pol gonzalez novell - quatrieme mur - le bastart

When paintings left their frames

“A horrible and immense hole”, exclaimed a journalist from Le Figaro seeing the desolate aspect of the Louvre wall where weeks before had hung The Mona Lisa. After the robbery, the visits to the museum increased in such a way that the newspapers satirized about it: “some people like works of art by themselves, others by the place they occupy”, said a headline. The Italian carpenter who, one summer morning in 1911, removed La Gioconda […]

coleccion ramon sarro - art brut - le bastart

Undisciplined art in disciplinary architecture

During the 19th century, panoptic architecture applied to prisons became gradually widespread in Europe, prisons in which the feeling of being watched by the eye that sees all would implant a sort of censoring chip inside each prisoner. When Barcelona hosted the Universal Exhibition, in 1888, it closed basements and dungeons and also opened its model prison. It is said that at the beginning it was known as hotel entença (the street name) because it was […]

cristina toledo - grief - le bastart

Cristina Toledo, hidden plots into the images

Historian Aby Warburg urged his contemporaries to read the images as symptoms, no longer as symbols or as signifiers. The symptomatic emerges when a choreographic substrate (gestures, emotions …) articulates unconscious relations between them. Today, in a world saturated with images without context or entity, transversal readings are even more necessary. Cristina Toledo, in her painting, strips the black and white surfaces of vintage photographs she finds on the internet, to rescue latencies captured in […]

lorenza bottner - venus de milo - le bastart

Lorenza Böttner: the fall, the flight

It happened returning from school, along the road so many times traveled. He walked beneath a power-line when he saw a feather falling, and before it reached the ground Ernst had already climbed to the top, searching the nest. He was fascinated by birds. There were the pigeons, but the sudden arrival of their mother frightened him. He grabbed the cables to avoid falling and the electric shock caused him an irreparable damage. He was […]

ana maria maiolino - entrevidas - le bastart

The territory and its layers: gender, nature, body

At the time of the great conquests, modern cartographic science was developed. Felipe II, overwhelmed by the vastness of his territories, commissioned to the best geographer of the time to map the world. So, he could take complete control at a glance, and even maybe dreaming of being a Salvator Mundi with the orb in one hand and blessing with the other. The title of this first modern atlas, Theater of the World (Theatrum Orbis […]

avelino sala - a perfect day - le bastart

Avelino Sala, living in strange days

The best utopias are those that fail because even the best of wishes has a double burden, beneficial and harmful, of unpredictable consequences. Fredric Jameson exemplifies it with the novel by Ursula LeGuin The Lathe of Heaven, where the desire to stop overpopulation condemns the humanity to extermination. Without recourse to science fiction, history of humankind is replete with perversions of collectivist ideals and neo-fascist distortions of the sense of belonging. By pointing out the […]

laia arqueros - gynopia cerinea - le bastart

Dancing tongues. From Laia Arqueros to Nancy Spero

In Ancient Greece, while the wise and not-so-wise philosophers argued in their endless symposiums, reclining among soft cushions, their wives frolicked in the field, dancing naked, ate cakes shaped like phalluses and sesame vulvas. The truth is that much of their time was spent indoors, but when they left home, they messed it up. Or so we like to imagine it. Robert Graves defined the Athenian Thesmophoria as agricultural orgies, and Laia Arqueros reinvents, again and again, […]

margaret harrison - guernica aleppo - le bastart

Margaret Harrison, humor and courage

London was a hotbed of dissent and underground activity at the end of the sixties, and when it came to surface it was like burning lava. Miss World 1970 will be remembered not so much for the award-winning beauties but for the rain of stink bombs and leaflets on the Royal Albert Hall stage, and for the banners with which young feminists expressed their rejection of that cattle market. Among the activists, there was one […]