We’re reopening on 1 July
On 1 July, it will have been three months, two weeks and three days since La Casa Encendida was forced to close its doors. For the first time in the nearly 20 years we’ve been operating, we switched off the lights in response to the emergency situation. A universal, synchronous blackout that forced us to cancel many events and suddenly separated us from the people we were used to seeing every day at La Casa Encendida.
However, from the moment we shut our doors, we decided to keep La Casa Encendida running, albeit remotely, insofar as it was possible. We didn't think it was a good time to disappear and turn our backs on the local community, a living organism with countless communicating vessels that needed a beacon more than ever—we had to live up to our name and be an “illuminated”, “turned on” house.
Turned on to meet urgent needs and support the arts, a sector especially hard hit by the pandemic.
Turned on to keep pushing for an accessible, sustainable future and continue broadcasting messages of commitment, activism and analysis of current events, making sure that the voices drowned out by the tidal wave of new information were given a chance to be heard.
Turned on to facilitate critical thinking, promote education and trigger rather than react to social changes, to continue raising awareness and protecting society’s most vulnerable members.
Turned on to keep experimenting with creativity, imagination and utopia through new formats and platforms, providing a safe space for artists where the process is just as important as the outcome and uncertainty is part of the experience.
That need to stay turned on gave rise to La Casa On, the digital platform of La Casa Encendida. This project launched during the pandemic has now become a parallel line of work with which we want to expand the institution’s range and reach, a tool that will probably be a cornerstone of our future programming strategy.
During this time we’ve listened, reflected and learned; as a society we’ve asked ourselves a lot of questions, and we’re still looking for answers. We can only make sense of this crisis if we draw lessons from it and use them to think ahead. Only if we share our concerns and align our longings, if we ask the right questions and ask them together, can we hope to find the right answers.
As we embark on this collective quest, we need your help to figure out how La Casa Encendida can be more useful to society as a whole and to you as an individual. We want to know what our role should be as a social and cultural venue, what we can and should offer, how we can be useful, how we should continue working to transform our society, and how to stimulate critical awareness on every level. As part of this inquiry, we’ve prepared some questions that you can answer in less than five minutes. Thank you in advance for your time and suggestions. In the same vein, we’ve also planned a series of meetings with cultural and social venues from across Spain to devise a list of “Principles for the New Institution Yet to Come”, which we will be sharing in the coming weeks.
La Casa Encendida will reopen on 1 July, and we can’t wait to see you, begin this new era together and continue our conversation while taking every precaution to protect your health and safety.
We invite you to check out our programme for the summer which, like every summer, will be different. In this hybrid programme, a mixture of online and offline proposals, our galleries will be open to visitors who want to peruse the exhibitions Alvaro Urbano: The Awakening and Dokoupil: The Rebellion against Conceptualism, and our library will be made available to the public once more. The Magnetic Terrace will also return, though now it’s practically a interdimensional portal: from your home, the streets of Madrid, or your favourite park anywhere in the world, you’ll have direct access to performances and artists from Sidney, London, New York and, of course, right here. Plus, the programme will include summer camps for children and youth, film cycles, lectures and courses. And, as always, the vast majority of these activities will be open to everyone free of charge.
When we had to close La Casa Encendida back in March, we sent a message urging you to “take care and be caring, stay informed and share information”. This is one of the few solid pieces of advice we can still give as we head into the “new normal”, where we’ll continue to offer a basic yet essential service: uniting people to find exciting new paths together.
See you soon!
The team at La Casa Encendida