Chus Martinez, chief curator, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona and associate curator, 2010 Sao Paulo Biennial

Chus Martinez selects 10 rising stars of the contemporary art scene

The leading international contemporary art curator picks the new best things

Chus Martinez is the chief curator of the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and the associate curator of the 2010 São Paulo Biennial (25 September – 12 December 2010). As one of the ten distinguished curators for Creamier – the latest global survey of today’s most significant emerging artists - Martinez talked to about how she selected 10 rising stars of the contemporary art scene and explains why she thinks an aspiring artist should be wise - and act like an idiot.


Q: You were a curator for the book Creamier. How did you make your decision about which ten emerging artists to include?

I was part of a group of ten curators invited to engage in a conversation about some topical issues facing the contemporary art world, and to introduce ten artists in an early stage in their career. All of the artists I selected are on my horizon and they all have a trait in common: a complex practice that represents a challenge to the viewer, but also to the exhibition situation. These artists are particularly concerned with the question of how to make distinctions, distinctions between what is real and what is imaginary, between sense and absurd, between gesture and agency; ultimately, from whatever angle one may approach these different practices, they always surprise us with a very particular understanding of the meaning of artistic research and its capability to enhance knowledge.


Q: What did you want to say with your choice of artists?

My choices cannot be read as a statement. It is a proposal, an invitation to get involved in the practice of artists, which I myself really learned a lot from. The book provides a snap shot, and can be seen as a departing point, from which other further inquiries concerning the nature of the works can follow on from, thanks to Creamier.


Q: What do you think are the biggest issues facing artists today?

The same as to all of us: an intellectual context where complexity should be a goal and a challenge, not a condition to avoid. The basis of social sciences, with art included as one of them, is a kind of cross-pollination or contamination that moves constantly without coming to a halt at any specific stop. We need a cultural context able to keep up with this movement, with this very productive exercise and its contagious nature. We need a discipline of risk, that is, a social space where we can take risks, but also a social language to address their fundamental importance for the near future. The laws of imagination are not the laws of the convenient.


Q: What’s your advice for aspiring artists?

Again the same as for all of us: to have real fun. That is to keep learning, being surprised, to avoid cynicism, to be wise and to be an idiot as well - in order to be able to free oneself from oneself.


Chus Martinez, thank you.