París, la Cumparsita, 1972

Paris, the Cumparsita, 1972

Conceived and carried out as a collaboration between Miralda and Benet Rossell, two of the Catalan artists living in Paris from the late sixties, the film París, la Cumparsita was recorded on the streets of this city in 1972, and is linked to Soldats Soldés, a series of works by Miralda made between 1965 and 1973 using plastic soldiers. These works were based on the experience of compulsory military service and reflected the contemporary anti-militarist climate in Europe and the United States as a result of the Vietnam War. After making various works with soldiers, in 1968 Miralda went on to reproduce different statues on the streets of Paris, covering them with small, white plastic soldiers. The climax of this series was the action that gave rise to París, la Cumparsita.

Miralda paraded a huge white soldier on his shoulders and on the roof rack of a car through the streets of Paris while Benet Rossell recorded the action. They visited several iconic spaces, such as the Place du Tertre, the Champs Elysées, the Louvre and the market in Les Halles, among others, looking for an empty pedestal where the soldier could be deposited. The title of the work refers to a well-known Uruguayan tango composed in 1915.

París, la Cumparsita is a key work in the development of the two artists, marking the start of their performative practice and because of the political critique it contains. The critique of militarism and the references to pacifism rise above the obvious fun and festive dimension of the action. The work reduces the military and the power of the state to the level of absurdity, expressing an attitude that was in sympathy with the widespread protest movements throughout Europe and the United States from around 1968.

Technical details

Original title:
París, la Cumparsita
Registration number:
Miralda - Rossell, Benet
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
16 mm film transferred into video, b/w, sound, 25 min
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Benet Rossell; © Miralda, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

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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Benet Rossell / Miralda "París la Cumparsita", 1972
Benet Rossell / Miralda "París la Cumparsita", 1972
Benet Rossell / Miralda "París la Cumparsita", 1972
Benet Rossell / Miralda "París la Cumparsita", 1972
Benet Rossell / Miralda "París la Cumparsita", 1972


FONS AUDIO #5. Benet Rossell