, Barcelona
         On Artistic Research. Tony Brown, Guadalupe Echevarría, Dora García,
         Dieter Lesage, Natascha Sadr and Jan Verwoert. MACBA, Barcelona
         Between production and facts. The Reinvention of Artistic Activism.
         Moderated by Marcelo
         Expósito. MACBA, Barcelona
2009 QUAM, El Relat de l’Art. Directed by Andrés Hispano. Vic, Barcelona.
         Disruption. Workshop with Rirkrit Tiravanija, Josep-Maria Martín and Martí Peran.
         Can Xalant, Barcelona
         Preproducció i producció en els processos artístics: de la idea al producte.
         Workshop with Joan Morey. Hangar, Barcelona

2011 Atelierhaus Salzamt (Austria). Artist in Residence (sept-dec)
         NauEstruch. Sabadell, Barcelona. Artist in Residence (july)
         The Stateless Pavilion. Pirate Camp, 54th Venice Biennale, Italy. Artist in Residence
2010 Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto (Italy). Artist in Residence
2009 Fabra & Coats creation factory (Barcelona). Artist in residence

A Critique of Anna Moreno
Andrea Rodríguez Novoa and Verónica Valentini
(Curatorial team based in Barcelona, Spain)

In the particular period of social, political and economic changes we are going through, one of the emerging phenomena is the tendency to transform knowledge into a consumer good and its adaptation to the logic of market economy. In this setup, the function of the artist and the way to make art adopt a different nature from what we know so far. The artist is a worker whose immaterial work is integrated into society.

The role of the artist in contemporary society and their legitimate foray within the economic chain, which implies a vindication regarding professional ethics and the precarization of the sector, represent key aspects in Anna Moreno’s work (1984, Barcelona). Her research equally prioritizes both theory and practice and it is mostly formalized through videos, installations and performances. Works such as the action <Hours in Fabra & Coats>(2010), reflect upon the process of artistic production: in a former textile factory turned into a center of creative production, its current users wear uniforms that belonged to the former workers. Through subtle and hidden messages, the artist transposes problems from other disciplines into the art world, translating the artistic practice into a common language, and likewise suggesting a reverse reading: she questions the viewer from an artistic perspective that is able to connect to other universes. Anna Moreno demands the recognition of artistic practices and claims them to be significant both as a material and immaterial activity. She challenges the usefulness of art to ratify it, so that she breaks with the myth of the creative genius and grants the artistic profession a dimension that situates it within the social chain.

Moreno dislocates concepts and devices and plays precisely with the impact of the message. So she did in the public intervention <Casino>(2010), where a referendum was devised to consult citizens about the conversion of a church into a casino. This work reveals the use of citizenship participation as a means of control and signals the introduction of the concepts that the artist is currently developing.

By calling into question what Nicolas Bourriaud considered in his <Relational aesthetics>(1998) the interactivity of the work of art, Moreno’s work vindicates interpassivity as a value per se. This interactivity is related to the evasion of responsibility by the spectator in regards to whatever they receive: through conflict or unease, the artist questions the public in ideological terms, appealing to their personal involvement and making the responsibility fall in the interstitial tension between artist and spectator.

The introductory piece of her latest project ‘The Barnum Effect’ is entitled after the book The Art of Money Getting(1880), by the american businessman P. T. Barnum, considered the first show business millionaire. Barnum reveals the golden rules for making money through the twenty chapters of the book. The Barnum Effect is also the observation of how individuals approve descriptions of their personality which are supposed to be specific, but are in fact generic and vague. The project consists of a series of works each taking a chapter of the book as a statement, managing to conjugate various core ideas from the artist’s reflection. Going from the economics domain to art, she tests the personalization of the message by the audience and the Barnum Effect among both fields. Likewise, she also explores, in a fictional but convincing way, the dimension of art as money maker, where she questions again the role of artistic production in the social chain. Lastly, her use of language based on means from the entertainment media and other devices that the audience is familiar with, stresses and highlights the active-passive subject.

She charges storytelling with what could be considered a weapon of mass destruction as described by language researcher Christian Salmon, but shemakes use of it in an abstract way, literally forcing the spectator to take a critical stand from the most intimate realm: where social convention ends and the internal echo becomes inevitable. Moreno irritates us by means of negation, by making evident what is ridiculous, by dominating the use and contextualization of language, which is her tool for artistic assertion. <Select the Right Location>, which is the chapter she is currently working on, is focused on precariousness in the world of culture, an idea everybody debates but nobody refutes. So far, at least.