Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
The New York Times recently published the story of a new $106 million contemporary art center that is to open next year in Santander, Spain funded by the family foundation of Emilio Botin III, the president of Spain’s leading bank. The Centro Botin, however artfully crafted, has caused a stir in the community. Locals are crying foul play proclaiming that this is nothing more than a “pyramid” to its “pharaoh,” using prime public real estate for a private foundation to boot. Botin and his foundation claim that the center will boost the city’s economy and provide cultural education, but is this just another tactic for a “big company” to continue to monopolize an area for profit?
Certainly the good that is coming from this is the spectacular center itself, but how do you feel about art being used as a pawn in the game of profit? Perhaps it is merely because the foundation has such power and notoriety that it is receiving criticism. Perhaps these truly are the “lemonade-heads” we discussed in class.