Valencia’s designation as “World Design Capital” has resulted in a slew of new cultural events. There’s a lot to see on our list of what’s on in Valencia in May 2022, and we’re not even close to covering it all.
World Design Capital Valencia 2022 unveiled its final agenda for the month of May, and we are still left with more than two weeks full of openings, presentations, conferences, screenings and exhibitions distributed by some of the cultural and innovation centers, and the most outstanding museums and galleries in the city.
This month has begun only a few days after the expected announcement of the start of the works of Àgora València, the pavilion of the World Design Capital 2022 in the Town Hall Square. Àgora València, project of World Design Capital València 2022 and of the Ajuntament de València that has the support of the Diputació de València, La Marina de València and the Valencian companies Inalco and Wandegar, will become a meeting point open to the whole society and it will bring design and the creative talent of the whole Valencian Community to the general public.
During the months of May and June new screenings will be projected within the “Cinema Designs” program of the Filmoteca de València. Promoted by World Design Capital Valencia 2022 and Cultura de la Generalitat through the Institut Valencià de Cultura, the bond between design and the seventh art is explored since the very inception of both disciplines.
On Thursday, the 19th of May at 8 pm and on Tuesday, the 24th of May at 6 pm, La Filmoteca will screen ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ (1988), one of the most commercially successful comedies by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Carmen Maura, Fernando Guillén, Julieta Serrano, Antonio Banderas, María Barranco and Rossy de Palma. Winner of the Goya Award for Best Film in 1988 and candidate for the Academy Awards, ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ marks a change in Almodóvar’s filmography, as it moves away from the underground aesthetic of its previous films to approach the sumptuous world of haute couture and postmodern design of the late eighties without neglecting his passion for kitsch and the usual aesthetic around gay culture.
The film has an impact on the costumes and accessories of the characters and on the furniture of the luxurious penthouse in the center of Madrid where the action takes place. Almodóvar brings together a varied and colorful catalogue of designs ranging from the Tolomeo lamp, the Breuer Wassily chair and the coffee earrings designed by Antonio Alvarado, to the collection of kitsch key rings of the ‘mambo taxi’ the costume of Julieta Serrano, inspired by André Courrèges.
On the 19th of May at 6.30 pm the book “Once upon a time the design: reflections of a recalcitrant affiliate” by Juan Manuel Ubiergo, director of the Aragonese Center of Industrial Design (CADI), will be presented at the Territorial College of Architects of Valencia (CTAV). In his work, Ubiergo talks about what has been done in the last three decades in the Community of Aragon in order to consolidate the culture of design as a tool for competitiveness.
On the 30th of May, the fifth edition of the Valencia Culinary Festival, which will be celebrated in different locations of the Valencian Community until the 12th of June, will kick off. This festival of Haute Cuisine, in which renowned Valencian chefs bring out their skillset to help position the city and its surroundings as a unique gastronomic destination, it will also focus on design, creativity and innovation coinciding with World Design Capital Valencia 2022.
From the 18th through the 20th of May, the exhibition “Valencia, Shapes Uncovered” organized on occasion of Berlin design week will show the work of some of Valencia key design ambassadors, when it comes to furniture, lighting, tiles, and deco. The showroom is curated by IVACE (Valencian Institute of Business) in collaboration with the World Design Capital Valencia 2022.
In such an iconic Berliner venue like the Hallesches Haus, pieces by some of the most talented manufacturers and designers in the region will be on display. The presentation will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected works by the Valencians awarded in the last edition of iF Design Awards, together with extra content exhibited by World Design Capital Valencia 2022. The ideal opportunity for industry professionals and design enthusiasts to be inspired by the Mediterranean vibes of the design capital in the heart of Kreuzberg.
On the 25th of May at 7 pm the 2022 ADCV Gala Awards will take place at the Teatre Principal, launched every two years by the Association of Designers of the Valencian Community. In this edition, these awards have achieved record applications, with 555 entries , in 38 categories. The ADCV Awards exist with the aim of rewarding the excellence of design of the Valencian Community and recognize the positive economic, social, environmental and cultural impact that design achieves by integrating into companies, institutions and initiatives.
