Dining Rooms

Espai 13

Exhibition program
The End Is Where We Start From
Mariona Moncunill
Curated by
Karin Campbell

Mariona Moncunill’s new project for Espai 13, titled Dining Rooms, grew from the artist’s experience working in customer service in three of the institutions included on articket-BCN, a Barcelona museum network that offers a single ticket to visit seven art centers in the city. During that time, Moncunill became curious about how the “behind-the-scenes” operations of arts institutions are received by both their staff members and the visiting public. Additionally, she questioned whether all of her co-workers truly recognized their implicit connection to Barcelona’s extensive cultural network. Producing a new project for the Fundació Joan Miró, also an articketBCN museum, became Moncunill’s opportunity to return to these issues from the “inside,” using the investigative techniques and collaboration-centric approach that distinguish her artistic practice.

Dining Rooms, like many of Moncunill’s site-specific projects, focuses on the social dynamics found within a certain context. Turning her attention to the staff dining room, a space that tends to be the locus of social interaction in many businesses, this project explores the relationships that develop among workers within institutions and the physical conditions that help to shape interpersonal engagement. Through her research into these spaces, Moncunill determined that break rooms are thought to critically impact how labor is conducted in the long-term, as well as how individuals perceive their workday experiences.

By creating a “chain of windows” from one institution to the next, Dining Rooms aims to symbolically link together these experiences.

The immaculate architectural photographs by Néstor Marchador hanging in Espai 13, which show the intervention entitled The Dining Room within the Dining Room, are the concrete byproducts of Moncunill’s engagement with the articketBCN system. While these objects are compelling elements of the project in their own right, they also speak to the artist’s ongoing commitment to pursuing collaboration in her practice, a working methodology that she believes can also be found in cultural institutions. Working alongside a photographer, Néstor Marchador, a graphic design studio, ferranElOtro, a human resources expert, Maite Inglés y García de la Calera, and an interior designer, Lester Barreto, Moncunill has synthesized her dialogue with a specific group of people - the staff who use these spaces - into a project that speaks to a broader audience by placing a human face (or, rather, many human faces) on the business of cultural production and management within the articketBCN system.

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Karin Campbell, Curator