On 18 October 2022, the Guggenheim Bilbao will mark the 25th Anniversary of its grand opening. Following on from the wide range of commemorative cultural and artistic events held so far this year, and after a record summer in terms of visitor numbers, between September and December the Museum will intensify its Anniversary celebrations.
As with the previous programs held, the events taking place over the coming months will be in line with the values that inspire this milestone: celebration, the Collection, gratitude, inclusiveness and the strength of unity, pride and belonging, and not forgetting transformation and projection into the future, also reflected in the slogan chosen for these commemorations: “Art Inspires the Future.”
Here are a few of the events scheduled for the coming months:
Francisco Escudero’s Symphony No. 3 (Mythological Symphony) [September 25]
Performed by Sociedad Coral de Bilbao Children’s Choir, Ensemble Kuraia, Andoni Alemán (narrator) Museum Atrium
Symphony No. 3 (Mythological Symphony) is undoubtedly one of the greatest works of the final creative period in the life of composer Francisco Escudero, which uses a stunning set of sound and vocal resources to bring together avant-garde music and a series of disparate literary and musical elements—some of them from Basque lore. Drawing inspiration from Basque mythology as depicted in the tales collected by Jose Miguel de Barandiaran, the Symphony is written entirely in Basque.
This concert will take place in the same year that Ensemble Kuraia, like the Museum, commemorates its own 25th anniversary.
Ecologies of Water [October 6] Museum Auditorium
The Guggenheim Bilbao Museum will be hosting the international symposium “Ecologies of Water,” highlighting the importance of the collaboration between the artistic, scientific, and technological worlds for the necessary conservation and regeneration of ecosystems.
Looking particularly at bodies of water, which are vital to the survival of human beings and other species, the aim of this event is to encourage dialogue and interdisciplinary collaboration, and to identify common areas of transnational work, bringing together some of Europe’s leading experts.
Organized in collaboration with the European Commission initiative STARTS4Water and the members of its consortium, including Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto (Italy), Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary – TB21 (Spain/Austria), V2_Lab for the Unstable Media (Netherlands), BOZAR and Gluon (Belgium), which will be represented by various guest speakers at the event.
In addition to the researchers and representatives of international organizations convened, this event will be attended by figures from the Basque territory, which is understood as a key scenario for reflection on account of its unique historical ties with water economies, pertaining to both seas and rivers. In this regard, the symposium will feature the participation of artist Cristina Iglesias, present through two of her works from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Collection.
Other confirmed participants include artist Mark Ijzerman; Paolo Naldini, Director of Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, and Amalia Zepou, former Deputy Mayor of Athens.
The Missing Element [October 14, 15, 16, 17]
Streets of Bilbao; outside the Museum, Atrium, Auditorium
In this series of stimulating performances, a group of dancers from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process program will combine different disciplines such as rap, beatbox, and break dance within the Museum’s immersive architecture. A purely contemporary show which will be held in different places around the city as well as inside the Museum.
Pop-up Performances in Bilbao:
- October 14: 12 pm noon: Plaza Moyúa and opposite the Regional Council of Biscay (Diputación Foral de Bizkaia) building; 6:30 pm on the Puente del Arenal bridge and in Plaza del Arriaga.
- October 15: 12:30 pm in the Plaza Nueva, 6:30 pm on the Puente del Ayuntamiento bridge, and opposite City Hall. Performances in the Museum:
- October 16: 12:30 pm and 8:30 pm
- October 17: 6:30 pm Meeting of the Boards of Trustees of the Guggenheim Foundations, and 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner [October 17]
As part of the Anniversary celebrations, the Museum will host a joint meeting of the Boards of Trustees of the Guggenheim Museums in Bilbao, New York, and Venice. That same evening there will be a special edition of the Museum’s Annual Gala Dinner.
Opening of the Exhibition Sections/Intersections. 25 Years of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Collection [October 18]
Curated by: Lekha Hileman Waitoller, Manuel Cirauqui, Geaninne Gutiérrez- Guimarães, Lucía Agirre, and Maite Borjabad, curators of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Sponsored by BBK
All galleries in the Museum
An ambitious exhibition showcasing the Collection, which will take over all the Museum galleries in a thematical presentation of its artistic holdings, tracing new connections between multiple languages and highlighting major milestones and tendencies in the history of modern art, represented paradigmatically by works from the Collection. This show is exceptional in many ways, including large-format and site-specific pieces that will be presented publicly once more.
