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Champ d'attraction. Document. Travail d'information sur la presse illégale des Pays Catalans. 9e Biennale de Paris, 1975

Attraction Field. Document. Information Work on the Illegal Press of Catalan Countries, 9th Paris Biennial, 1975
Graphic work (editions), 143.5 x 92.5 cm

Grup de Treball made their final collective intervention at the 9th Paris Biennale, held at the Musée de la Ville in the autumn of 1975. In the catalogue of the exhibition are two blank pages corresponding to the space dedicated to the group’s involvement. A note indicates that, given the content of the work and to avoid possible retaliation arising from the Spanish political situation, the authors chose not to appear in the catalogue. A year later, the work was presented at the 37th Venice Biennale, in what was to be the final appearance of Grup de Treball, which disbanded shortly thereafter. Nevertheless, their work could still be seen at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona in 1977.

Signed by Francesc Abad, Jordi Benito, Antoni Mercader, Josep Parera and Dorothée Selz, the work presented was Champ d’attraction. Document. Travail d’information sur la presse illégale des Pays Catalans. 9e Biennale de Paris. As the title suggests, the work is a document analysing the situation of the Catalan underground press in the final years of the Franco regime. Resulting from an investigation in collaboration with historian Emili Giralt, there were eleven photographic posters with texts, images and graphics on the underground press in the Catalan Countries, with the original publications exhibited alongside the panels. They analysed publications like L’espurna and Treball, organ of the Lliga Comunista (Communist League) in Catalonia and the PSUC (Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia) respectively. Also Mundo obrero, publication of the Communist Party of Spain, and Flecha-Roja, edited by Marxist-Leninist students, among others. The introduction of Marxism in Catalonia, a semiotic analysis of encrypted messages appearing in the underground press and the use of the image in the sentencing to death of Salvador Puig Antich, are some of the topics covered. ‘It displays the typical characteristics of the work of political occupation of an artistic platform (Paris Biennale) in line with the political struggle in Spain during the summer of 1975’ (Antoni Mercader, text to accompany the material for the exhibition Cien años de cultura catalana [One hundred years of Catalan culture], Madrid, 1980).

The social and political situation in Spain was fragile, the country having just adopted the anti-terrorist law and established a state of emergency. It was the month of October 1975. Following this extreme situation, and to avoid possible retaliation, Grup de Treball decided not to sign their work. This led to a statement being read by Georges Boudaille at the opening of the Biennale, in which he explained the situation that existed in Spain and set out the reasons why the work was not signed. A few days after the close of the Biennale, Franco died and the political situation in Spain entered a new process. This was the last work of the group. The involvement and risks were not shared by the entire group, and this precipitated its dissolution. It was the beginning of a new historical and creative period. Of the various interventions of Grup de Treball, their participation in the Paris Biennale was one of the most representative of the so-called ‘ideological Conceptualism’.


Technical details

Original title:
Champ d'attraction. Document. Travail d'information sur la presse illégale des Pays Catalans. 9e Biennale de Paris
Registration number:
0493
Artist:
Grup de Treball (Grup d'artistes)
Date created:
1975
Date acquired:
1997
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan
Object type:
Graphic work (editions)
Media:
Print and adhesive tape on photographic paper and 11 copies of clandestine press
Dimensions:
143.5 x 92.5 cm (height x width)
Credits:
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan. National Collection of Art
Copyright:
© Grup de Treball
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 in without fear.
Eduardo Chillida