I have and like tattoos but don’t know whether in England I would have prioritised a trip to see a tattoo exhibition. While here I wanted to try and explore as many cultural activities as I could and I knew it was in a beautiful building. Therefore, I decided it was worth going to the Tattoo: arte bajo la piel (tattoo: art under the skin) exhibition at the CaixaForum in Barcelona. I was especially interested because of the entrance discount with disability paperwork. This made it far more affordable.
An accessible restoration
The building in which CaixaForum is based is a former factory. Recently, the Caixa Foundation restored it and rebuilt it into an art museum. The entrance is down through a long lift into a cool, airy entrance. After entering you can take the lift back up through the many floors of the building and right onto the roof space, where this exhibition was.
The way CaixaForum adapted the building was gorgeous. It captured both the functional beauty of the factory space, and the modern nature of the renovation.
Tattoo: arte bajo la piel
I went there specifically to look at this exhibition. I didn’t do the full tour of the building, so I can’t comment on that in terms of access. However, the exhibition itself was very well laid out. The main entrance to it had steps, but there was a ramped side-entrance to the exhibition. These often cause one to feel like they’ve arrived round the back, missing something. Here, while using the ramp, I still entered at the beginning of the exhibition, with a lovely entry banner.
Access done right
This felt like access done right. Maybe it would have been better to ramp the main entrance, but this would have been challenging with the shape of the building. Instead they created an entrance with a similar effect, even if a different door, which I was happy with. I was initially frustrated when I saw that I would have to buzz the attendant, who would let me in. However, the response was immediate – which mollified me.
The tattoo exhibition contents
The exhibition was a bit too big. It tried to cover the whole history of the tattoo across the world, and felt both too large and too shallow. The exhibits were all in forward facing glass cabinets. This meant that I was able to see everything, and that it was all at a reasonable height.
I wouldn’t go and visit it for a second time, but I am very glad that I went, and it was an interesting exhibition to have seen. I’m sorry that I didn’t do the building tour also – I somewhat regret deciding that.