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Servei Permanent de Resposta a la Premsa, 1974

Permanent Press Reponse Service, 1974

While Grup de Treball had always understood the practice of art as an instrument of agitation by means of language and information, the Servei Permanent de Resposta a la Premsa (Permanent Service of Response to the Press) sent the group in a new direction. This was established as a secretariat organisation to influence the social environment and as a tool to respond to those aspects of the art institution with which the group disagreed. Sometimes they signed as Servei Permanent de Resposta a la Premsa and at others as Sector del Plàstics (Visual Arts Sector).

In June 1974, in the context of awareness of the art sector and through a text that would become a kind of manifesto against the bourgeois and mercantile idea of the art object, Grup de Treball refused to participate in an exhibition at the Galerie des Locataires, New York. From then on, Grup de Treball embraced activism and in July 1974 issued a statement, signed by the Sector dels Plàstics, referring to a trade-union or professional consciousness of the visual artist. The statement, inaugurating the Servei Permanent de Resposta a la Premsa, underlined the professional instability of artists, the anachronism of the dissemination of art and the mercantile interests of art criticism. The group sought to articulate a broad platform to mobilise the sector. At the same time, it was generating a new kind of link between the circulation of information and texts considered as works of art.

The Servei Permanent de Resposta a la Premsa wrote various communiqués that were sent to the press. The first addressed the exhibition MAN (Muestra de Arte Nuevo [Exhibition of New Art]) in 1974 and the installation of sculptures on motorways. The first was dispatched to various newspapers and published in the Diario de Barcelona on 10 July 1974. That same year the group invited different artists to work on the theme of the SEAT 133 car in an exhibition on the Rambla de Catalunya, sponsored by the car manufacturer and by the Ajuntament and the Diputació of Barcelona. The second was a statement sent to newspapers and magazines in response to an article published in La Vanguardia Española on 13 October 1974 concerning the installation of sculptures on Catalan motorways. The statement argued that this was not the way to bring art to the people but was responding to a use of art on the part of the bourgeoisie. (The sculptures had been selected from a competition organised by the Patronato de Autopistas (Motorway Board) and sponsored by Autopistas Concesionaria Española S.A and a bank, under a programme called Arte en la autopista [Art on the Motorways].) This was not published in any medium, although a new text was reproduced in the third edition of the journal Wangen, Stockholm, in September 1974. This again highlighted the paucity of prospects, the cultural repression and the absence of freedom of expression in Catalonia at the end of the dictatorship.

In November of that same year, Grup de Treball sent a new statement to artists with the title: ‘Crida al sector dels plàstics’ (Appeal to the visual arts sector), in which a global organisation of the artistic sector was proposed. Close to the tone of a trade-union text, it claimed a solution to the problems of the artist (such as professional instability, labour protection and the need for new cooperative channels of distribution), while questioning the role of criticism and proposing the abolition of circuits such as museums and galleries, among other things.

The group’s collaboration on number 28 of the magazine Qüestions d’Art in late 1974 was an opportunity to publish some of the texts and communiqués produced by Grup de Treball since its inception. In March 1975, a final letter addressed to the artist sector was issued. That year, the new political and social situation brought about by the end of the Franco regime, and internal differences within the group, marked the end of Grup de Treball.


Technical details

Original title:
Servei Permanent de Resposta a la Premsa
Registration number:
3635
Artist:
Grup de Treball (Grup d'artistes)
Date created:
1974
Date acquired:
1997
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan
Object type:
Graphic work (editions)
Media:
Mixed media on paper
Credits:
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan. Gift of Grup de Treball
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.

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