The new director of the Reina Sofía Museum is someone with a lot of energy, also intellectual. Enough to shoulder an institution that, more than a flagship, at the level of daily management, is the cargo ship of Spanish art. A heavy and slow ship that will take time to change course.
Today, expectations were high in the museum’s protocol room, during the presentation of the project with which he achieved the highest score among the five finalists to take over the management position. However, the news that he has been able to convey to the press, before doing so at the art sector table this morning, has been scarce and general.
Neither program advances, nor the names in the immediate team that will accompany him in his mandate, including the subdirectorate. Not much could be said about the first of these enigmas, since the previous director mortgaged the museum’s programming until well into 2025 “with excellent proposals,” Segade elegantly concedes.
Regular of analogies with fabrics and materials, Manuel Segade has used a single image to illustrate the moment in which his project is: the photograph of several sheets of corrugated cardboard that explain “what we will do in the next two years”, until its exhibition program can see the light.
In corrugated cardboard, the central sheet zigzags between two outer flat sheets, strengthening the structure and also allowing air gaps or “interstices”, says Segade. If in the human body these spaces contain the vital organs, at the Reina Sofía they will use these work spaces to “imagine and prepare the future regarding the structure and the relationship of jobs, the routes of the buildings –stop being a labyrinth-, to the improvement of design and architecture, to the growth of the collection with a sense of parity and the search for the national stories still to be rescued; to organize the museum for the upcoming program and adapt the rooms, more versatile and with different scales, to attend to the local scene.