Things to Do
Essential museums, monuments, walks, talks and tours in Barcelona
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What's on in Barcelona
It's not just about Sónar and Primavera Sound. For an unforgettable year of music, art and cultural experiences, follow Time Out's guide to festivals and events. The coming months promise an endless array of events showcasing the best in Catalan and international culture - from hip hop and documentary filmmaking to religious and traditional celebrations. Plan your year here.
This week and beyond
La Mercè and Culture Festival of Stockholm (this year's guest city) have jointly produced the show that will be projected on the facade of City Hall. It's a creation by audiovisual communication studio NueveOjos, which has developed the script with David Lillo, of the Central Attic of Screenwriters. For the first time, the 'mapping' at the Mercè takes the form of a fictional story. The project, directed by Mariona Omedes, tells a love story between two buildings where it will be screened: Barcelona's City Hall in Plaça Sant Jaume and Arvfurstens Palats, home of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Catalan illustrators have also collaborated on the project.
The Fabra Observatory is the stage for another year of a one-of-a-kind event that combines gastronomy and science. Summer nights are full of science, astronomy and gastronomy in one of the most impressive viewpoints of the city. The evening begins with a gastronomic proposal designed with astronomy in mind, with quality ingredients and good food served on the terrace at 9pm. After the meal is a 30-minute science talk, with questions taken from the audience. Afterwards it's a visit to the museum, the Noucentisme hall, and the telescope, and then it's into the hall with the great dome, which still boasts original materials. From there you can observe distant constellations, stars and much of the solar system with the 1904 telescope, one of the largest and oldest in Europe that's still in operation.
- Camí de l'Observatori, s/n, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, 08035
- Thu Sep 18 - Sat Oct 11
As usual during the Mercè festivities, Montjuïc Castle hosts contemporary circus arts from Mercè Arts de Carrer. Some 30 circus companies from around the world gather at the castle for three days to perform various techniques and disciplines. Companies from here as well as from Sweden, France, Argentina, Mexico and the United States will show off their stuff. The Montjuïc Castle Combined Circus has been coordinated and directed from Stockholm by director and choreographer Hans Marklund. Coming from Stockholm are Jan Unestam, Patrik Elmnert 5 & Toni Pezzo, and Anton Graaf & Einar Kling-Odencarnts. Catalan artists include Guillem Albà, Les Capgirades, José Luis Redondo, Irene Estradé and Sergio González. The Ateneo Popular 9Barris bring a combo of six international and local companies of trapeze artists, jugglers, rope walkers and acrobats.
Casa Batlló opens its doors and invites us into the magical universe of Gaudí under the light of the moon. Enjoy a glass of cava, an aperitif and live music beneath the stars from the impressive mosaic terrace of the majestic Noble Floor. Music from a variety of artists will flood the night with rhythm, with Spanish guitar from Sergi Vicente, sophisticated piano recitals from Olga Kobekina, the rhythmic sounds of Catalan Rumba, Marga Mbande's powerful voice and the smooth funk-soul of Laura Simó.
Film-makers, playwrights, artists, designers, comic book illustrators and architects all converge under one umbrella, in the first part of a triple exhibition dedicated to the most boundless, modern and wildly imaginative creativity produced in Catalonia in the new millennium.
The Asia Festival celebrates its 13th edition this year with a total of 11 international performances over the course of 6 days on 8 different stages in Barcelona. And the best bit is that 10 of them are free. (The performance of 'Don Quixote, the Knight-errant' from the Guizhou Peking Opera costs just €6.) More than 150 artists representing 13 Asian countries are set to participate. Where can you see them? In the Plaça dels Àngles, the Plaça Joan Coromines, the MACBA auditorium, the Francesca Bonnemaison space, the Plaça de la Catedral, the Ateneu Barcelonès, the Modernist Sant Pau building and the CaixaFòrum. You've got plenty of chances for a meeting with Asian culture.
- Rated as: 4/5
An ocean of data ('Hello world!', an installation of 5,000 personal video diaries downloaded from the Internet), a sea of information ('Thingful.net', a system for discovering connected objects around us), rivers of references (basic vocabulary: algorithm, geolocation, prediction, pattern) and graphics ('Submarine Cable Map', marking the fibre-optic system that connects the world) attempt to explain what Big Data means. For some it's the new oil, a source of inexhaustible wealth; for others it's a tool of social control. What is certain is that the metaphor of the cloud, an ethereal place where all our tweets, passwords and photos go, is quite misleading: it's more like a tangle of wires and sensors that could literally encircle the globe, and large containers have been built to preserve the content._Big Bang Data is a dense and complex exhibition, in the amount of material presented. It's a panopticon on the storage of information (in 2009 alone as much data was produced as in the whole history of humankind leading up to then) that leaves us facing the abyss of a big question. We have created a technology ready for archiving information about ourselves and our surroundings, but we haven't been able (yet) to agree on certain uses, to establish rules for our own protection, as citizens and consumers, against the dangers of this creation.
- CCCB. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona Montalegre, 5, El Raval, 08001
- Fri May 9 - Sun Oct 26