by Avelino Sala, 2016
Rebellion in Asturias is an exercise in the recovery of (historical) memory in three layers: The personal, the family and the universal. The memory of my grandfather, lost in a mass grave, of the Revolution of 1934, the memory of Constantino Suarez, a photographer who was a precursor of photojournalism, and finally the recovery of the memory of Camus’ little play that has hardly been performed in our country.
Révolte dans les Asturies, a play written collectively by Albert Camus, Jeanne-Paule Sicard, Yves Bourgeois and Alfred Poignant in 1935. It was published in 1936 by Edmond Charlot. An exercise in the recovery of memory, but also a tribute to all those who died and disappeared in the graves, those of 1934 and those of the civil war, those who have never been found and their families, like mine, who have suffered the repercussions for a lifetime. Through sculpture, video, drawing and installation, we address these issues so that they remain alive, all of them, in our memory.
This gaze, which moves between poetics and memory, between testimony and symbolism, has drawn a cartography of loss. With diverse techniques and formal presentations that pass through practically all contemporary artistic disciplines.
During 4 years we have gone through different stages of the project, from the search for the photographs in the archive of the museum of the people of Asturias, to the workshop that together with Jose Luis Corazón Ardura and Marc Caellas we carried out in the FMC of Gijón with the collaboration of the Ceares Football Club, or the performance of the work in WhiteBox in New York on the election night that Donald Trump won by The living Theatre in 2016, in the context of the exhibition Acts of sedition curated by Raul Zamudio and Juan Puntes. A journey that reaches another station, perhaps not the final one, in this exhibition that practically sums it all up.
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Avelino Sala is an artist, curator, writer and editor. His work as an artist has led him to question the cultural and social reality from a late romantic perspective with a critical point of view. By continuously exploring social imagery, Sala tries to put a finger on sore spots, demonstrating the power of art as a space for experimentation and for the creation of new worlds. Sala is a Spanish referent of art as a vehicle for political resistance, in his production there is a sort of poetics that contains a reflection on state powers and the control they exercise. His recognizable aesthetic strengthens a discourse that is as necessary as it is powerful, encompassing sensitive and relevant subjects such as migrations, contemporary dislocation, the environmental crisis and the paradoxes of capitalism.
During "IN CONVERSATION WITH.." we want to give the artists through a series of questions to introduce themselves and to relate their practice and their work to the topic of the exhibtion. Welcome Avelino:
I am an artist, also editor (Sublime newspaper) and sometimes curator. Was born in Asturias, north of Spain, at a Sea town as Gijon is.
I am interested in Art as a critical instrument, as a tool to be able to change the world around us. Art is a communication channel and we have the option to talk to the public through your works.
Because this project is focused on many different subjects and has many layers. From the personal (familiar memory) to global memory, Cultural heritage and rewriting of History. Also very different formats, sculpture, objects, video and performance.
Everyday life, resistance as Art, understanding the world and giving others not official discurses about what is going on.
Familiar, Art practice and freedom.
Revolution and Art are deeply connected. Revolution installed in Art practice is understanding the world from a different perspective, not the usual. And the artist has the options and the tools to change things, from the cultural watchtower, a place to be able to transform the world.
No, Art moves on the symbol space, not exactly activism. I am an activist collaborating in other non art projects, but not in my work.
Do you think Art can change the world?
Yes little by little, piece by piece, maybe it can not change it but it can question reality and be the canvas for dreams!