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Radical changes from 1979 revealed in art exhibition

Barcelona’s ‘La Virreina’ centre opened an art exhibition about the important changes that happened in 1979 at local and global level. Some of the moments captured in the display are revolutions in Iran and Nicaragua, Margaret Thatcher being sworn into office, the first democratic elections in Spain and Sony’s walkman era.


10 March 2011 10:29 PM



Barcelona (ACN).- The radical changes of 1979 are now being shown at an art exhibition in Barcelona. Peter Weiss\u2019 novel \u2018The Aesthetics of Resistence\u2019 is used as the exhibition\u2019s narrative to create a discourse through captions from moments that capture the radial changes from 1979. The revolutions in Nicaragua and Iran, Margaret Thatcher winning the UK elections, the first democratic elections in the Spanish Parliament, Sony issuing the walkman and the release of \u2018Apocalypse Now\u2019 have one thing in common: 1979. The exhibition is held at \u2018La Virreina\u2019 arts centre, in Barcelona\u2019s downtown, and is entitled \u20181979 - Un monument a instants radicals\u2019 (1979. A monument of radical moments). It will be open from today to the 12th of June. The exhibition captures the social, political, economic and cultural changes that happened in 1979, at local and global level.

In the novel \u2018The Aesthetics of Resistence\u2019, Peter Weiss starts his narration in 1979 to look back at the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). In his trip along the past, Weiss explores different thematic paths, as explained by the exhibition\u2019s curator and director of \u2018La Virreina\u2019 Carles Guerra. Guerra took these paths to build the exhibition, which has photography, video, painting, collage and sculpture works. The exhibition combines both local events with global changes. The exhibition wants thus to vindicate the importance of a year that is not seen as transcendent as others, such as 1989.

The degradation of the former industrial district of Poblenou, which lived a profound renovation in the last two decades, in Barcelona is one of these local moments. This event is pictured next to the Iranian Revolution, for instance. The economic changes that were brought by the disappearing of the classic industry of the 19th and early 20th century in Barcelona are shown through photographs from Manolo Laguillo and Humberto Rivas. The everyday life of Barcelona\u2019 popular districts are shown through the works of Pep Cunties. Cunties made a series of captions on Bonanova\u2019s municipal nursing home for elders and the Hostafranc\u2019s slaughterhouse

On the global events, the Iranian Revolution is explained through a deliberate manipulation of \u2018The New York Times\u2019 by Marine Hugonnier. Nicaragua\u2019s Revolution is shown through photos by Susan Meiselas, with the images from the book \u2018Nicaragua June 1978 to July 1979\u2019. However, there are also everyday objects, such as Sony\u2019s walkman or the Billy bookshelf from Ikea. There are also abstract concepts, such as Michel Foucault\u2019s \u2018biopolitics\u2019, through which he questions the political limitations in life control.


  • The manipulated editions of the New York Times by Marine Hugonnier (by ACN)

  • The manipulated editions of the New York Times by Marine Hugonnier (by ACN)