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 […]

carlos motta - corpo fechado - le bastart

Carlos Motta, drilling peepholes in the official history

“The body is a repository of marks”, we are told at one point in one of Carlos Motta‘s visual essays, Lágrimas (2017). Many of the works of this Colombian artist speak about colonial and postcolonial marks, metaphorical scars on flesh and desire, indelible despite the passing of centuries. Jacques Derrida, for whom the concept of cultural “sign” or “scar” was so important, said that it is not possible to escape the Judeo-Christian tradition. Even the death […]

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 […]

pilar albarracin - no comment - le bastart

Pilar Albarracín

There can be no a community without rites. There has never existed. Amid apelike howls, our ancestors performed already funerary offerings. Before worrying about building houses for the living, they already buried their dead. Shared symbolic thinking gives meaning to life, aiming to unite the people, to frighten the fear of emptiness by inventing a social order within natural chaos. It is an order that does not come from the law but from magic, it does not […]

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 […]

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 […]