Mon. Apr 22nd, 2019

A sculpture from the Franco era will travel to the Venice Biennial of Art

Una escultura de la época franquista viajará a la Bienal de Arte de Venecia

The sculpture that he Francoism installed in the Plaça del Mercadal of Balaguer, a work of the sculptor Genaro Iglesias and that he was withdrawn when he was the first mayor of democracy, will travel next week to the Venencia Art Biennial after the interest shown by the people in charge of the Catalan pavilion in this biennial. The Institut Ramon Llull organizes the exhibition 'To Lose Your Head (idols)', an exhibition curated by Pedro Azara that wants to be a reflection, from the theory of art and aesthetics, on the particular and intense relationship of the human being with the statues . In the exhibition, sculptural examples will be shown that illustrate and contextualize the phenomenon of adoration and the destruction of statues, in Catalonia and throughout the world.

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It is a sculpture that the current mayor of Balaguer, Jordi Ignasi Vidal, He was considering recovering, as he advanced to The vanguard
for the Republican history that hides. The Francoism commissioned the piece Genaro Iglesias, a Barcelona artist who had worked on the Republican side and who settled in Balaguer because the dictatorship had imposed a forced exile 150 kilometers from his house by his condition of "not addicted to the regime".

At first the Gobernación orders were that the sculpture should represent a kneeling soldier, with a rifle in his hand and kissing a large flag. However, Genaro Iglesias, whose parents had been shot in the Civil War, decided to contradict the guidelines and force a reinterpretation of the sculpture. Instead of a soldier he recreated a barefoot peasant holding a hoe with his left hand and kissing kneeling an indeterminate flag.

Sculpture of Balaguer

The sculpture had to represent a soldier, but Iglesias ended up recreating a peasant

It is a bronze sculpture that the City Council has decided to preserve and restore, a process that, according to the conservator and restorer, Ramon Solé, will be done in two phases. Once the sculpture returns to Balaguer, during the month of November, from the City Council will create a commission to try to agree on a place to locate it.

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