There are also quite a few first-class exhibitions with design as the main theme, open to the public during the month of May throughout the city
Throughout the month and until the 26th of June, the exhibition “Design the air” curated by the designer Vicent Martínez, remains open at the ‘González Martí’ National Museum of Ceramics and Luxury Arts to demonstrate how the culture of the world can be enriched and, in that way, to reposition and project into the future. “Design the air” reviews the history of the Valencian fan through a journey that goes from tradition to contemporaneity and that counts with the participation of twenty design professionals from different parts of the world who reinvent this iconic object in different shapes, textures and technology.
One of the main spaces of the capital, the CCCC, hosts until the 29th of May the exhibition “Why am I like this?”, organized and produced jointly by the Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valenciana and World Design Capital Valencia 2022 with the support of the Provincial Council of Valencia. The designs on display are part of the Pérez de Albéniz-Bergasa collection and have been collected and drawn by Juli Capella to explain how it works. In this way, the exhibition collects 120 everyday objects tell their own story and are helped by drawings of how they are and why they are so.
Also, until the 29th of May you can visit the exhibition “Through the post-truth. Pepe Gimeno. 20-22 Works”. Located in the Palau Joan de Valeriola, headquarters of the Chirivella Soriano Foundation, within the program of activities of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, it unveils the plastic work of Pepe Gimeno, derived from experimentation with the laws of perception and abstraction and motivated by the dangers of post-truth for the common good.
The monograph covers the last months of his long and prolific professional career as a curious designer and vocational artist through his latest works. This is done without forgetting his vocation for typographic design, one of his most recognized hallmarks.
Under the name “Temporada Il·lustrada”, the gastronomic-cultural space of the Muviment del MuVIM (Valencian Museum of Illustration and Modernity) hosts some works by the best Valencian artists in a series of exhibitions that will last until July 2022. During the month of May, the spotlight is on Luis Demano. The works of this Valencian illustrator, son and grandson of painters, have been seen in the main newspapers of the country and are characterized by social criticism and a clear avenging component. The exhibition will be open to the public during the months of April and May.
The exhibition “Mans i Màquines. Apunts Ceràmics” at the Jaume I University continues to be open to the public until the 31st of May. Visitors can discover how ceramic art and design get close by taking parallel positions until they seem to become elements of the same language. The exhibition, directed by Rosalia Torrent Esclapés, brings together ceramics belonging to the Alfa de Oro industrial design collection, deposited in the Taulell Manolo Safont Museum in Onda, in dialogue with works of artistic ceramics contributed by the Museums of Vilafamés and L’Alcora.
The IVAM museum hosts an itinerary along the Bakalao Route through its posters until the 12th of June. The exhibition “Graphic Route. The design of the sound of Valencia” radiographs one of the most unknown aspects by the public around the clubbing scene the city between the eighties and nineties: posters and graphic design.
Curated by Antonio J. Albertos, Alberto Haller and Moyu Santana, the itinerary includes 132 posters, 86 flyers and two documentaries that incorporate personal interviews with different agents linked to the design process -designers, artists, printers and cultural managers, together with a selection of the paradigmatic posters and merchandising of the time.
Until the 19th of June, the IVAM will also host the exhibition “Anni and Josef Albers. Art and Life”. This is the first time in Spain that the paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles, furniture, glass pieces and jewelry of this unique couple of creators are exhibited together. A total of almost 350 works, some of them never seen, that go through the work of both artists.
For this show some of the most exceptional large format tapestries made by Anni, have been gathered, including the singular ‘With verticals’, and well as the abstract series ‘Homage to the square’ made by Josef starting from 1950, together with its stained-glass windows, collages, furniture and graphic works. Most of the works come from the Anni and Josef Albers Foundation, as well as institutions such as Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Peggy Guggenheim Collection and individuals who have lent pieces.
Written by Diego Hernández
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