Error: 3002 Source: GeoIP.asp line 56: File could not be opened. Exhibition on Political Activism and Artistic Creativity Opens Today at Barcelona's MACBA
The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 Monday, November 24, 2014


Exhibition on Political Activism and Artistic Creativity Opens Today at Barcelona's MACBA
Joseph Huber, Never Ask Why. Berlin: Karte'll, 1980. Postal, 10,4 x 14,8 cm. Centre de Documentació MACBA.
BARCELONA.- “Arroje aquí todo lo que corrompe” (“Throw away everything that corrupts here”); that was the slogan that the Argentinian collective Grupo Escombros printed in 1993 on a rubbish bag to accompany the magazine-box Biopsia 2. Striking slogans and plays on words, combined with powerful images, have often been used by many artists, groups and movements over the course of the last century. Under the title On the Margins of Art. Creation and Political Engagement and curated by Guy Schraenen, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) brings together some 230 artist’s books, magazines, flyers, posters, postcards and other printed materials dating to the period from 1933 to 2008 and in which creative ability has been placed at the service of political protest, as in, for example, Samaral’s dollars, riddled with bullet holes, and the Guerrilla Girls’ denouncements of gender discrimination. The selection of works, which can be seen in the exhibition room at the MACBA Documentation and Study Centre, builds up a landscape that clearly lies on the border between the territories of art and ideology, diagonally crossing through the spheres of thought, political activism and artistic creativity. The sound landscape chosen for the exhibition also explores the same theme: Campaign (1973), by the German artist Ferdinand Kriwet, is a 15-minute sound collage juxtaposing fragments from speeches by the candidates at the 1972 American presidential elections, Richard Nixon and John McGovern. The 150 artists represented in the show include André Breton, Diego Rivera, René Crevel, Paul Eluard, Adrian Piper, Christian Boltanski, Edgardo Antonio Vigo, Félix González Torres, Hans Haacke, Horacio Zabala, Joseph Beuys, KP Brehmer, Vito Acconci, Miralda, Rabascall, Muntadas, Pedro G. Romero and Alfredo Jaar.

Through a selection of printed materials—magazines, artist’s books, posters and flyers—that weave together three strands (art, political cause and print dissemination), the exhibition On the Margins of Art. Creation and Political Engagement illustrates the different ways in which art and political engagement came together during the second half of the 20th century. Most of the pieces date to the period from 1960 to 1980, when artistic forms underwent a particularly profound transformation. In order to embrace certain historic precedents, however, the exhibition begins chronologically with two surrealist tracts (loose sheets of text put out to broadcast declarations of principles) dating to 1933 and 1936 respectively, before jumping to the 1960s, a decade which saw the publication of numerous periodicals devoted to informing about developments in art, politics and culture.

These include Konkret, a radical left-wing publication which first began to circulate around German university circles in 1961. The editor-in-chief of Konkret, which described itself as an “independent cultural and political magazine”, was Ulrike Mainhoff, who left in 1969 to join the armed group Rote Armee Fraktion. A few years later, Provo, a Dutch movement that embodied an amalgam of Dada, anarchism and irony, launched the magazine of the same name (1965-1967). The first issue of Provo, subtitled “Revo”, was immediately confiscated and destroyed by the police. For their part, the magazines Internationale Situationniste (1957-1969) and The Situationist Times (1962-1967) stand out amongst the many publications circulated by the Situationist International to report on the intense theoretical activity generated by the movement, which was in stark contrast with uses being made of the visual arts. The appropriation by fine artists of resources from popular culture with the aim of simplifying their messages and reaching broader audiences is a constant throughout the history of engaged art, as is clearly illustrated in the pamphlet Ten Days that Shook the University, jointly published by the Situationists and Strasbourg University students in 1967, during the preliminaries to the May’68 revolts.

