Tag Archives: dictatorship

Featured Exhibition: Paula Rego. Obedience and Defiance, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes (until 22 September); Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (23 November 2019–19 April 2020); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (Spring 2020)

Paula Rego, Angel, 1998. Ostrich Arts Limited. Copyright Paula Rego, Courtesy Marlborough Fine Art.

Obedience and Defiance focuses on political and feminist themes and includes previously unseen paintings and works on paper from the artist’s family and close friends, which reflect Rego’s perspective as a woman immersed in urgent social issues and current affairs. The selection of works focuses on the moral challenges to humanity, particularly in the face of violence, gender discrimination and political tyranny. There are paintings and etchings related to children sold into slavery in North Africa (1996–98), abortion (1998–2000) and female genital mutilation (from 2009). Many of the images begin with the artist’s Portuguese roots and childhood experiences or respond to current affairs. This will be the first ever exhibition in Britain to present the paintings Rego made in the 1960s during the regime of the dictator Salazar.

Curated by the former director of London’s Whitechapel Gallery, Catherine Lampert, and organised by MK Gallery (Milton Keynes), the exhibition includes over 80 works. A major new publication will accompany the exhibition with texts by curator Catherine Lampert and the American writer and novelist Kate Zambreno, published by ART/BOOKS. Touring to Edinburgh and Dublin, the exhibition will be the first ever retrospective of Rego’s work in Scotland and Ireland.


Click here for more information on the exhibition in its current location.

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CFP: Arts and Models of Democracy in post-authoritarian Iberian Peninsula, University of Huddersfield, 28–29 November 2019

Mural for the commemoration of the Carnation Revolution made by Caos, Add FuelDraw and MAR at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in 2014

The process of democratisation in Portugal and Spain originated from a similar socio-political context. Besides having an almost identical geographical context, two long authoritarian and military dictatorships shaped the two counties on the basis of a nationalist and deeply catholic identity. From the point of view of popular culture, both dictatorships promoted a disengaged culture, based on songs, football matches, bullfights and the stereotypes of Iberian folklore. In the early 1970s, the illiteracy rate and cultural practices indexes in both countries were still among the highest in Europe. Despite these similar starting conditions, the Portuguese transition to democracy was very different from that of Spain; whereas Portugal created a rupture with the previous institutional context through a military coup, in Spain the post-Franco democratisation was founded on negotiated reform. These two processes of transition to democracy in Portugal and Spain, although dissimilar from each other, led to new ways of both high and popular cultural expressions. As a result, the decade following the two dictatorships was characterised by significant and euphoric experiments in the fields of literature, visual and plastic arts, cinema and music. Scholars have paid scant attention to the ways in which artists thought and put into practice the very notion of democracy in these years. Democracy is a highly contested category, one that has been imagined in many different ways, and any particular realisation of which carries costs as well as benefits. According to the historian of democracy Pierre Rosanvallon (2008), the rise of a democracy entails both a promise and a problem for a society.

This two-day conference aims to innovatively question how artistic practices and institutions formed ways of imagining democracy and by what means arts and culture participate in the wider social struggle to define freedom and equality for the post-Estado Novo and post-Francoist period: how did artistic practices instantiate ideas of democracy in this context? Inversely, how did such democratic values inform artistic practice? How did Portuguese and Spanish artists and intellectuals negotiate between creative autonomy and social responsibility? And more broadly, what is the role of culture in a democracy? The core purpose of the conference is to bring scholars together from different subject areas and exploring any artistic practice (literature, visual and plastic arts, cinema and music). PhD students, early careers and senior researchers are invited to submit an abstract to engage in an interdisciplinary and comparative debate on how the field of culture framed different ideas of democracy in the Iberian post-authoritarian transitions during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Papers will be 30-minutes in length with 15 minutes of discussion time, to enable the fullest exchange. Please submit proposals (300 words) and a short bio to I.ContrerasZubillaga(at)hud.ac.uk and g.quaggio(at)sheffield.ac.uk by the deadline Friday 31 May 2019. The programme will be announced in early July.

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Conference: Performing Otherness: a Postcolonial Approach to Francoist Spain Performing Otherness: a Postcolonial Approach to Francoist Spain, Edinburgh College of Art, October 26, 2018

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Photomontage by Jean Harold, sent to Picasso by Jean Cocteau and captioned, on the back: by “Picasso – Negro period”

This international symposium opens up discussion of Spanish art and culture in relation to the construction of discourses of coloniality in 20th-century Spain, especially in the Francoist period.

It attempts to identify methodological approaches that would allow us to understand the consolidation of hegemonic colonial discourses and how they continue in Spain today. This examination involves an analysis of constructs of Otherness in two directions – inwards and outwards. On the one hand, how did artists, performers, writers, or other cultural brokers, based in Spain, exoticise other cultures as well as their own culture as part of official rhetoric (e.g. state-funded exhibitions relating to colonial territories in Africa; translations of Chinese texts/images, state administration of rural Spain). On the other hand, the analysis is concerned with Spanish (self-)representation as Other within international contexts (eg. Picasso in African attire; flamenco in imagery for tourism/political campaigns; Hispanic Studies as a political contestation to the dictatorship).

Organisation: María Iñigo Clavo (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) of the R&D Research Group “Experiences of the Political in Francoist Spain” (MINECO) with Claudia Hopkins in the School of History of Art, University of Edinburgh.

Schedule

9am – 9.30am: Registration

9.30am – 10am: Welcome and introduction, Yayo Aznar (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia) and María Iñigo Clavo (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

10am – 1pm: Panel 1:  Appropriating the exotic, Chair: Paloma Gay-Blasco (University of St Andrews)

  • 10am – 10.30am: Neil Cox (University of Edinburgh), [Talk on Picasso – title tbc]
  • 10.30am – 11am: Esther Planas (University of the Arts London), Dissociative Fugue Disorder. Auto-exoticism as bio politics: Ways of questioning the production of culture during Francoism
  • 11am – 11.15am: Tea/Coffee Break
  • 11.15am – 11.45am: Francisco Aix (Universidad de Sevilla), Flamenco as a means to identity. An Andalusian perspective
  • 11.45am – 12.15pm: Alicia Fuentes Vega (Universidad Complutense Madrid), Title to be confirmed  
  • 12.15pm – 1pm: Panel discussion

2pm – 5pm: Panel 2: On the meaning of colony in Francoism, Chair: Richard Williams (University of Edinburgh)

  • 2pm – 2.30pm: Helena Miguélez-Carballeira (Bangor University), The Spanish rural subject and the Instituto Nacional de Colonización (1939-1971): A Biopolitical Perspective
  • 2.30pm – 3pm: Claudia Hopkins (University of Edinburgh), The Dream of a Spanish-Moroccan Brotherhood. Art and Exhibitions, 1936-1956
  • 3pm – 3.15pm: Tea/Coffee Break
  • 3.15pm – 3.45pm: Carles Prado Pons (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). A triangulated alterity: China in Spain, 1880-1930
  • 3.45pm – 4.15pm: José Saval (University of Edinburgh). Latin American Boom or Boomerang: the impact of the periphery in the metropolis.
  • 4.15pm – 5pm: Panel discussion and closing remarks

Free to attend, booking required. Click here to reserve a ticket. 

Click here for more information.