Sunday I posted about BODIES... The Exhibition. Now I will describe the two other expositions we saw that day. It was a 10-minute walk along La Rambla from the Museu Marítim to the Palau de la Virreina. This was built around 1775 for the viceroy of Peru, Manuel Amat, but he died soon and it was his wife who lived in this palace, which is why it was known as the Virreine’s. Now it hosts the Culture Department of the Ajuntament (city council) of Barcelona, a citizen information office and a series of spaces for exhibitions. On Sunday there were two such exhibitions.
The palace is next door to the famous La Boquería Market. The first mention of the Boqueria market dates back to 1217. This iron-structured market is popular with both locals and visitors where both national and exotic or remote products to cook may be found. It is probably the most famous public market in Barcelona.
Ch€! revolució i mercat
Alberto Korda’s portrait of Ernesto “Ché” Guevara is probably the most reproduced image in the history of photography.
Korda took the photo on 5 March 1960 in La Habana and published under the title of Guerrillero heroico (Heroic Guerilla Warrior).
by Alberto Korda
The use of this image has been diverse — tee-shirts, tattoos, ashtrays, beer bottles, graffiti — and you can find it virtually everywhere on the planet. This is a case of a global consumer icon that has a life of its own, far beyond the failed revolutionary who inspired it.
The Ché! Revolution and Market exhibition was conceived by the critic and curator Trisha Ziff. The exhibit traces the original photo to the most absolute fetishization suffered by this image in our times. Zif’s project now includes some 300 pieces.
The exhibit brings together photographs, posters, films (including an interview with Korda), sounds, clothes and other objects from more than 30 countries. In addition there are advertisements, a notebook, and images from the Internet. The exhibition relates the photograph from its use as Agit-Prop in the 60s to numerous subsequent appropriations.
There is plenty of room for more myth making as well as parody. An exhibit that at the same time is both iconographic and iconoclastic.
Admission price: 4 €.
Fotoperiodisme a Catalunya 1976-2000
Photojournalism in Catalunya covers the 25 years from the demonstrations in February 1976, just after the death of Franco, to the turn of the millenium. The exhibition focuses on on two themes: political and social events during the Transition and the 1992 Olympic Games. At the start of this period photography, especially in color was limited, and of generally poor quality. Editorial offices employed only one or two photographers.
Bu the beginning of the 21st century, all newspapers were printed using offset and featured many photographs in color. Images now occupied an important place, and editorial offices employed large teams of photographers. The old photo laboratories have been replaced by digital cameras and Photoshop. A long-standing demand had finally been satisfied and publications now employed a photo editor. Catalan photojournalists had abandoned their traditional provincial view to practice a more cosmopolitan one.
The present exhibition reflects the quantitative and qualitative progress of photojournalism here in Catalunya and offers a view as more a collective enterprise than the sum of individual contributors.
My favorite picture was that of José María Aznar, the former right-wing Prime Minister of Spain, giving a speech. There was a banner from the local Ajuntamient (city council) over his head. The photo was cropped so that only “MIENTO” from the banner appeared. In castellano, that means “I am lying.”
Admission price: FREE.