On 21, 22 and 23 February we held the first sessions of the Interchanges Laboratory, part of Pedro G. Romero’s project Archivo F.X. : On Economy Zero, of which the upcoming exhibition “Economy: Picasso” will also form part.
The Museu Picasso asked Pedro for an assessment of these first sessions, which we publish below:
The Success and Failure of Picasso
Both Esteban Pujals and Valentín Roma pointed out a strong contradiction as a driving force in the critical development of The Success and Failure of Picasso, which John Berger wrote in 1965. In effect, Berger emerges as a passionate admirer of Picasso’s painting whose love of the work made it impossible for him to forgive him for having become the paradigm of the rich and vain misanthropic artist. Berger’s book is also the portrait of a betrayal.
The Adventures of Picasso
Both the 1978 Swedish film Picassos äventyr, directed by Hans Alfredson and Tage Danielsson, which was by presented Manuel Prados Sánchez and Alejandro Peña(as well as presentation on the following day by Rogelio López Cuenca of his project City: Picasso), break down a range of semiotic aspects of the Picasso brand, that defining emblem of the meaning of modern art in the capitalist service economy. Of particular interest here are the various communication devices with which these authors portrayed what can be called Picasso’s contamination of the iconosphere.
The daring comparison made by Prats and Peña between Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and a photograph of the corrupt mayor of Marbella, Jesús Gil y Gil, surrounded by young women in the jacuzzi of his swimming pool, provided a perfect introduction to the Málaga of the 1990s, when the city was preparing to open its own Museo Picasso, a milieu masterfully dissected by Rogelio López Cuenca in a brilliant exercise in audio-visual journalism. One of López Cuenca’s wisest moves was not to show the different pieces he has created from the documentary source material, but to present instead the original footage from his archives, which he has used so fruitfully in his work.
Pedro G. Romero