Many fine artists were also members of the countless groups that rose up in protest in spring 1968, some designing the posters printed and distributed from the ateliers of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris under the direction of Gérard Fromanger to spread protest messages. Most went unsigned, however, for the individual artists eschewed any protagonism in order to place all the emphasis on the content. These posters are characterised by their powerful visual impact and simple slogans, at times subtle, indirect—“Il faut du noir pour sortir du rouge”—on a poster by Degottex—at others clear, forceful: “Voter contre [le] capital ne suffit pas”.

Similar ideas to those defended in May’68 began to circulate again the following year, at the festival held in Charlottenburg, Denmark, to commemorate the second centenary of the city’s Royal Academy of Art. For the occasion, the historian Troels Andersen, who supported non-violent anarchist ideas, created the 200 Festival Bulletin, which was published daily from 8 to 18 June 1969 and featured contributions from many artists, including Herman de Vries, Marc Adrian and Tom Kugiers, who used such techniques as collage, image manipulation and combinations of typed and handwritten texts for their interventions in this publication exploring to the full the dual levels of readings—semantic and visual—to which the printed page lends itself.

Radically creative use of language is amongst the most important resources employed by visual artists seeking to transmit striking messages aimed at “awakening consciences”. There is little doubt, moreover, that the powerful influence of visual and concrete poetry is noted in such works. Although such art forms have nearly always remained the domain of the few, the habitually low print runs condemning them to limited circulation, visual poetry’s capacity to exploit and transcend linguistic conventions, combined with its innovative combination of word and image on the two-dimensional support of the page, exercised a powerful influence over politically-engaged movements and art groups throughout the 20th century. The exhibition includes several publications that occupy a position on the border between visual poetry and engaged art, including the series of materials by the Textruction group published by the École Spéciale d’Architecture of Paris in 1972, and Ovum, a Uruguayan magazine published by Clemente Padín at around the same time.

Many Latin-American artists built on these uses of language throughout the second half of the 20th century, particularly during the dictatorial periods in the 1960s and 70s, when they frequently fell victim to aggressive policies of state repression. In such cases, however, the motivation behind this creative use of language was not only aesthetic, but was also born, to a large extent, of the need to get around the censor and evade government control in order to put social protest messages into circulation. The slogan “¡Basta de corturas!”, coined by Clemente Padín (s.d.), is an illustrative example of such ploys, and more can be found in much of Edgardo Antonio Vigo’s vast output over the course of his life, as well as the post-art works that Vigo himself did so much to promote. For this exhibition, we have selected two magazine-boxes edited by Vigo: Biopsia 2 (1993), by Grupo Escombros, a protest against corruption headed by the slogan “Arroje aquí todo lo que corrompe” on a rubbish bag; and Biopsia 4 (1997), by Juan Carlos Romero, entitled “Memoria de la material”, paying homage to the disappeared and other victims of repression during the Argentinian dictatorship.

Two particular cases in point are the Black Panthers, a black civil rights group active above all in the 1960s and early-70s, and the Guerrilla Girls, who rose to fame in the 1980s, their members remaining anonymous in order to ensure that the focus of attention remained firmly set on their messages decrying gender inequality. However, protests about discrimination are not exclusive to groups that consider themselves minorities, but often have a sadly general nature, responding to situations in which institutional or any other power becomes an instrument of domination. The image that Klaus Staeck chose to frame symbolically in his 1975 poster, accompanied by the slogan “L’art d’aujourd’hui n’a pas lieu au musée”, shows a policeman beating a demonstrator; in his artist’s book T.V. Folk-Dance: Tango of Violencia (1977), Jürgen Harten replicates a similar situation in which the characters featured in the struggle—one in uniform—are simplified, reduced to silhouettes; Jenny Holzer takes this reductive process even further, embodying her protest in the single phrase that occupies the entire cover of a book published in 1983: Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise.

