a destiempo

There is an interior interior

Karla Noguez

Karla Noguez is a curator and art historian. She was a curator, curatorial assistant and educational coordinator of the Museo Tamayo . Previously, he was a research assistant for the Dept. of Education of the Museo Carrillo Gil. She is co-founder of the illustration fair Dealer.

This floorplan of the ESPAC headquarters overlaps what can be read between the lines of the content of the exhibitions that have been produced there and is also an opportunity to think about ESPAC without the thematic echo of its projects. For different reasons, each of these shows opened the possibility to alter and question formats and as a result also invited change within the structures and models of other spaces dedicated to art.

The text fragments gathered here have been extracted from the publications of the exhibitions and now, far from their source themes and without their authors, are reorganized to become testimonial traces of a process of construction: an ambiguous, but well intentioned venture to find new models for “art institutions.” The quotes highlight how each member of ESPAC and their collaborators have read and understood the place that this institution occupies and how in different levels have appropriated its rhetorical resources as a space of exhibition to build from them.

Thus, this exercise is also a revision of the significant subtleties that have been proposed by ESPAC in terms of work relationships and processes of production, disclosing  its constant reconfigurations and renouncing of formats, roles, personalities or procedures. 

This exercise is: an institution with subtitles; the museum layout of an exposed institution; a search about the multiple people that subvert spaces and form institutions.

This floor plan seeks to condense a flow of interconnected voices.
Each phrase can be found between the pages of ESPACS’s–until now–eight publication-exhibitions. Each of the collaborators involved contributed in one way or the other to this thought diagram.

In order to introduce a new proposal of entity, from the beginning ESPAC has defined itself as “institution,” just like that, in lowercase, thereby blurring the rigid lines that delineate our notion of this term, while simultaneously carrying it forth and intuitively flowing in this becoming. ESPAC found its place as an organism that allows itself to be constantly broken through, a discontinuous institution that overflows without fear of the imposition of finitude, order and productivity.

Before being a sentence on procedures and methodologies, an “institution” is a consensus, a free and variable agreement. “Instituting” is also the word we can use to say that something is initiated. Something is “instituted” while something is sought. In another layer of meaning, an institution is also the relationship of a set of objects and subjects, of spatial, human, sensible, symbolic and capital resources. The space of ESPAC is like many others, a house: a structure originally designed for intimate coexistence: to have breakfast, get dressed, walk barefoot, sleep, rest, abstract oneself… conspire. At some discretionary point, the reflections and analysis about the house ended up permeating the project itself and fused with the work team. It provides what its domestic dimensions allow it to offer to a group of subjects-bodies in terms of closeness, dialogue, trust and a questioning of exhibition discourses. As by genetic memory it ended up being an ideal place to invite, a space to open oneself to doubt and risk. How else would it have been so easeful and comfortable to invite someone to steer towards the path of contingency and confrontation.

Further within, in the architecture of the subjective, the flowchart shows dialogue diagrams, not hierarchical flows. Thereupon, the designer writes, the director is the official photographer and the curator gives concerts. The personalities of those who work there are not annulled by their appointed role, rather they turn toward the use of the spaces. 

In an “office,” not everything is said, but everything peeks through. A porous structure also seeks to take into consideration what is insinuated. The means of what is exposed, what is read between the lines of an email, a chat between two, a gesture, or any signal becomes an interrogation. At ESPAC a hallway conversation has the potential to become content and not just a way to pass time. Again, the house: how can a hallway interfere, define or provoke a specific type of communication and not another? Chatting in a long corridor cannot be the same thing as chatting in a short one. “Making” from a house-institution, is not the same thing as “making” from a building-institution. Sitting in front of someone and not back to back alters something. Finally, it doesn’t matter if the show being inaugurated is of film, contemporary painting or of commissioned works, if the hallway is used to display the work or if there is a closed-door performance, the preference for interconnected subjectivity remains and permeates all these scenarios. What I suspect ESPAC is telling us to read between the lines is: without a clear support or becoming, let’s open the institutions, let's interfere with the words that define them from verbal language, but most of all, from the non-verbal.