ana barriga - bailas - le bastart

Is the game over?

Even the most princely doll becomes a capable proletarian comrade in the children’s play commune (Walter Benjamin, “Old Toys” 1928) During our childhood, we have all eviscerated a stuffed animal or disemboweled a toy. Baudelaire interpreted this impulse as a “first metaphysical tendency”: the child looks for the soul of his doll, but when he does not find it, sadness or stupor ensues. What Walter Benjamin would reply to the French poet is that the soul […]

maria ruido - mater amatisima - le bastart

María Ruido, dismantling myths with the audiovisual montage

The absence of the paternal and maternal figures, or more specifically their physical distance as a child, and the consequent virtual relationship when the technological virtuality did not yet exist has marked, in a sense, the work of María Ruido. In her film essays, however, we could almost say that the feminist motto “the personal is political” is reversed because intimate only appears in her work in an indirect manner, through complex webs that weave the social with the […]

josep tornero - falena - le bastart

Josep Tornero, moths at night

Moths, those butterflies that have a tendency to get lost, that feel a fatal attraction by light to the point of being burned to death, seem to us disturbing creatures. Their scorched wings remind us of Icarus’ suicidal impulse. On the other hand, perhaps they look to us unsettlingly familiar because we do nothing but flit around blinding electronic lights. Moths have fascinated writers and poets. The glimmer of light they leave in their wake […]

artemio - machete art fair - le bastart

Artemio. Art Fairs: high-pressure ecosystems

Fair, it is said circus, amusement park, showbiz world, a carousel of banalities, bazaar of the objet trouvé and a thousand times retrouvé. In contemporary art fairs the ultimate meaningless of art is summarized: to boost the ego, and not exactly that of the artist. The Contemporary Art Apart Fair (CAAF/CDMX 2019) is not Art Basel of Basel, nor of Miami Beach, nor Frieze nor ARCO …, but all of them at the same time. It is […]

eugenio merino - paraiso - le bastart

Eugenio Merino thinks, therefore he disturbs

“If you raid the patriots’ wallets in their pockets it turns out they are Swiss,” says a vignette from El Roto, whose brief sentences and visual satire probably influenced Eugenio Merino‘s work more than any artist trained in the academy. Although the aesthetics of Merino, especially in his hyperrealist sculptures and kitsch metaphors, is peppered with by a more corrosive black humor, where heads can roll, where dictators are frozen and presidents undergo face washing […]

bas jan ader - too sad caixaforum - le bastart

Semiotics of passions in CaixaForum Barcelona

Darwin considered that letting out one’s emotions was something inappropriate for “civilized” men. Instead, crying was proper for weak personalities, that is, women with a hysterical tendency, senile old men and children, as well as “primitive” people. But, in spite of his andro and Eurocentric blindness, Darwin study of the phylogenetic transmission of behaviors and expressions influenced a thinker who would revolutionize the way of reading images and approaching the history of art, Aby Warburg. […]

checas psicotecnicas - mnac - le bastart

Ornament and crime. Pyco-technic and avant-garde torture

When a subject carries such a devastating intensity as it was to turn modern art into a tool of torture, it is likely that any exposition about it will defraud us. But it can also happen that, as in Pedro G Romero‘s “Room”, the playful lightening of the weight of History predisposes us to more flexible and audacious readings, freed from moral servitudes and invented truths. During the Spanish civil war, the checas were centers of detention […]

duen sacchi - organoleptico - le bastart

Duen Sacchi, from my parts of the Indies

Duen Sacchi breaks down the old drawers of the colonial history file, reduces the computer furniture to splinters and sets them on fire. From the ashes comes something new because each document left its imprint on the brazier, and that which does not disappear even with fire is the repressed of history, which can not be redeemed. His writing is rhizomatic, it moves with its underground roots evading linear narratives. At the same time, it […]