Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

official name Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, MNCARS
organisation type national museum
founding date 1992
city, country Madrid, Spain
address Calle Santa Isabel, 52 28012 Madrid
website url

Today’s world of culture is shaped, on the one hand, by the prominent figures in the culture and communications industry and, on the other, by the diffuse magma of culture producers whose actions are governed by the subordination of their creative singularity. This subordination is manifested in artists having to sell their creative capacity or in their being expropriated of it. In addition, we are in the midst of a systemic crisis to which the museum is not immune. If the economic paradigm based on speculation and easy money has proven unsustainable, it should also be clear that the primacy of the building and of art as spectacle over the museum’s artistic program has ceased to be valid. There is therefore a pressing need to invent other models. Museo Reina Sofía is working to develop various approaches aimed precisely at transforming the museum from a public institution into one that belongs to the common sphere:


  • The Museum’s Collection does not tell a compact and exclusive story, although it is not a hodgepodge of multiculturalism either. Their idea is to build a collection characterised by multiple forms of relation that question their mental structures and the established hierarchies. They propose a relational identity that is neither single-faceted nor atavistic, but rather has multiple roots. This condition creates an openness to the other and to the presence of other cultures and ways of doing things in their own praxis, without fear of a hypothetical loss of identity.


  • The creation of an archive of communality. A kind of archive of archives. They are aware that “the archive” has become a recurring place in contemporary artistic practice, a rhetorical figure that serves to bring together the most dissimilar of actions, often characterised by the mere compilation of an irregular documentation. Following Derrida they ask themselves if perhaps the archive does not bring with it a certain danger of saturation of memory, and even of the denial of the narrative. However, for the archive of communality, the narrative or narratives that its members create are as important as the document itself.


  • Museo Reina Sofía is organising a heterogeneous network of partnerships with groups, social movements, universities, and their bodies that question the museum and generate spaces for negotiation rather than mere representation.