The 1980s and 1990s saw substantial changes taking place in the sphere of international politics. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the end of the opposition of two political and economic systems, while an incipient globalisation expanded the existing framework beyond Western geographies. Art opened up to a new internationalism.
In Barcelona, the 1992 Olympic Games were a catalyst for integrating Barcelona into the service logic of what is often described as a Post-Fordist type of economy, a process of profound urban, architectural and social renewal by which Barcelona positioned itself in the world’s collectively imaginary. Considered from the local perspective, this new Barcelona embedded in the dynamics of globalisation is not without conflicts and contradictions, and this is reflected in artistic practices.
These practices place particular emphasis on the urban question, which has become symptomatic of this new moment in history. Art puts forward urban and social utopias, and also criticises the logic of the interests behind globalised capital. Property speculation becomes one of the keys to representing the forms of valorisation that take place in the city, while at the same time some artists defend the beauty of the outskirts of the city and urban peripheries: places where the city becomes residual and where new, more autonomous urban processes develop.