3265_001_rgb--imatge-nosotros-no-sabiamos
3265_001_rgb--imatge-nosotros-no-sabiamos
León Ferrari
Nosotros no sabíamos
We Didn't Know
1976 (2008)
León Ferrari began his artistic career in 1955 with a series of sculptures in various materials such as ceramic, wire and wood. In the sixties his works were characterised by an illegible writing in which the written word organised the visual space – writings that are primarily drawings rather than texts. It was also during this time that his works acquired a strong political component, such as his montage The Western and Christian Civilisation of 1965 (during the first American bombings in Vietnam). In this work a figure of Christ, suspended vertically, is crucified on an American bomber. Using multiple techniques and media, yet favouring photomontage, he explores the relationship between violence and religion. The literalness of this work (at times he even uses clippings of L’Obsservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican) has often provoked scandals with political repercussions, including its condemnation by Catholic movements.1 In 1976 he started to cut out newspaper articles reporting on bodies that had begun to appear, following the military coup d’état, in different areas of Buenos Aires and along the coast of the La Plata River. Collected in a book, these testimonies challenge the attitude ‘We didn’t know’, a claim by which many sought to justify their indifference toward the violence with which the military Junta governed the country from 1976 to 1983. Ferrari continued organising these newspaper clippings in more or less chronological order until forced to abandon the country for political reasons. He settled in São Paulo, Brazil, where he resumed working on sculpture and experimented with new techniques such as photocopies, heliographic prints and microfiche. Between 1980 and 1982 Ferrari devoted himself to a series of works on polyester reproduced in heliographic prints – often humorous and full of irony, he refers to them as ‘an architecture of madness’. In these plans, he uses architectural images taken from Letraset, distorting their basic rules and creating contradictory and absurd spatial organisations and connections. Elsewhere, he substitutes the tiny figures by cars in impressive vistas of elevated highways and impossible intersections. With these works Ferrari explores the forms of control in contemporary society, possibly inspired by the speed and masses of São Paulo, one of the largest cities in the world.
1‘It is not anti-religious art, but rather art against repression and torture, whether it is of religious character or not,’ clarified the artist. ‘I treated the religious aspect in illustrations that I made for an edition of “Nunca Más”, especially against Videla, but I was talking about power in the same way that I talk about anti-Semitism, or against the criminalisation of abortion. It is not a problem with religion but rather a problem with intolerance and violence.’ Cited in Luis Felipe Noé, ‘Una visita con León Ferrari’, in Leon Ferrari: Retrospectiva Obras 1954–2004. Andrea Giunta (ed.). Centro Cultural Recoleta, Pinacoteca, São Paolo, Brazil, 2006, p. 382.color="#999999">
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The texts of the MACBA web draw on previous documentation. Please let us know if you find any errors.
original title
Nosotros no sabíamos
year of acquisition
2008
type of object
Graphic material
dimensions
81 elements 41,5 x 29,7 cm c/u
Copyright
© León Ferrari
registration number
R.3265
date
1976 (2008)
fonds
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
media
Laser print on paper
credits
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Gift of the artist
original title
Nosotros no sabíamos
registration number
R.3265
date
1976 (2008)
year of acquisition
2008
fonds
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
type of object
Graphic material
media
Laser print on paper
dimensions
81 elements 41,5 x 29,7 cm c/u
credits
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Gift of the artist
Copyright
© León Ferrari
images
1 images
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