Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Equipo Cronica - pop art against Franco

Guernica (1971)

preparing my class about authoritarian art, I stumbled upon this pretty interesting artistic group from the Spain of the 1960s, Equipo Cronica (active between 1964-1981, including Juan Antonio Toledo, Manolo Vald├ęs and Rafael Solbes) which used pop art to criticize the society. Inspired explicitly by Cezanne, Velasquez and Picasso (which they quote and reinterpret extensively) they alluded to the commercialism of the period in which they were creating. Namely, la "cultura de la evasion" as the mass culture phenomenon of the mid-60s in Franco's Spain came to be known; it encompassed everything from bull fights to football, bad literature and bad cinema. I chose to show their reinterpretation of Guernica by Picasso because it strikes me how pop-art inspired this piece is and how the symbolism of the first Guernica is even more striking.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chto Delat

Chto Delat or What is to be done is an artist group from Saint Petersburg explicitly demanding for a reevaluation of left values. An exhibition of their work is on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Here can be seen the video which was part of the exhibition: http://vimeo.com/12130035. The video stems from the documentation of the art collective of the social and political actors intervening in a controversial plan to build in the center of St Petersburg "the Okhta Center with a Gazprom skyscraper". But more than this the video shows Russian society divided by fractures ironically sung about.

Monday, October 18, 2010

the database of art plundered by the nazi

Today was launched a database that collects information about works of art plundered by the Nazi from Jewish owners in France and Belgium . This project is interesting as it offers this search-able database and it continues the judicial fights already under way in Austria and Hungary (some of the most visible scandals/trials of last year). Hitler's project to create the art museum of his dreams also with the help of "loans" from other museums in the countries occupied is known but what seems still surprising to me is the way in which people like Goring would hold a discourse publicly and would thereafter try to do their best to collect some more "degenerate art" (!)
The database can be accessed at this address: http://www.errproject.org/jeudepaume/