Agustín Pérez Rubio
Agustín Pérez Rubio. Former Director MUSAC, MALBA, Curator 11th Berlin Biennale, Independent Curator, Madrid, Spain
Years professionally involved in the contemporary art museum field: 26 years.
Have you served on another board or organization similar to CIMAM? Yes
If so, where and how long have you served? CIMAM Board 2017-2022
Short bio. Describe also your involvement with CIMAM and the museum community:
Pérez Rubio was born in Valencia, Spain in 1972. He has a degree and Ph. in art history from the Universidad de Valencia. He has curated over one hundred and sixty exhibitions at important museums and art centers, biennales, etc. mainly in Europe and Latin America.
He was the former Chief Curator, and Director, of MUSAC from 2003-2013, he organized monographic exhibitions of major artists like Pierre Huyghe, Julie Mehretu, Dora García, Pipiloti Rist, SANAA, Elmgreen & Dragset, Harun Farocki, Ugo Rondinone, and Lara Almarcegui. Later, as an independent curator, he curated projects that include solo shows by artists such as SUPERFLEX, Sophie Calle, Rosangela, Rennó, Carlos Garaicoa, Voluspa Jarpa, Carlos Motta, Yoko Ono, Carla Zaccagnini, Sandra Gamarra Heshiki, and many group shows thematically related to a sociopolitical aspect related with art and gender, linguistics or decoloniality.
He had been the Artistic Director of MALBA, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires from May 2014 to June 2018, where he developed a socio-political programme dedicated to female Latin American artists and Latin American queer context. In addition, Pérez Rubio together with Andrea Giunta, curated the script of MALBA’s collection titled VERBOAMERICA a postcolonial revision of the Collection.
During the last few years, he has been co-curator -together with Lisette Lagnado, Maria Berrios, and Renata Cervetto- of the 11th Berlin Biennale 2018-20 and curator of the Chilean Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019.
He was a member of the acquisition committee for the Hamburger- Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin and he was honored as Guest Professor 2019-2020, at Institut für Kunst im Kontext, Universität der Künste in the same city. He is also a member of the board of the Istanbul Biennale since 2018.
Now, he is involved in a project about women and abstract expressionism: Whitchapel Gallery, London; Van Gogh Museum, Arles; Castello di Rivoli, Torino.
He is also curating a restrospective show of Asian-American artist Martin Wong at CA2M; Madrid; KW, Berlin; Candem art center, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Motivation Statement: How can you contribute to CIMAM's mission and strategic goals by being a Member of the Board? (i.e strategy, membership, fundraising, governance, network in strategic regions, availability, knowledge or skills in a specific area):
After more than 25 years of working in the curatorial world as a director or chief curator of important museums and institutions, art events, or in the academic field, I have always learned the different local strategies and idiosyncrasies of each place. By experiencing working in art in different countries –during my residencies in Japan, Budapest, New York, Buenos Aires, Canada and Berlin– I’ve strengthened the methods I use to understand different art contexts and the particular characteristics of each museum and their collections and curatorial projects.
My personal role within an institutional framework - either as staff or as a collaborator of an institution - is based on understanding that the museum has to be an integral content generator: ethical, diverse, and democratic, while guiding it towards the next step of debate and discussion in the international context, without losing the natural essence of each institution. I believe that in the same way after learning it in these previous years at CIMAM, this institution more than ever needs to be a fundamental tool to develop the future of our institutions, and also has to take risks and fulfill its objectives in a broader way.
The fundamental part of my work is always to serve as a link between European and Latin American institutions, without leaving aside other texts, their projects and realities. Funding contexts are not always easy and contacts to generate alliances and symbiosis are challenging, but I always find it easy.
On the other hand, I think it is necessary to be attentive and give space to the needs of our youngest professionals, they are the future and it is crucial to understand what is the next way to do the things, after the moments we are going through because of the pandemic, the wars and the intertwined economic and environmental crises.
These are increasingly shaping our objectives and realities, so I think that my continuous contacts and movements with various agents through my work - from universities to art centers, from grassroots associations to diverse collectives of artists and art professionals - serve CIMAM to rethink not only from within the museum institution but also from the outside what an organization like an organization of this human and professional characteristics. Therefore, we need to help CIMAM to generate a higher level of collaborations and strategies in a broader and more diverse agenda for all kinds of professionals in the field.
Describe briefly the expectations of your involvement as a CIMAM Board member and how you envision CIMAM's priorities in the next years:
Due to the realities, we are experiencing in this era of late capitalism, and as the current Documenta 15 has very well put on the table, the modes of production within the art world have to change within our institutions.
I believe that, in this sense, it will be important for me to contribute new forms, modes, protocols, and visions - based on my experiences, contacts, and knowledge - about the new challenges that our museums are facing in terms of economics and governance, in order to reinforce a roadmap for the future of CIMAM that will help us all in the years to come.
This roadmap has to contemplate more than ever, not only a protocol but a memorandum of agreement on environmental and sustainability policies, although they are already being worked on at CIMAM, more than ever, will be one of the fundamental focuses that will help us to question our own practices and the overproduction within the museum.
This will lead CIMAM to be the backbone and union of many regional programming policies, so it is essential to understand this organization as a backbone not only as a network of a professional union but to be a true alliance in these regions under a cosmopolitan prism.
Finally, I think that CIMAM has to be a vector of social justice on the modes of organization and protocols of action in our institutions, where the diversity in our programs and staff, or the modes of production of transversal knowledge are not always carried out.
I think that we have to work in a practical way in the creation of committees that promote in a practical way these forms that we can then translate and initiate locally in each of our institutions. These are some examples of what I would prioritize.