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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

francis alys - night watch - le bastart

Fable or laboratory creatures, gods or beasts

News symbiosis between “they and us” Animals have had a privileged place in art since prehistoric times. The figurative painting is born invoking bison and bovids in cave rites. Recent cave discoveries reveal that dog domestication might have started even before the Neolithic. In sedentary societies, religious celebrations and sacrificial rites take over from the hunting rites, while birds and quadrupeds of all kinds take their place in the divine pantheons of the great cultures. The […]

frances goodman - pool party - le bastart

Frances Goodman, about the uncontrollable feminine

Perhaps it is due to a lack of historical perspective, but it seems that feminism, whose stages used to be defined in waves, does not know where to surf, where it is headed. Sucked into the neoliberal maelstrom, the girl power is advertised on the catwalks of Christian Dior, and young women dive like redeemed narcissus into a digital fluidity. The media sells us that the crux of the matter is to debate whether the […]