Many artists turn to subverting the symbolic systems on which power rests as a way of denouncing social injustices and inequalities. This often involves not only manipulating the iconography of maps, as in Julio Plaza’s book Poé/lítica (1977), but also the creative alteration of official documents and symbols: Alfredo Jaar’s passport and maps (1992); the dollar notes perforated by gunshots in Samaral’s Bang, bang, bang: 3 billetes; Cildo Meireles and his counterfeit Brazilian cruzeiros; and the redesign of the German flag proposed by K. P. Bremer in the poster Korrektur der Nationalfarben (1973) all provide examples of such graphic reinterpretation and critical appropriation. However, political power and its representatives are not the only object of such protests: as the media became more and more powerful socially, artists reacted against this new hegemony with such works as Rabascall’s poster for the exhibition Villeparisis (1974) and Richard Serra’s message “You are consumed. You are the product of television” (1973). Moreover, a similar stance is often taken against the art system itself: amongst other materials, Les Levine’s poster No New Artists (1992) and the message that provides the title to Jean Toche’s book I Piss on the Arts (2001), illustrate such attitudes to perfection.

From the 1980s on, other social and political found their reflection in art: the ecology, questions relating to ethnic and national identity, the fight against Aids, gay and lesbian visibility and the exclusion of immigrants are amongst the other issues highlighted in the materials selected for this exhibition, which reach our times with violent protests against the Iraq War and the Guantanamo detention centre, amongst other causes.

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona | Christian Boltanski | Edgardo Antonio Vigo | Félix González Torres | Hans Haacke | Horacio Zabala | Joseph Beuys | KP Brehmer | Vito Acconci | Miralda | Rabascall |




Last Week News

July 9, 2009

Chronological Survey of Le Corbusier's 60-year Oeuvre Opens at Martin Gropius Bau

Public Art Fund Presents Franz West: The Ego and the Id on View at Central Park

Sotheby's Evening Sales of Old Master Paintings Totals $60 Million

Amon Carter Museum Acquires Rare 20-volume Photography Book and Portfolio Set

Manchester Hermit Continues his Quest to Challenge the Importance of Museum Archives

Christie's Auction of Old Masters and 19th Century Art Realises $32.8 Million

Idea Generation Gallery to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Woodstock Music Festival

The Smithsonian Associates Commissions "Museum Moment" Print by Sam Gilliam

Knoxville Museum of Art Receives Gift of Major Work of Art

V&A Announces Afruz Amighi as Winner of the Jameel Prize 2009

New and Recent Work by Irish Artist Alan Phelan to Open to the Public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

Sotheby's London to Offer The Extensive Archive of Sir Harford Jones, The First British Envoy to Baghdad

Tel Aviv Museum of Art Reconstructs 1907 Berlin Exhibition of Jewish Artists from Across Europe

National Academy Museum to Feature Emerging Artists in "Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820-2009

Works from the Zabludowicz Collection to be Shown in "Pete and Repeat"at 176 in London

Interview with Zhao Liang: "I am Interested in Social Problems of China Because is it my Responsibility"

New London Housing Needs to be Bigger and Better - RIBA Response to the London Housing Design Guide

37 San Francisco Arts Organizations Awarded $1.5 Million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Grant Program

Starting Signal for Renovation of Rijksmuseum Main Building

July 8, 2009

National Gallery Takes a Fresh Look at Landscape from the Collection with "Corot to Monet"

Complete Body of Works by Rembrandt to be Shown for the Very First Time

Caroline Baumann Named Acting Director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt

Sotheby's in London to Sell a Lost Inheritance of the Romanovs

Fondation Cartier Brings to Light the Extraordinary Development of Graffiti

Diana Magaloni Kerpel, New Director of Mexico's Museum of Anthropology

Best of British: The Story of the British Collection at Dulwich Picture Gallery

The Heckscher Museum of Art Presents Paper Chase: Works on Paper by William Merritt Chase and his Contemporaries

Huntington Exhibition to Explore the Dramatic Impact of Color Lithography on Daily Life

Joy and Disappointment are Balanced in a New Sculpture Exhibit

This is War! Robert Capa at Work on View at Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts Opens The Exhibition Formerly Known as Passengers: 2.11 Mario Garcia Torres

Peggy Guggenheim Collection Announces First Exhibition of Maurice Prendergast's Works of Art

