January 18, 2021

Paco Roca bursts the cartoon and draws a new museum | Culture

Paco Roca bursts the cartoon and draws a new museum | Culture


Sometimes, freedom produces vertigo. "Take, a complete room of the museum; also its stairs, its hall, its corridors … And do with it all you want ". That's what they proposed to Paco Roca at IVAM and his first reaction was: "And now, what do I do?" He tells it in one of the sketches that are exhibited in an unusual exhibition, The drawn, which opens today at the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern.

Unusual because it is the first time that the comic artist so applauded as Wrinkles or The furrows of chance changes completely from register to use the walls of a museum as support for a graphic story in which the cartoons burst, the characters escape, the point of view of the narrator bifurcates and the visitor gets into the head of the creator …

Sometimes, limitations help find a way to respond to a request. They can even stimulate creativity, as seen, for example, in the movie Five terms, by Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth. The only condition imposed on this 50-year-old Valencian artist was "not using ready-made materials, which is what is done in 99.9% of comic book exhibitions." But this time "absolute freedom" granted him has led to a dazzling visual game that breaks the narrative and offers a multilinear reading of crossed lives. Namely: the viewer looks at the central strip of drawings in which a painter is seen working on two paintings, a desert with two palm trees (a nod to the cartoonist of TBO Coll) and a marina. These two works begin to come to life on the wall above and below the original narration of the painter in whose studio you can see a portrait of Nietzsche. "Well, the story has to do with his work Thus spoke Zarathustra and with the death of God, "explained the 2008 National Comic Award.

The three stories are evolving on their own and converge at the same time in a new character that lacks an arm. It is the creation of the painter-creator, but soon also acquires a life of its own until completing its amputated limb, once it discovers what it lacks.

"It's a reflection on the author and his work, something very classic, but presented in a very groundbreaking way with the traditional language of comics. And at the same time it refers to the walls of rock art, "said Álvaro Pons, curator of the exhibition that can be seen until June 30 in the IVAM. The project "questions the obsolete methods of the vignettes overcoming the edges of the comic and the room," said the director of the museum, José Miguel Cortés, who commissioned the exhibition formerly professed on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the IVAM.

In the upper room, after accessing the visitor through a vignette, the sketches and the creative process of Roca are exhibited, including some videos of Tono Errando, and a small but very informative exhibition of comics, which includes works by Rodolphe in 1833 Töpffer, considered the first graphic cartoon author in history, to the most current, passing through Tintin or Maus

First chair of comics in Europe

The University of Valencia has just opened a chair dedicated to the study and research of the comic. It is the first in Europe, explains its director, comic book scholar and critic of EL PAÍS, Álvaro Pons. With the sponsorship of the SM Foundation, the objectives of the chair are the dissemination (through activities) of the cartoon, training (Master's Degree in Education and Comics) and research. The classes on-line They started in January and the classroom activities are in a classroom located in the academic center. "The idea is to transmit how to teach history, for example, through comics, to investigate and disseminate the visual culture of the story," explains Pons.

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