Santa Mònica is an interdisciplinary arts centre dedicated to promoting contemporary creation. Its aim is to serve as a platform for the dissemination of contemporary creativity in Catalonia and as a space for reflection to promote debate and generate ideas about the concepts surrounding artistic creation and its relationship with the public.
The centre starts from the premise that culture is not something static, that it is neither useless nor contemplative, but rather something capable of acting as a tool to speak to us of the present and from the present, to unite us and feed us mutually, to connect our stories with various appropriable futures and to open up new questions for us. Culture is conceived, moreover, not as a body that comes finished from the outside, but as a process in constant mutation that involves us. Today more than ever, we are all builders in real time. Art is the tool at hand that we use every day, inventing new sounds and words, static and moving images, to investigate and experiment with new cultural forms. Art opens up new imaginations capable of giving us meaning in a world full of uncertainties.
In this cultural scenario, Santa Mònica aims to become a space in constant construction of new shared meanings. Inhabited by artists with multiple voices and coming from different disciplines, it assumes the new responsibility of generating frameworks of cultural action open to participation.
Santa Mònica periodically invites a group of artists from different fields to work collectively on creative projects. At the same time, several guilds, hybrid groups formed by public call, experiment with the same institutional infrastructures from their artistic practices as an additional part of the programming. In total, more than forty artists take part every four months in a process of shared construction, grouped under a theme that also takes shape collectively.
The original cloister of the centre –an architectural category that links pre-modern and post-digital creation– thus acts as a community resource, in which builders, together with the various active guilds, work collectively in exercises of liquid authorship. These exercises are resolved in exhibitions and experiential and participatory actions, open to the creativity of citizens through multiple mediations in the centre, in the street and online. The derived exhibitions and actions, therefore, are not anticipated as preconceived and pre-planned programming, but are understood as the results of multiple processes of genuine research, in which error and indeterminacy are always integrated.
At Santa Mònica, everything that happens is going through a first phase of research and experimentation subject to the variations, rectifications and errors inherent to open processes. The results –exhibitions, actions and their corresponding multiple mediations– are focused on provoking, in a second phase, several artistic processes aimed at citizen participation that lead us to open up new meanings.
Creators activated at different levels and the citizens themselves act in connection with the centre in a network logic that provides active roles of concretion and collective decision-making. Through this exercise of institutional unhierarchy, the new Santa Mònica embraces a methodology that encourages diverse formulas of horizontal participation.