Carlos Pazos: "Mi pathos doy", 1980 (1992)
Our History Starts Here is a series of three exhibitions that critically investigate MACBA’s own Collection, exploring the political framework, cultural collisions and the moments of rupture in which art practices were involved from the late seventies to the early nineties, all from the point of view of the work that underpins the general activity of the Museum.
The first in this triptych of exhibitions, The Immaterial Legacy. An Essay on the Collection, takes its title from the book by Giovanni Levi, who is considered, together with Carlo Ginzburg, Piero Camporesi and Carlo Cipolla, one of the founders of the so-called Italian Microhistory, a branch of social history that focuses on the study of unnoticed processes or places, rather than the analysis of great chronological events.
The exhibition is divided into six thematic areas – ‘The sacred and the popular’; ‘The street, the map’; ‘The body and its reverse’; ‘Politics of fiction’; ‘Autobiography and tautology’; and ‘The intangible’ – reflecting on some overflows produced in the field of aesthetics during this specified period, a time in which, beyond some dominant notions (re-searching the genius loci in painting and other arts; escapism and exoticism of the oriental; revisionism of history under anti-modern and nostalgic assumptions), there emerged new sensibilities and the so-called microhistorical practices of ‘re-situation’ that would connect the political with the corporal, the popular processes of secular tradition with autobiographical narratives, the search of the Other with research into indigenous heritage.
Thus, this reading establishes approximations – some enthusiastic, some critical – to the proliferation of musical forms that reflect the life experience of the most precarious and exploited sections of society; to the collective imaginary that reinvented urban rituals; fanzine culture, residue of the consumer society and Trojan horse within it; the vindication of humour at the heart of certain fundamental artists whose work is often seen as grandiloquent. Special attention should be paid to the stories of small territories that, since the Middle Ages, the Ancient Regime and the French Revolution, have served as a paradigm for rethinking the economics and social organisation of a new present, thereby holding to question the economic models of Thatcherism and Reaganism prevailing at the time through an extremely efficient analytical mechanism that might be called ‘judicial’ – after Ginzburg’s theses in The Cheese and the Worms and those of Leonardo Sciascia in his ‘true stories’ – and finally dealing, through a fecund reading of Marxism, with the central role of the so-called ‘subaltern classes’.
The Immaterial Legacy features 109 works – some of them presented for the first time at the Museum – that are shown alongside numerous contemporaneous publications (independent magazines, books, newspaper articles, comics, etc.), together with a sound booth in which can be heard several music compilations ranging from Basque Radikal Rock to bakalao; a chronology with unique information and the key historical/cultural changes of the period, shedding additional light on the works and the exhibition; and finally, a bibliography collecting the work of novelists, poets, essayists and historians associated with the contents of the exhibition.
This project takes part of the commemoration of the Tercentenary of the events of 1714.
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- Chronology of 'The Immaterial Legacy. An Essay on the Collection'pdf — 331K
- List of works of the exhibition pdf — 2136.4K
- Exhibition's planpdf — 292K
- Description of the five sound compilations performed by Víctor Lenore, journalist and music critic, for the exhibition 'The Immaterial Legacy. An Essay on the Collection'pdf — 149K
- Playlist by Víctor Lenorepdf — 19.4K
- Bibliography of 'The Immaterial Legacy. An Essay on the Collection'pdf — 108.8K
- Text by Constantino Bértolo pdf — 34.2K
- Text by Jorge Herraldepdf — 28.1K
- Text by Eva Lootzpdf — 26.4K