Àngels Miralda

Àngels Miralda (1990) is an independent writer and curator. Her recent exhibitions have taken place at Something Else III (Cairo Biennale); Garage Art Space (Nicosia); Radius CCA (Delft), P////AKT (Amsterdam), Indebt (Amsterdam), Mutter (Amsterdam), Bradwolff Projects (Amsterdam), Sally’s Fault (Amsterdam), De Appel (Amsterdam), Tallinn Art Hall (Estonia), MGLC – International Centre for Graphic Arts (Ljubljana), Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic (Municipal Gallery of Zagreb), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chile (Santiago), Museu de Angra do Heroísmo (Terceira – Azores), and the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (Riga) among many others.

Miralda wrote for Artforum from 2019-2023 and regularly publishes with Terremoto (Mexico City), A*Desk (Barcelona), Arts of the Working Class (Berlin). She is the editor-in-chief of Collecteurs (New York). She has upcoming artist monographs published by Phaidon Press (London), TBA21 (Córdoba), and Cukrarna (Ljubljana).  She is currently working on the first edition of the Contemporary Biennial TEA 2024 in the Canary Islands.


– Can you tell us about your practice?

I’m interested in a wide variety of artistic practices. As a curator and writer, I enjoy helping to facilitate opportunities for artists to show and presenting their work through writing and mediation. I am very influenced by my early studies first in Rome, where I specialised in Arte Povera and Italian Cinema through the texts of Pasolini and Gramsci, and later in London where I developed my previous research in Arte Povera into a thesis on a spatial contemporary paradigm of post-installation art. Today I am continuing with a macro-approach to these themes which offers me a lot of flexibility in terms of content.

What are you currently working on?

At the moment I am busy preparing for the Contemporary Biennial of TEA (Tenerife Espacio de las Artes)  in Tenerife. I am honored to have been invited to curate the first edition of this biennial in such a crucial and inspiring place as Canarias which is already teaching me a lot. I am very interested in decentering art practices which is why this biennial, away from the main art centers, is particularly exciting for me. I am also continuing to work as part of the curatorial group for Something Else – an artist-led initiative in Cairo that convenes once a year for an all-out visual arts exhibition, this year I will bring artists from the Netherlands to Egypt to work in-situ. I am also planning an exhibition next year with Pieter Slagboom at the Drawing Centre Diepenheim here in the Netherlands.

-What is your take on the Amsterdam art scene? Did WOW Amsterdam help you to facilitate new connections?

WOW has been incredibly helpful in offering space for cultural producers. Over the last two years I have expanded my network and become a part of this city’s art scene. Access to space for both living and working is one of the toughest factors in Amsterdam’s art scene.

– Can you share how and why you arrived in Amsterdam, and maybe tell us about your experience of settling in this city?

I arrived in Amsterdam in 2020 to participate in De Appel Curatorial Programme which was an extremely negative experience for me. I already had a lot of experience in curating before entering this programme and was shocked at the levels of corruption and lack of empathy within the institution. Fortunately, the director was removed shortly after but I have never received an apology or any gesture of repair from the institution. Luckily, I have been able to find a large and supportive community outside of that programme that has been wonderful in fostering atmospheres of discussion and professional exchange as well as mutual support.

– What kind of struggles do you usually face when you work on a new curatorial task?

The biggest struggle for me is choosing which projects to work on, I hate saying no because I would love to work with everyone. Planning and organising my limited time in order to realise everything I agree to in a timely and successful manner is very important to me, so I spend a lot of time considering the feasibility of projects. I have been very successful with fundraising in previous projects so it doesn’t always happen, but tightening the budget is always a difficult aspect when portions of the projected financial plan fall through. Other than that, I don’t mind busy work as it is part of the project as well, and it leads to me being able to engage with the artwork and think through the exhibition with artists which is what I most enjoy.


– Can you tell us about your strategy for engaging with a new artist or a new type of work with which you will be in further dialogue as a curator?

It doesn’t always happen this way due to limited time as well as travel schedules, but I like to meet artists both in professional environments such as a studio visit or an exhibition tour as well as more casual environments such as openings or doing something that is not directly connected to their work. These two scenarios open a wider possibility in the types of conversation and trust that can form between artists and curators. At the moment I can speak a bit about the project with Pieter Slagboom who lives in Middelburg. We have arranged several meetings, in Diepenheim, Amsterdam, and Middelburg so that I can follow the development of a new body of works that will be exhibited. After doing an initial research and reading existing publications, I am providing another pair of eyes as he works towards the show which is a necessary conversation in such an intense and solitary kind of work.

– Is there a specific general theme you can trace through all the exhibitions you’ve curated so far?

Yes, I have always been interested in geology and extraction as a subject matter, whether from an ecological or historical lens. I have done several exhibitions and texts on the subject of landscape and identity which taps into my interests in history and sociology. Ultimately, I see the mountain as a dialect. Our connection to land allows us to make specific sounds and vowels that might be understandable to others while simultaneously unutterable. This focus on language and semiotics combines with the specificity of locality and new ruralisms which are increasingly forgotten in today’s cultural magnetism towards global centers.


– Can you share strategies for achieving financial stability (if there is one) in the often precarious field of art?

I have a part-time job as an editor at Collecteurs which is incredibly important for me in terms of my own projects as well as a source of stability. I do a lot of writing as well as editing for the platform which has been a place where I not only contribute to our joint projects but also learn a lot that I apply to my other work outside of the platform. Right now we are very focused on advocating for Palestinian liberation and it is the place where I have had the best discussions about institutional ethics and cultural solidarity. I think it is very important for anybody trying to work in arts to first find financial stability, especially for those of us who don’t arrive with a lot of wealth or incomes from parents to sustain us. I worked for many years as a barista in coffee shops as well as a director of a commercial gallery – right now I have the perfect situation of a paid job that is also enjoyable and helps me develop in many ways.


– Please name five essential aspects necessary to keep your practice sustainable.

Right now, stable finances, housing, time, and available space – and for the last one I will add something that should have been implemented long ago – universal basic income.

-How do you envision your personal development in the upcoming years? Do you have a plan, or do you tend to follow your instincts?

I am working on projects that are increasingly larger in scale. I am very happy with this, looking back on my career I have had a stable and organic growth with my projects that continues in exciting ways. I have some plans for applications for projects that I would be very interested in doing, but other than that I go with the flow and see what comes my way. I would be interested in finding a more stable position within an institution but it is very difficult to manage when I already have independent commitments for exhibitions through 2025.

– What is your strategy for recharging?

I feel energized by my work. I love to work with artists where we can also hang out together and unwind. I don’t find things tiring as long as I am having fun. I am running marathons at the moment and find that I can turn my brain off and really be in the moment when I’m running through nature. I like to take the train to Haarlem and run back to the WOW. It’s about 21km going through Spaarndam and the fields all the way to Halfweg.



– If you were to be reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?

After this intense life of traveling and working non-stop I think I will be a crustacean in the next one. Some sort of barnacle, stuck to a rock and safe inside my shell enjoying the sea breeze and refreshing waves.

Photos by Roman Ermolaev

by WOW