Operating at a Necessary Distance from Institutions: A Case Study of the Barcelona-Based Collective Enmedio

Spring 2019

This article explores the conflicted relationship between creative activism and the art world, through an analysis of the Barcelona-based activist collective Enmedio. It traces the emergence of Enmedio back to their involvement in Las Agencias, a radical collaboration between activist groups and the Museu D’art Contemporani, Barcelona (MACBA) in 2001, the outcome of which led the members of Enmedio to conclude that they needed to ‘work at a necessary distance from institutions’. Taking this position as a jumping off point, this article questions the efficacy of such an approach and asks on what terms, if any, a relationship between anti-institutional actors and the art establishment can be mutually beneficial?