Michel Foucault imagined the heterotopia as a space capable of containing, virtually and simultaneously, several times and spaces, whose coexistence would be impossible in every other context. The Museum of World Cultures of Barcelona is, with its silent collection of objects and figures from all around the world, a heterotopian space par excellence. Avenida Paradise aims to establish a dialogue between the virtuality of the museum and the materiality of the space that contains it: its memory, its architecture and the power relationships that sustain it.
The Museum of World Cultures is part of the wider matrix of the Museum of Ethnology, founded in 1948 under Franco’s regime. Under the directorship of August Panyella, the museum adquired most of its collection through ethnological journeys (financed by the Council of Barcelona until 1976) to countries such as Morocco or Equatorial Guinea (a Spanish colony until 1968, mainly exploited by Catalan bourgeoisie). The Council of Barcelona bought several palaces of the Montcada Street in that same period, being one of them Casa Mora, which hosts the Museum of World Cultures since 2015, in a huge operation of urban renewal and beautification of the old city directed by Adolf Florensa. The renovation plans aimed to create a “historical image” of the old city, and involved the demolition of modern housing blocks and the expulsion of neighbours, in which was qualified as a great success for the construction of the “Barcelona brand”.
Avenida Paradise is a site-specific dance performance, that combines a series of abstract and repetitive movements with a voiceover description of the space that binds together Barcelona’s past as a colonial metropolis, the connections between its bourgeoisie and Franco’s regime, and the renewal project of the old city carried out in the 60s with the current discussions about tourism in the city.
Choreography Javier Guerrero
Dramaturgy Marc Villanueva Mir
Performers Èlia Genís, Laura Lliteras, Amanda Rubio
Sound design Sergi Aroya
Light & sound Jaume Cañasveras
Executive producer Marina Fullana
Production Montón de paja & trigo
With the support of Graner, centre de creació