Las verdades ya no son templos, son shares de audiencia (The truth is no longer a simple matter, but a question of audience shares)

This research explores exhaustively, with statistics, interviews and conceptual maps, the relationships between cultural production, institutionalization, citizen values and contemporary creation understood as leisure service.

For two years, in the context of La Virreina Centre de la Imatge, work has been done on the research project Las verdades ya no son templos, son shares de audiencia (The truth is no longer a simple matter, but a question of audience shares), which examines the relationships between local facilities and Barcelona’s cultural imaginary in the neoliberal era. The project explores the programming and operation of civic centres as public institutions that help construct the so-called “Barcelona brand” paradigm, based on consumption and cultural spectacularisation.

Bearing in mind that, among other things, civic centres were created to shift some of the work involved in civic services away from local government and to provide authorities with spaces for community interaction, we are witnessing how these institutions are transforming to cover other social needs far beyond those originally intended. Furthermore, the organisation of civic centres by district also conditions the user model through several premises, such as income per capita, the businesses in the area and the origin of the neighbourhood, thus constructing classes of civic culture.

Through the relationship between users and centres that defines culture, civic centres are institutions organised by guidelines and programmes that collaborate in this construction and constitution of the term, providing users with a wide range of activities in the form of workshops or courses. This process highlights how civic centres present products for consumption from official bodies that need the public in order to function. In this scenario, users are seen as "audience share" and their attendance indicates the success of the programming.

Daniel Gasol