MCASD Receives Conservation Bookshelf from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Andy Warhol: The Last Decade Announced at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Walt Whitman and American Art of the Civil War Era at Dixon Gallery and Gardens

New Condominium Breaks Ground with Permanent Art Collection and Curators

IAIA Celebrates the '70s in Support of Native American Student Success

Michaelis School of Fine Art: Call for Application

July 7, 2009

Prince of Wales to Unveil Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of London Bombings

The World's Oldest Bible Reunited Online by British Library

Antony Gormley's Fourth Plinth Marathon was Launched Today

Darwin Family Portraits To Feature in Sotheby's Sale of Early British Paintings

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya Opens Gerda Taro Exhibition

Anselm Kiefer Designs Sets and Costumes for the Paris Opera

artnet Auctions Launches Sale of Urban Art 1972-Present

Perpetual Transitions by Kalliopi Lemos Installed at Onassis Cuktural Center

Miami Art Museum Names Elizabeth Marquardt as Chief Financial Officer

The Royal Ontario Museum Announces Star-studded Exhibition

Bellevue Arts Museum Announces Arts Fair

Different Things: A Flavour of International Contemporary Art from the IMMA Collection at Artlink Gallery

Multi-dimensional Exhibition Bringing Together Thirteen Organisations Opened at Contemporary Art Manchester

Spike Island Commissions Glasgow-based Artist Clare Stephenson to Develop New Installation for Summer 2009

Mandela Day Installation to Debut at Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall

Standstill is a Particular Form of Movement: An exhibition with Eran Schaerf and Simon Wachsmuth

San Jose ICA Presents NextNew Exhibition - Summer Show Features Best of the New with a Twist of Green

A New Concept in Public Seating, both Sculptural and Interactive, Presented at Southbank Centre

Fred Bollerer Appointed Chief Operating Officer at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design

A New Series of Theme Auctions of Contemporary and Culture to Launch at Phillips de Pury & Company

July 6, 2009

Rencontres d'Arles: 40 Years of the Rencontres, 40 Years of Ruptures to Open in France

The Americas Collection to Show Picasso Suite Entitled Imaginary Portraits

Design Museum in London Remembers Jan Kaplicky: Architect of the Future

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Marks the Eightieth Anniversary of the Exhibition "Film und Foto"

Extraordinary Exhibition of Masterpieces of Victorian Art on View for the First Time in the Netherlands

Interview with Yann Gross:"Photography Permits Me to Discover What Surrounds our Everyday Life"

20th Century Masterpieces in Private Swiss Collections on View at Fondation de l'Hermitage

Fine Art Dealers Association Announces New President

Japan Society Gallery Showcases Rare Japanese Tin-Toy Vehicles

Phoenix City Council Supports Lease Agreement with Advocates for Latin@ Arts and Culture Consortium

Modern British Masters at Madejski Gallery in Reading

Second Edition of the Annual Satellite Programme at Jeu de Paume Features Irina Botea

Exhibition of Paintings, Paper Reliefs and Photographs by Janet Boulton to Open at Edinburgh College of Art

Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts Shows for the Second Time its Western Art Collection

Remowned Artist Kiki Smith to Receive 50th Edward MacDowell Medal in August

The Arena of Ridicule: English Caricatures 1780-1830 Opens at Hamburger Kunsthalle

Impressions of California: Roses, Mt. Wilson and the West to Highlight Auction of California Paintings & Sculpture

Kresge Foundation Awards $450,000 in Fellowships to Detroit Area Visual Artists

The Vision and Value of Arts in the City

July 5, 2009

Edouard Manet's The Boy with Cherries Visits Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts as Guest Work

Ball Parks: Jim Dow's Photographs of Baseball Stadiums Opens at the National Gallery Canada

Wide Range of Works in a Variety of Media by Matthew Buckingham at Museo Reina Sofia

The Vauxhall Collective: The UK's Most Talented and Exciting Creatives Exhibit their Commissions

