Recently on a trip to Barcelona, my boyfriend and I both had one stop on the top of our lists for very different reasons. MACBA - Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, or the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona. I wanted to check out their AR App I've heard about (though it turned out I couldn't even download it... *eye roll*) BUT I was nevertheless engaged by my bf's reason for visiting - the skateboarders.
American readers - ever been to the MET, or AIC, or CLEMoA and rolled your eyes at the skaters, then grinned slightly upon them being kicked off the property? Or ever noticed the insane amount of skate stops (the small metal protrusions on ledges/rails) around iconic plazas and parks to prevent these "raucous" activities? Not in Spain! I should point out that Spain is one of the skating meccas of the world. Tons of young people skate (if they aren't on a scooter that is) and anyone who knows skating knows to go check out the plethora of hotspots in Spain. Especially Barcelona, where famous skaters and well known teams will travel to skate their hearts out in some iconic spots for the sake of the furthest gap jump, longest grind, or highest drop. Without being constantly kicked out.
Why does MACBA allow it? Skaters were falling, boards went flying, and you had to time your entrance to the museum with caution as to not collide with the skaters. BUT there were tons of pedestrians stopping to watch. The front facade of MACBA is entirely glass, and you can watch the talent from inside the museum as well, so a great way to beat "museum fatigue"! It seemed almost like a performance art piece, and extension of the contemporary museum itself. Especially with the rampant amount of graffiti in the plaza as a backdrop. If a museum is dedicated to contemporary art and culture, this completely makes sense and fits in context. MACBA gets some serious cool points for being affiliated with this counter culture. On top of that, they have become well-known within another segment of potential visitors - skaters. WTG MACBA! Whether purposeful or not, they are exposing museum goers to another facet of contemporary culture, extending their reach of engagement outside of the physical museum building, and being a space for true contemporary expression.
Want to see what MACBA skate life is all about? Check out this video!
The Museum for Contemporary Art in Barcelona was opened in 1995 along with the Plaça dels Àngels, or what is better known as MACBA in the world of skateboarding. This place wasn't a skate zone from day one, but little by little it became the epicentre of skateboarding in Barcelona and one of the most famous skate meccas in the world due to its appearance in international videos and constant visits by skaters from all over the world.