MuzeuDavis Museum | The Davis Lisboa Mini-Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona

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Davis Museum | The Davis Lisboa Mini-Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona was founded on Facebook in 2009. It is the first contemporary art museum created in a ballot box through social networks. It functions simultaneously as a readymade sculpture, a collective work of art, and a temporary, mutable conceptual space more than a physical one. A provocation to the art establishment. With its own permanent contemporary art collection, The Davis Museum is also a non-profit artistic project that organizes and produces exhibitions, encourages research, and promotes contemporary art exhibitions. Additionally, The Davis Museum organizes traveling exhibitions to other cultural centers, museums and institutions, nationally and internationally, while generating debate, thought, and reflection. Its mission is the selection, presentation, study, dissemination, and preservation of contemporary art by emerging and renowned artists from around the world.

Although The Davis Museum can't challenge the cultural hegemony, it's an example of the emergence of independent museums created by artists to crack the monopoly of big cultural institutions, the establishment, and an attempt to create alternative channels and increase the visibility of contemporary visual creation, organizing exhibitions, uploading videos and publications as an alternative channel of expressive information. And yes, it could be seen as a small revolution in the way we think, organize and act culturally and politically, and not just in the way we create art with more or less exhibition space or funding.

The Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Community of Kingdom of Spain) formally recognizes the Davis Museum’s permanent collection of contemporary art. 




Terry Berkowitz, "Untitled/Water Glass", 2016, engraved water glass, 3,35 x 3,11 in (9 x 8,5 cm)


Davis Museum
The Davis Lisboa Mini-Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona


Hello. I’m Terry Berkowitz ; and I am very happy to be here at the Davis Mini-Museum in Barcelona to talk about my work; and, particularly, to speak about a work that I donated to the Museum which will be exhibited here soon.

I’ve been doing installation art for almost 4 decades. My work consists of video, audio, photography, slide projections sometimes, and whatever objects I need in order to deal with the subject matter that I am interested in which mainly focuses on political and social concepts. I’ve worked with many different topics from rape to people who have lost their homes for political reasons around the world. I have also worked with people in crisis, countries in crisis or groups of people in crisis like the Palestinians or the Sahrauis, who live in refugee camps near Tindouf in Algeria. I worked with a group of women who were raped by the Japanese in the Second World War who are now up there in age. I did a series of portraits of them in the hopes of helping them move toward gaining legal reparations from the Japanese.

I have continued to do this work because I really do believe that art does change things. It doesn’t change things in a dramatic way, it’s not a revolution, but it does change things in small ways… through consciousness raising. When art goes out into the world it really can affect change in a direct way. We are seeing that now because of the dire situation we are in many places around the world.

Recently, I was invited to participate in an exhibition that was in response to someone that was said by the soon to be 45th President of the United States, whose name I don’t want to mention here. The show took place at White Box in New York. As a result of being invited to this show, I decided to do the work that you see here, “Untitled/Water Glass” done in 2016. The work deals with the fact that we are receiving so much disinformation from politicians around the world. Particularly in the United States, we noted that the two parties during the recent election campaign were both creating false news and confusing people about what the real issues were. So, this piece has engraved words in the front, or in the back, it says Half Full and on the other side it says Half Empty. You’ll notice that the glass is completely empty. The reason for this is that you may believe a glass is half full, if you are an optimist like I am, or you may believe that a glass is half empty, as many people do; but in our reality right now, the glass is always empty. This is because we are not being told the truth, and things are being manipulated without our participation and many times without our knowledge.

So this glass is going to remain empty until the political situation changes for the better.

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