Alcaide, Carmen & Lopez Fernández Cao, Marián

Irrationality and paradox as a quest for knowledge in the language of Don Quixote and a brief history of art therapy in Spain

Opening Address by Carmen Alcaide and Marián Lopez Fernández Cao

Art is the awareness of a lost life and it is the mean to recover it”, says the Spanish philosopher María Zambrano. Through this opening ceremony talk, we will have a glance on how artists, being them writers, painters, dancers or musicians, have look for irrationality and paradox as a way to know about themselves and the World, widening our horizon to Spanish speaking countries, not only from Spain but from Central and South America. Finally, we will introduce the short but proactive history of Arts Therapies in Spain. 


Carmen Alcaide is the Director of Fine Arts Aula in the University of Alcalá with a PhD in Fine Arts.  her doctoral thesis, Art Therapy with psychiatric patients, was the first thesis presented in the University Complutense of Madrid on the subject of Art Therapy.  She is a Professor of Art Therapy in Masters and doctorate courses and Director of doctoral thesis in Art Therapy and Music Therapy.  Carmen works on research and publications covering topics in Artistic Education, Inclusive Education and Art Therapy.

She is currently the coordinator and professor in Arts and its Didactics, imparted in Degrees and Pos-Degree at the University of Alcalá as well as a Professor in Plastic and Visual Arts in continuous formation courses.


Marián López Fdz. Cao  PhD in Fine Arts. Master’s in psychotherapeutic intervention. Accredited Art Therapist from FEAPA (Spanish Federation of Art Therapist).  Professor of Art Therapy and Art Education at the Faculty of Education, Complutense University of Madrid since 1992. Coordinator of the Master’s in Art therapy and Art Education for Social Inclusion 2010-2014. Coordinator of Ph.D. Studies 2004-2010. From 2007 to 2011, Director of the Institute of Feminist Research. Nowadays, Director of the international program Latinoamerican Complutense School, adviser of the vice-chancellor of International Affairs. Director of the Research Group 941035 ‘Art application for Social Inclusion’. Director of the indexed scientific journal Papers of Art Therapy…, Director of the editorial collection Possibilities of Being through art, which has been awarded for its egalitarian nature.

She has conducted more than 20 Ph.D. Principal researcher of several national and international projects on arts, art therapy, social inclusion and gender.