The New Dictionary of Old Ideas - the end


Madrid, Prague (Czech Republic), Szczecin, (Poland), and Tbilisi (Georgia)

Central Europe, territory, utopia or concept? The New Dictionary of Old Ideas is a project that explores the historical, cultural and visual construct of this phenomenon, examining its multiple declines through the work of artists who observe from Georgia, Poland, Spain and the Czech Republic.

After a two-year journey, the collaboration with The New Dictionary of Old Ideas project (2018-2020) is comes to an end. Not without first taking a brief ride through the different stages and places that we have passed through, together with artists, curators and organizations.


In 2018, hablarenarte is invited to join a network of independent organizations, The New Dictionary of Old Ideas, a platform that works on the idea of Central Europe, its political and geographical resignification over the centuries. This review also proposes to analyze the relationship of this construct with the emergence of new imaginaries of hate.

Through an exchange residency program for curators and artists, MeetFactory (Prague, Czech Republic), TRAFO (Szczecin, Poland), Silk Museum (Tbilisi, Georgia) and hablarenarte-PLANTA ALTA (in collaboration with CentroCentro, Madrid), we are promoting this research, which culminates in a traveling exhibition and a publication.


The project, co-curated by Alba Folgado (Spain) and Data Chigholashvili (Georgia) is launching the residency program and has a total of nine artists, selected through an open call. The three selected in Spain, Erik Beltrán, Veronica Lahite and Elena Lavelles, will carry out their residency at MeetFactory, during June and July 2019, and at Trafostacja Sztuki, in August, as will the Georgians Katharina Stadler, Sandro Sulaberidze and Nino Zirakashvili. PLANTA ALTA hosts Polish artist Irmina Rusicka and the Czechs Adela Součková and Jiří Zák, who reside in hablarenarte and CentroCentro after spending September and October at Silk Museum in Tibilisi, Georgia.

  • Irmina Rusicka (Poland) is a visual artist whose work is formalized through installations, videos and various forms of research. Her work combines socio-political criticism with an existential dimension. Humor and anger are also characteristics present in her work.
  • Adela Součková (Czech Republic) questions power structures through an imaginative gaze. In her practice she develops a complex and critical pictorial language that overlaps the fields of performance, installation, video, poetry and sound.
  • The work of Jiří Zák (Czech Republic) oscillates between video-relating and various hybrid forms of cinematic and experimental performance. Interested in the possibilities of transforming the nature of objects by projecting on them, he explores the discrepancy between our perception of the world and reality. All this in search of new ways of telling stories of our daily life in a highly complex and uncertain era.

During their stay in Madrid, in addition to producing their artistic work, they developed new lines of research linked to historical revisionism between East and West blocks, post-modern cultural identities and infrastructures of power in dialogue with the local context of Madrid and Spain.
As part of the mediation program, in November 2019, the artists Jiří Zák, Irmina Rusicka, Erick Beltrán and Elena Lavellés participated in the CentroCentro public meeting "How are cultural identities constructed? Power and exploitation in the new capitalist societies", an extension of their current research through a public dialogue. The conversation, guided by Mauro Gil-Fournier and Adrián Almazán Gómez, addressed issues such as extractive industries, corporate colonialism, and representations and infrastructures of power.

In February 2020, the exhibition opens in Prague, based at Meet Factory and Kostka Gallery simultaneously. The exhibition proposes a revision of dominant narratives and images -which have collaborated to legitimize forms of oppression inside and outside their territory- by going beyond geographical location and drawing another cartography from the flows of socio-political, economic and cultural influences that make up the idea of Central Europe.


After the crisis caused by the covid-19 and the paralysis of mobility around the globe, the exhibition's itinerary is suspended. Thus, in Madrid, "Scope of Action" gives continuity to the project and the works of the artists involved through a public program of activities. Because even though the perimeter continues to be reduced, we need to find spaces for action. Each of the activities that make up this program starts from a recent social phenomenon - the new imaginaries of hate, the anti-fascist and decolonial struggles - or from a specific place - the Royal Palace in Madrid, a central restaurant linked to the history of the city - to provoke a (re)action. Through conversations, mailings, virtual tours or planting seeds, we activate artistic proposals that offer alternative interpretations that run between the collective and the intimate.

Scope for Action involved artists Verónica Lahitte, Paula Valero, Diego del Pozo and the collaboration of Marco Godoy and Sofía Montenegro.

Finally, this program is accompanied by the publication "Termino, Termino, Terminó. Semantic reflections on imprecise politics", edited between hablarenarte, the curator Alba Folgado and the editor María Alejandra Gatti. The publication, available in PDF on our website (Spanish and English versions), fiddles with the idea of a broken dictionary that defies the logic of categorization and definitions in use, thus offering other ways of reading about our most immediate reality and brings together:

  • texts by Adrián Almazán, Marta Sanz and Mauro Gil-Fournier
  • interventions that arise from the works produced in the residences of Erick Beltrán e Jiří Zák
  • visual contributions of the work of Diego del Pozo, Marco Godoy and Veronica Lahitte

What is considered a political center: territory, utopia or concept? The New Dictionary of Old Ideas proposes a deep exploration of social and geographical imaginaries of power. A putting into perspective the past and the present that shakes up those convictions and phenomena that we consider, or intend, to have overcome.



With the support of:

Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

Comunidad de Madrid

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