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Víbria, 1988

Víbria (Female Dragon), 1988
Sculpture, 4.5 x 49.8 x 36 cm

With visual poetry we go back to ideograms, which are the origin of writing. But visual poetry has followed a process in my work. I began to say things through language, which is very important, but it came a time when I adopted an anti-rhetoric formula, trying to focus on reality but with a minimum of adjectives, because I’m interested in the head, not the wig. This led me to a detailed description of the object, and that’s only one step away from visual poetry. It was not a gratuitous decision, it was an ongoing process: I went from paper as a support to the object as a support, and finally to the object itself. In any case, everything happened from the inside out. I’ve never set out to make puzzles; everything I do comes from intuitive knowledge.

But in the end, isn’t the shock produced by your visual poems or object poems sometimes close to the absurd?

I don’t think they’re absurd, no more than life in any case. Everything we’re saying is absurd; if you frame it, it’s absurd, but if you remove the frame, it’s life.

You’ve always been at the forefront of what is normally known as the avant-garde, since Dau al Set to the present. And yet you refuse to be called an avant-garde artist.

That’s because avant-garde sounds very military. [With irony, he explains further.] I don’t consider myself avant-garde, but of the moment. But, of course, so many people are rearguard that if you’re of the moment, then you’re avant-garde. That’s why the word irritates me. [He gives an example.] If someone else has a crystal set and yours is a transistor radio, you’re considered avant-garde, but being electronic simply means being up to date, doesn’t it?

Macià, Albert: ‘Joan Brossa’, Avui (Barcelona), 27 December 1989


Technical details

Original title:
Víbria
Registration number:
4905
Artist:
Brossa, Joan
Date created:
1988
Date acquired:
2011
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Sculpture
Media:
Leather, plastic and paper on wood
Dimensions:
4.5 x 49.8 x 36 cm (height x width x depth)
Edition number:
Ed. 1/4
Credits:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Joan Brossa Fund. Long-term loan of Fundació Joan Brossa
Copyright:
© Fundació Joan Brossa, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:
No

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

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The artist has to face the unknown with a positive mood and sink his teeth without fear
Eduardo Chillida