On the Margins of Art. Creation and Political Engagement
09 Jul - 27 Sep 2009
09/07/2009 - 27/09/2009 Centre d'Estudis i Documentació, MACBA
Curator: Guy Schraenen
Production: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
On the Margins of Art is a new exhibition bringing together documents, editions and other materials from its collection. Curated by Guy Schraenen, this exhibition presents a broad overview of the various ways in which artists from the second half of the 20th century have placed their creative capacity at the service of political demands.
The material chosen takes in magazines, books, posters, pamphlets, postcards and other printed forms, located somewhere halfway in the wide-ranging spectrum addressed by the purest form of art to the most direct political declaration. All the material stems from the combination of various degrees of artistic skill, visual impact and political intention, ingredients to which an enormously creative use of language is often added, which draws its inspiration, consciously or unconsciously, from the achievements of visual poetry.
Some of these elements emerge from the reaction to a specific circumstance, as in the case of the posters produced by the anti-establishment movements related to May 1968; others, on the other hand, were spawned by more lasting organisations or movements and respond to various motives including gender demands – Guerrilla Girls, Barbara Kruger – or racial demands – Black Panther Party –, environmental concerns, class conflicts or countercultural movements such as the case of the Dutch Provo movement and the magazine of the same name published in the 1970s. Chronologically speaking, the selection of materials spans an exhibition of the surrealist tracts and documentation related to Situationist International to recent works produced around the turn of the 21st century.
The exhibition features the artists Joseph Beuys, Mirtha Dermisache, Antonio Dias, Alfredo Jaar, Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Víctor Mira, Miralda, Muntadas, Maurizio Nannuci, Joan Rabascall, Ben Vautier and Edgardo Antonio Vigo, and the movements Art in Ruins, Guerrilla Girls and Provo, among others.