Building the Neighbourhood with BarriBrossa

This week saw the presentation to the press of the ninth annual BarriBrossa, a festival organized by La Seca Espai Brossa that, in the words of co-director Hermann Bonnín, ‘isn’t really a festival, or an arts fair: it aims rather to be a reflection on our culture that sheds light on those avant-garde movements of the twentieth century that are still relevant the twenty-first century’.

Cartell BarriBrossa

By way of a series of actions, shows, performances and discussions with artists, previous iterations of BarriBrossa have reviewed and reappraised the work of movements such as Oulipo and of creative artists such as the composer Josep Maria Mestres Quadreny, the playwright Valère Novarina or the writer Palau i Fabre, among others.

This year the focus is on the Dau al Set movement, and as the contents coordinator,Glòria Bordons, has noted, this year’s programme reflects a commitment to young directors who have confronted the challenge of ‘bringing to the stage words that do not easily have a place there’.


Also present at the press conference were the Ciutat Vella District Councillor Mercè Homs; Norbert Tomàs, director of CoNCA; Oriol Izquierdo, director of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes, and yours truly, representing the Museu Picasso, as well as Josep Maria Mestres Quadreny, chair of the Fundació Joan Brossa.

Mestres Quadreny, a personal friend of the members of Dau al Set, and especially of Joan Brossa, recalled his feelings at the exhibition in Barcelona in 1951 where he first encountered the work of Dau al Set, and how he was ‘immensely’ surprised to find such work in a city in which artistic expression was so conditioned and repressed by the political situation, and how he got into conversation with a man who turned out to be Joan Ponç, through whom he got to know Joan Brossa, who ‘spent the whole afternoon reading me his poems, and I went away feeling completely exhausted but convinced that if I hadn’t understood them it was my fault’.

Exposició DAU AL SET, 1951

Here at the Museu Picasso we are delighted to be involved in this venture again, not only as neighbours but also because we are very aware that these reappraisals of twentieth-century cultural movements are related, directly or indirectly, to Picasso’s work. On the 21 and 22 April we will be hosting a round-table on the Brossian universe and presenting the play Dau al 7, by Nozomi 700 Teatre, a tribute to all of the artists in the group, and especially to Brossa, Tàpies and Ponç.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Anna Guarro
Head of Public Programmes

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