The focus on research and innovation in contemporary museology has always been one of the reference points for #SAMA in its efforts to institutionalise and promote the urban art movement. May was a prolific month for the #StreetArtMuseumAmsterdam and coincided with the museum's attendance at two prestigious international calls, both of which were carried out by trainee Roberto Riccardo Alvau under the supervision of director Anna Stolyarova.
At SAMA, Roberto is in charge of the digital cataloging of artworks that are part of the institution's collection in the Axiell platform. In addition, he contributes to the blog, writing articles about the impact of urban art in today's society. Roberto is currently studying Art History at the University of Valencia. He has gained experience in museology and cultural management, from having worked as an archive assistant for the film documentation center of La Filmoteca de Valencia; an organisation dedicated to the preservation and distribution of Spanish audiovisual heritage. In the last year, Roberto has aided in the formation of the cultural management collective, Orbis Vacui, which is dedicated to the promotion of emerging contemporary art in Valencia.
During his stay at the museum, Roberto has been investigating the innovative and participatory dimension of the institution within the context of new international museological trends. Specializing in the context of contemporary art, and particularly in modern participatory, compromised and dematerialized dynamics, Roberto's study focuses on the relationship between SAMA, its nature as an ecomuseum and the possibilities offered to its public, conceived as an active community and not as a passive spectator according to the traditional museological conception of the last century.
In this sense, since yesterday, his article 'Anti-hegemonic Museums: Socially Engaged Art at the Street Art Museum of Amsterdam' is now available in digital format and in three different languages (English, French and Spanish) on ICOM webpage. This text was selected by a committee of experts in the context of the 'ICOM Voices: Call for Articles 2021' call launched by the International Council of Museums.
Yesterday, Roberto also participated as a panelist in the 'IV International Meeting of Museo Cerralbo of Madrid. Tourists, visitors, followers' organised by the Museo Cerralbo of Madrid and the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Spain. His lecture, 'Street Art Museum Amsterdam as a new paradigm of participatory museum' echoes in a lucid manner the concepts highlighted in the article written for ICOM with the aim of emphasising the radical museological model adopted by SAMA and the importance of socio-cultural compromise in its mission statement.
Following in the footsteps of Claire Bishop in 'Radical Museology' (2013), Roberto describes SAMA as one of the examples of museums of the new millennium, characterised by being 'more experimental, less determined, more politically engaged with our historical moment'. As a continuation, we integrate the abstract sent to the Museo Cerralbo de Madrid for those who are not familiar with the Spanish language.
“In the following lecture, we will talk about Street Art Museum Amsterdam, an eco-museum founded in 2012 for the dissemination of international urban art. Its collection comprises more than 200 street art works by more than 40 artists from all over the world. SAMA is a unique example in the territory as the artworks in question are in their original urban habitat and are freely accessible. However, SAMA's museum discourse goes beyond the simple elimination of the spatial barrier and is part of a process of enhancement and recovery of the Nieuw-West district (Amsterdam), which harbours one of the most significant multicultural identities of the city. SAMA's objective, in this sense, is to contribute to the enrichment of the artistic scenario of the district through the participation of international artists.
In addition, the most important task of the museum is its ability to reinvent the role of its audience: apart from the preservation and creation of urban art artworks, a large part of the museum's cultural effort is translated into a cycle of activities that approach the community and the public itself to the world of street art through children's workshops, immersive experiences with VR technology, artistic interventions, urban recovery projects and more.The reality of the SAMA transcends the conception of the classical museum as a sober showcase of art to merge its very essence with the community and to create a new concept of participatory art that works in synchrony with the urban, civil and daily development of the community where it is located.”
The lecture will be published in July on the YouTube page of the Museo Cerralbo de Madrid and will be complemented by a catalogue in Spanish/English which will contain an article written by the panelist on the theme of the discussion.
The official recognition of #ICOM, the highest organisational museological institution, and the expansion of SAMA's boundaries into non-Dutch territories, especially Spain, are signs of the exponential growth that the museum has achieved over the last few years and which have enabled it to establish itself as one of the most interesting museological realities from the point of view of anti-hegemony, the rejection of conservatism and participatory experimentation.