Elvira Dyangani Ose will be the next director of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), one of the most important museums in Spain. She starts her five-year contract this year and replaces the outgoing director Ferran Barenblit, who has been running the museum for six years. Dyangani Ose is the first woman and the first black woman to lead MACBA since it was founded in 1987.
Since 2018 Dyangani Ose has been director and chief curator of the showroom in London, which is known for commissioning site-specific exhibitions from emerging artists. She is also currently a lecturer in visual cultures at Goldsmiths University of London.
Previously, she was a curator for international art at Tate Modern, curator for contemporary art at Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC) and senior curator at Creative Time in New York. She was also artistic director of the Rencontres Picha – Lubumbashi Biennale in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and curator of the Gothenburg International Biennale for Contemporary Art.
The appointment of Dyangani Ose to MACBA is a kind of homecoming, because she was born in Cordova, Spain and studied art history at the Universitat Autònoma, Barcelona. She is currently doing her PhD in art history. Candidate at Cornell University and is expected to defend her dissertation this summer.
The museum is currently in an expansion project led by the Catalan-Swiss team from HArquitectes and Christ & Gantenbein. In a press release, the museum said that the expansion “will consolidate the MACBA as an integrative museum and also as a public meeting place”. According to the Catalan language newspaper El Punt Avui, Architects only took over the project three months ago and Barenblit’s handling of the situation resulted in his contract not being renewed. Last month he accepted a position as visiting professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor to teach art and politics in Spain.
The jury who recommended Dyangani Ose as the next director of MACBA included Chris Dercon, President of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais; João Fernandes, artistic director of the Instituto Moreira Salles in Rio de Janeiro; and Ann-Sofi Noring, chief curator of Moderna Museet in Sweden.
In its announcement, the council cited Dyangani Ose’s intention to “offer an innovative approach to the role of the museum on the local and international stage, while at the same time embedding a clear desire to engage with the contemporary debates on the role of art at the beginning of this Century “. without shying away from a firm commitment to the social concerns of cultural institutions. “