Internationally Renowned Artists Help Put the 'Art' Back into Street Art

Pierre Bal-Blanc Curates The Death of the Audience for Vienna's Secession

Andrea Zittel's Travelling Enterprise "Smockshop" will be Presented at London Fashion Week

Walid Raad Solo Show as Part of the XV Advanced Course in Visual Arts of the Fondazione Antonio Ratti

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art Presents A Room of Their Own

The Art Fund Celebrates Legendary Photographer Diane Arbus

Joslyn Art Museum Presents Exhibition of Mexican Folk Art from Private Local Collection

Woodson Art Museum Awarded Alzheimer's Grant

National Constitution Center to Host Groundbreaking Civic Exhibition "Into the Open"

Brooklyn Museum Reports Record Attendance of More than 80,000 Visitors at Target First Saturdays in Past Year

Cheekwood's Curator of Art Publishes New Book, Internationalizing the History of American Art

Juilliard Pianists Michael Brown and Eric Zuber are Winners of the 2009 Gina Bachauer Piano Competition

ICA/Boston Gives Teens the Floor in Groundbreaking Summer Convening with Arts Leaders

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum Announces 2009-10 Schedule

Humanism in China: A Contemporary Record of Photography to Open at China Institute Gallery

Boston Center for the Arts Announces Call for Entries for The 21st Drawing Show

Solo Presentation by Michael Joaquin Grey at P. S. 1 Contemporary Art Center

July 4, 2009

First U.S. Exhibition of Venetian Renaissance Sculptor Tullio Lombardo at National Gallery

Bonhams Old Master Sale Offers Best Of The Grand Tour With Paintings by Classic Artists

Leading Artists and Thinkers Gather in Charles Darwin's Home Town to Celebrate his Lasting Legacy

Linked Hybrid by Steven Holl Architects Named 2009 "Best Tall Building" in Asia & Australia Category

Maurice de Vlaminck, a Fauve Instinct: Paintings from 1900 to 1915 on View at Caixaforum Barcelona

Dali Collection in Florida to Move to Hurricane-proof Building

Museum of Art Lucerne Opens Silence: A Selection of Works from the Collection

Jewish Museum Announces Reinventing Ritual: Contemporary Art and Design for Jewish Life

Joslyn Art Museum Presents an Exhibition of Devotional Images Called Retablos

Aperture Foundation Announces Winners of the Strand's First Ever Photography Contest

The Ashmolean Museum Acquires an Extensive Collection of Drawings by Tom Phillips RA

Weapons Collection, Witness of Mexican History

What Are You Like? Self-revealing Artworks by People in the Public Eye

Corcoran Presents Claudia Smigrod, Neighborhood Watch

New Orleans Museum of Art to Present Skylar Fein: Youth Manifesto

The National Gallery of Australia to be "Stitched Up" by a Tag Crew of Knitters as Part of a Festival

D Documenta: A Two-day Conference Towards Documeta 13

2008 Grange Prize Winner Sarah Anne Johnson Debuts Emotionally Charged New Exhibition at the AGO this Weekend

British Artist Richard Woods Whimsically Transforms Various Structural Elements at City Hall.

Call for Applications - Kuenstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Greece holds breath as skeleton found in Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis

2.- Spain mourns the death of art collector Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba

3.- Meet the ancestors: Exhibition at Bordeaux gallery reveals faces of prehistoric humans

4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

5.- Historic photos of dead Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara resurface in small Spanish town

6.- Exhibition showcases the first two 'Poesie' created by Titian following their restoration

7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

8.- Crystal Bridges announces the departure of museum President Don Bacigalupi

9.- artnet Auctions offers a later example of Yayoi Kusama's important Infinity-Nets series

10.- 'Degenerate art' should go back to museums: German advisor Jutta Limbach

Related Stories



Museu d'Art Contemporani in Barcelona Exhibition Asks: Are You Ready for TV?

Largest John Baldessari Retrospective Exhibition Ever Mounted in Spain

Modernologies: Contemporary Artists Researching Modernity and Modernism



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site