Last 2020, the state of alarm turned the commemoration of International Museum Day (IMD) to black but, this year, in the resilient smoke of a calendar turned to ashes, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) unfolds as its annual motto of its anniversary The future of museums: recovering and reimagining, which calls museums, their professionals and their communities “to create, imagine and share new practices of (co) creation of value, new business models and innovative solutions for social, economic and environmental challenges of the present ”, always from his claim of museums as“ an important means for cultural exchange, the enrichment of cultures, the development of mutual understanding, and of collaboration and peace between peoples ”.
Along these lines, the Casa de Colón, a museum landmark of the Canary Islands’ historical past, is anticipating the future with the inauguration of an innovative virtual reality project around the first discovery of a “new world”, since the Atlantic Center of Modern Art (CAAM) returned to the substratum of the meaning of art as encounter and mirror, with the celebration of its traditional collective and multilingual reading of the Declaration of Human Rights, as a cry in a present marked by conflict and borders.
The Casa de Colón yesterday inaugurated the first trips of an immersive digital expedition to the New World aboard the ship Santa María. Under the title Mar tenebroso, a series of virtual reality glasses and helmets embark the viewer in the historical account of Christopher Columbus’s journey in the 15th century through an immersive experience that, over eight minutes, recreates the admiral’s stay in Gran Canaria at 360 degrees, from inside his cabin and cellar to his musings on the beaches and gardens of the island.
Directed by the filmmaker Fernando Alcántara, it is a co-production of Gran Canaria Atlántica Producciones and Orbisnauta, a Canarian company specialized in virtual reality, with the actor Adrián Torrijos in the skin of Colón. This high-tech pedagogical project, designed by an entirely Canarian team over the course of a year, is aligned with the reinvention of the Americanist museum and its objective of implementing a hybrid museum model that harmonizes the face-to-face and virtual formats.
In this sense, the director of the Casa de Colón, Elena Acosta, stressed yesterday that “we want new technologies to be one more part of the museum and to serve to enrich its resources and content.” “In no case do we intend that it replace the face-to-face visit, but rather that both spheres dialogue and strengthen each other”, he stated, since he specified that “all museums are walking in that direction”, as well as the demand of the public from different corners of the world. balloon. “More and more virtual visits to the Casa de Colón are requested from us from other countries, especially from America,” Acosta celebrated, in keeping with the vocation of this cultural center to build bridges and dialogue between the two shores.
And a few meters from the Casa de Colón, in the direction of the horizon, the Atlantic Center of Modern Art (CAAM) began, at noon, the sixth edition of its Reading of the Declaration of Human Rights, which brings together people from different backgrounds around a continuous performative reading of various fragments of this landmark documentary in languages from the five continents.
The director of the CAAM, Orlando Britto, pointed out in his first speech that “we are living in turbulent times in a context of social transformation”, in which on a global scale abuses of fundamental human rights are repeated with impunity in “so many forgotten places, such as Colombia, Syria or Palestine, whose citizens have the right to live and express themselves freely, “he said.
In the afternoon session, the CAAM, which has also strengthened its participatory digital presence in recent months, opted to put the finishing touch to the museum festival with two guided visits to the bowels of the museum where the pulse of work routines beats museums: from the restoration workshop to the deposits of works of art, the aim of these itineraries is to open all the doors of the art center to the public to discover their own heritage.
However, the different museums and cultural halls of the Island celebrated their anniversary with different actions and, in addition to their respective programs, the Museum Service of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria kicked off an audiovisual campaign aimed at the recovery of the public after the state of alarm.
The result illuminates nine audiovisual dialogues between the artists Aniba Liricida, Francis Naranjo, Daniela Arzarello, Rebeca Nuez, Enrique Mateu and Capi Cabrera, around different works of art or museum spaces and rooms, whose common thread is awareness of the value of the cultural and identity heritage that our museums guard.