La Capella, Barcelona, Spain
October 30 - December 09, 2012
(Please scroll down to view the Spanish version)
Seminari Gramsci is a processual work, a project based on the oral narration of an event which occurred previously: the delivery of a seminar on Gramsci by the Chilean Philosopher Pablo Oyarzún in the 1980's, during the Chile's military dictatorship (1973-1989). On the basis thereof, the project works as a re-enactment of an event, perhaps trivial in factual terms, yet charged with symbolic and political meaning in this historical context.
In the work presented at La Capella, what is merely an oral piece of information, bearing testimony to an apparently ahistorical event -that is to say, which occurred without a trace of an event in history-, becomes a space for reconstructing a scene for the present-day reality that is ours and is not far from the political, economic and social circumstances in which the seminar took place. In this regard, SEMINARI GRAMSCI also meets the urgent need to reconnect culture, analysis, debate and reflection in a period characterised by instability and crisis.
Our time appears not as far in its political, economic and social conditions from the one in which the “original” event of the Seminar took place. The situation from where the first Seminar was born in Chile has some coincidences with the current situation in Europe. The shock doctrine of the 80's was the tool through which South American societies were molded, changed, extorted. Political persecution, torture, imprisonment and highly socialized debts were the ways for controlling the population. Today we are witnessing again a shock doctrine being implemented by the Troika, not only through the restrictive economical decisions imposed against the South European countries, but also by a massive militarization of the police and the overwhelming violence against protests and the right of assembly.
As claimed by the artist Carlos Altamirano*, just like in Chile's dictatorship period, today and in the throes of the economic-political crisis in Europe, it seems necessary and urgent for the art space to "lend" its space to the political realm to invent a means of political expression without talking about politics. Hence creating a space of allegory in the words of Benjamin, and a space of oral and folkloric production in the words of Gramsci. A space in which the political split is formed in the very making of the cultural and on the very fabric of common sense.
The work is the actual re-production of the seminar and, in turn, the exhibition of its historical context. It is a conceptual event which is a tangible manifestation of Gramsci's very discourse.
On the occasion, the seminar is reinstalled in the public space, with a reinstitutional operating mode, facilitating its reflective and critical deployment. In this manner, the exhibition space, without losing its aesthetic condition, changes from a space of/for intellectual production to a "factory of ideas". What is presented at La Capella, or once it is used, is a social machinery of the production of orality, craftsmanship and dissidence.
Seminario Gramsci has been made possible thanks to the kind collaboration of:
Pablo Oyarzún, Philosopher (Chile)
Valentín Roma, Curator and thinker (Spain)
Marcelo Expósito, artist (Spain)
Andrea Soto, Philosopher (Chile)
Antonio Gómez, Philosopher (Spain)
Francesco Salvini, activist (Italy)
Pamela Desjardins, curator (Argentina)
Verónica Lahitte, artist (Argentina)
Lucia Egaña Rojas, artist (Chile)
Valentina Montero, theoritician (Chile)
Adriana Peláez, artist (Colombia)
Juan Martín Solesio, activist (Argentina)
Christelle Faucoulanche, filmmaker (France)
Special thanks to Soledad Gutierrez, Alex Brahim and Joan Morey and to all the people working at La Capella.