Agreements, Conflicts, and Censorship in the Artistic Field

Lecture by Martin Fritz (Vienna)
April 12th, 2016

In spring of 2015, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) hit the headlines. Disputes surrounding a sculpture by the Austrian artist Ines Doujak featured in the show »The Beast and is the Sovereign« (curators: Hans D. Christ, Iris Dressler, Paul B. Preciado, and Valentín Roma) led to in-house rifts that resulted in briefly cancelling the entire exhibition – a decision by the then director of the MACBA, Bartomeu Marí, which he revoked just a few days later. The show – which was also on view last fall at the Wuerttembergische Kunstverein in Stuttgart and nominated exhibition of the year 2015 by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) Germany – was ultimately opened, but the consequences were far-reaching. A few days after the controversy began, the curators responsible for the exhibition at MACBA were dismissed. The decision to dismiss the curators was confirmed by the museum’s board, while simultaneously accepting the resignation of the director.

The lecture of Martin Fritz (Vienna), curator, consultant and publicist with a jurisprudential background, deals with the legal aspects of the controversy and uses them as an occasion to reflect in a more fundamental way on agreements, conflicts and censorship in the art field.