1 of 2
CaixaForum summer exhibition
Winds (2010), Du Zhenjuan—part of the 'Torres i gratacels' exhibition at CaixaForum
2 of 2
Take advantage of the cool evenings after the super-hot, sweaty Barcelona summer days by going along to one of the city’s various cultural venues that open their doors late into the night over the coming months.
CaixaForum has become quite adept at this increasingly popular summer ritual, and will be open this year every Wednesday in July and August until 11pm. There is, of course, its programme of temporary exhibitions to enjoy, which this season features the ‘interactive’ art exhibition, ‘L’art, ets tu’ (Art is you), in which visitors are invited to create their own piece inspired by one of 10 artists who have been shown at CaixaForum since its inauguration a decade ago (until September 2nd); and ‘Torres i gratacels’, looking at global high buildings, both contemporary and historic (until September 9th). But they also put on special events (two each Wednesday) to entice people to visit during these extended opening hours. There are both free activities and other events that cost just €4. Recomendations include the Cesc Gelabert choreography ‘Memòries corporals’, featuring dancers young and old (July 4th, 8pm and 10pm, free); ‘El musical participatiu’, a whistle-stop tour through some of the most famous musicals of the past decades (July 11th and 18th, 8pm and 10pm, free); and German duo Burnt Friedman and Jaki Liebzeit performing ‘avant-jazz’, described as a mix between afrojazz, dub and electronic music (August 1st, 8pm and 10pm, free).
Further up Montjuïc, the Fundació Joan Miró will opening until 9.30pm on Thursdays from this month until the end of September, giving us the chance to enjoy its fabulous building and setting as the sun goes down. Its main exhibition during this time is ‘Projecció’, a show of work by Palestinian-British artist Mona Hatoum, her first solo event in Barcelona that follows her being awarded the Premi Joan Miró last year. Forty of her works from the last 20 years will be on display, highlighting her skill at connecting personal experience and universal values, the facet that led the prize jury to name her as the 2011 winner.
On Saturday July 14th, the Montjuïc by Night festival returns, with various free events happening around the park from 8pm to 4am. At the time of going to press, details weren’t yet available of what would be on during this edition, but if past years are anything to go by, there will be live music, a chance to swim in the famous pool that staged the Olympic Games diving competition and late-night openings from the different cultural venues dotted around the area (for example, the MNAC will be open until 1am). Keep an eye on www.bcn.cat for full info.
Finally, and nowhere near Montjuïc, La Pedrera has two evening options—it has to be said at the outset, that they are particularly pricey options, leading one to assume that they are geared towards the willing tourist rather than residents (and it’s hard to ignore the fact that La Pedrera is run by the embattled Catalunya Caixa). While the ‘Pedrera Secreta’ guided night-time tours (in various languages including English) of the building (which include seeing how people lived there when it was first built a century ago) aren’t specifically for the summer months, it’s fair to say that this is probably the time of year that best lends itself to checking out what happens after dark at Gaudí’s famed Passeig de Gràcia construction. From March to October, these visits happen daily from 8.30pm to midnight (weekends are an exception in the summer —read on for info); the rest of the year, they run from 8-10.30pm, Wednesdays to Saturdays. Tickets cost €30 for adults and €15 for children, aged 7-15. By comparison, the popular summer jazz nights at the venue, running Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, have an entry fee of €25 and you get a glass of cava thrown in. The sessions, which see the same group or performer on stage each of those nights for one week, run until September 8th; doors open at 9.30pm, with the music starting at 10pm. Most of the musicians are local, although the three concerts of 12th to 14th are performed by Dutch saxophonist Benjamin Herman, while the New York saxophonist Seamus Blake joins the Andreu Zaragoza quartet on-stage (26th-28th).