May 10, 2021

The power of Art takes over the Congress and the Senate | Culture

The power of Art takes over the Congress and the Senate | Culture



The well-known installation of Juan Muñoz Five seated figures (1996), located in the lobby of the Queen of the Congress of Deputies, could represent members of any parliamentary group that make a separate comment on any issue of the day. The memorable sculpture of the Madrid artist is one of the 43 works chosen by the Reina Sofia Museum to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the approval of the Spanish Constitution in an exhibition entitled The power of Art, that extends through the two chambers (the low and high, the Senate) and that can be seen, upon request in the Congress website, from today Friday until March 2, 2019. The exhibition is a joint project of the Cortes Generales, Acción Cultural Española (AC / E) and the Museo Reina Sofía.

In the Hall of the Lost Steps, the hostess and president of the Congress, Ana Pastor, she said that the idea came to her and she exposed it to Manuel Borja-Villel. "I wanted that from this house of the town it will be celebrated as it deserves the anniversary of the Constitution. Art helps us to talk about dialogue, thought and freedom. The Reina Sofia is our museum of democracy. The piece by Juan Muñoz gives us an idea of ​​the importance of this exhibition ". The president asked the media to encourage citizens to request the visit through their page. It can be accessed in groups of 35 people for a tour that lasts about 45 minutes. Yesterday, 600 requests had already been registered without advertising.

João Fernandes, deputy director of Reina Sofía and curator of the exhibition, explained during the tour that pieces of 42 Spanish artists have been selected -Juan Luis Moraza has two works- that have developed his work during the last four decades. There are the same number of men as women and all the supports of contemporary art are shown: painting, sculpture, photography, video, performance or documents. Artists have reflected on power, freedom, democracy, identity, memory, history, memory or symbols. All works are property of the museum.

The exhibition plays with the idea that the works have been conceived for another environment and when they reach the Congress or the Senate they acquire a new meaning. Some of them are located in surprise points of emblematic places of the Congress of Deputies, as it happens with the indicative signs of Rogelio López Cuenca, the sculptures of Juan Luis Moraza, the photography of Ignasi Aballí or the performance by Dora García. In the basement of the building, an old furniture warehouse converted into an exhibition space, there are surprises such as the sculpture by Cristina Iglesias, the industrial materials of Ángeles Marco, Txhomin Badiola's photographs of sexual identity or the video by Itziar Ocariz about the territory. The cut of liberties and the censorship are approached in the works of Concha Jerez and Daniel G. Andújar. De Colita, the only artist present on the tour with the press, exhibits a memorable selection of images that perfectly document what happened in Spain since the death of Franco.

In the Senate, where his president served as host Pío García Escudero, the surprise starts with five humanoid sculptures by Francisco Leiro in the Hall of the Lost Steps. Along with walls full of paintings and sculptures of historical character, contemporary art acquires a strong presence. A canvas by Juan Genovés and a photograph by Juan Navarro Baldeweg, loaded with historical references, give way to names that became international in the seventies and eighties: Luis Gordillo, Miguel Ángel Campano, Juan Uslé, Soledad Sevilla, Eva Lootz. The figuration is represented by sets of pieces by Patricia Gadea, Miquel Barceló or Menchu ​​Lamas.

One of the most spectacular pieces of the Senate is an unfinished video by Elena Asins entitled Antigone and that represents the eternal rebel that answers the conventions of the powers of his time. The work is projected in the beautiful library of the Senate, built precisely by the artist's grandfather, Bernardo Asins.

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