Free Admission Weekend [October 22 and 23]
Just as every year around the dates of its grand opening, and with even more reason to do so this year, the Museum will be open with free admission on Saturday October 22 and Sunday October 23.
Artistic Action with Museum Members [25 October] Technology Supporter LG-Oled
The Museum will be hosting a new performance action by Argentinian artist Cecilia Bengolea as a way to thank Members for their close relationship and loyalty over these past 25 years. The action will include the participation of some 450 Museum Members.
Known for fusing video installation art and performance, Bengolea is presenting a site-specific action in the Museum’s most iconic space, the Atrium. Accompanied by four dancers and a DJ, the action combines dancehall beats with a visual journey through archive footage, which will show the construction of Frank Gehry’s building, as well as avatars that will embody the materials that make up the Museum and some of its works of art. Mist, alabaster, and titanium take on corporeal form on the screens and will dance in a collective choreography with dancers and participating Museum Members.
Merging video and performance, and through scanning and rendering processes, the artist’s body in movement mutates into creatures from worlds of fiction. A device will replicate this methodology live during the performance, so that participants and the collective body they form are reflected on the screens, turned into material avatars as well.
Denontzako BBKartea for All [October 25–December 2] Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
The Denontzako BBKartea for All campaign, to celebrate the Museum’s 25th Anniversary, will be running from October 25 to December 2. Through this initiative, all Basque citizens can visit the Museum for free.
Sponsored by BBK, one of the Museum’s Strategic Trustees since its foundation, this initiative is a way of involving the community and thanking them for giving the Museum a firm grounding, the key to its success over these years.
Tickets can be booked from October onwards.
Recital by Joaquín Achúcarro [November 3] Museum Atrium
Within the context of the Museum’s Anniversary and coinciding with Bilbao-born great pianist Joaquín Achúcarro’s 90th birthday, the maestro will be giving a recital in the Atrium, remembering his unforgettable performance at the grand opening of the Museum in 1997.
Art & Music Concerts [November 19, December 17] Museum Atrium
The Museum presents a new musical proposal, the Art & Music concert series, with cutting-edge figures in the context of the Museum’s architecture and exhibitions. This initiative, which will be launched in November as part of the Anniversary celebrations, will also run throughout next year. The first two editions taking place in November and December will include two major proposals: Mastodonte and El Niño de Elche & Refree, respectively.
Immersions [December 3 through 11] Museum Atrium
As the finishing touch to the Anniversary celebrations, Immersions will be a free show of large-scale mapping projections with light and sound offering the public an immersive experience. The show is sponsored by Seguros Bilbao, a company of Grupo Catalana Occidente, and Trustee of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Museum since its foundation.
A continuation of Reflections, the spectacle created by British studio 59 Productions on the facade of the Frank Gehry–designed building for the Museum’s 20th Anniversary in 2017, Immersions now takes the history of the city and of the Museum inside the building, where the organic architectural forms of the Atrium will act as a canvas to the projections.
Following the major milestones that have marked the history of the Museum, and inspired on the original soundtrack, Immersions will put the audience at the center of a unique all-encompassing light and sound show, turning them from mere observers into participants in an immersive sensory experience.
Tickets can be booked through the Museum’s website in November.
Past projects held as part of the 25th Anniversary:
–Monira Al Qadiri: Holy Quarter (March 10–June 12)
-Jean Dubuffet. Ardent Celebration (February 25–August 21). Sponsored by BBK
-Motion. Autos, Art, Architecture (April 8–September 18). Sponsored by Iberdrola and Volkswagen Group
-Serra/Seurat. Drawings (June 9–September 6)
-The Otolith Group: Horizonte O (June 23–October 9)
-Exhibition project Basque Artist Program (July 8–September 6)
Cultural and Celebratory Events:
18 Events within the TopArte Program: such as Loraldia Festival, Zinegoak, and the first edition of the Bilbao Blues Festival. Coming soon: Festivals FAB, Dantzaldia, MEM, or ACT, among others.
Musical Performances Program:
–Gabriel Erkoreka’s Hamar (April 30 and May 1)
-The World Is a Museum, with Kirmen Uribe, Sociedad Coral de Bilbao, and Euskadi Brass (May 11 and 12) -Concerto for Two Anniversaries, with the Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa-BOS (June 18). Sponsored by Fundación EDP
-Deabru beltzak: Symfeuny (June 24)
Tickets available HERE.