Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea Announces Upcoming Programs

October 7, 2011–January 15, 2012

Ocaña arrived in Barcelona in 1973, the year when Admiral Carrero Blanco was assassinated in Madrid. He died in Seville in 1983, as a result of the burns he suffered when his sun fancy-dress costume caught fire during a village fete in his birthplace, Cantillana, which were complicated by hepatitis and a lowered immunity caused by HIV, at the height of the euphoria following the election victory of the socialist party. These were the years of Spain’s transition. His crucial role in Barcelona’s underground scene, and, by extension, all over Spain in the late 1970s, is undeniable. The nature of his character—a professional and eccentric Andalusian who scandalized everyone by walking down Barcelona’s Rambla dressed as a woman—is already part of the imagery of the city.

His work as an artist has left us several known places: popular painter, papier-mache maker, film actor, cross-dressing singer… And the importance of his public life, his festive appearances in musical and political events, the role of his body in the political protests of gays and lesbians, lent him a privileged position as a performer, a truly exceptional example of action arts. Often, the eccentric relationship which linked him to the artistic work of his contemporaries has contributed to blurring his role in action arts, as he developed his work when their status was not clearly defined. This makes his work even more interesting, and it is on the basis of those parameters that this project is established: to attempt to present, in a way, some of his public actions, his entertainment activities and his political activism between 1973 and 1983.

Ocaña referred to the construction of his life as his work, something which not everyone understood, and which he himself saw, sometimes, as a fleeting explanation of the reason why he was not accepted as a painter or actor. It would not be very accurate to include his work in the field of performance, that modern Mannerism, however much it defines it. The many appellations with which he tried to describe his own work—”actor”, “showman”, “street performer”, etc.—are also insufficient. So these actions, activities and activisms are presented in a field which is yet to be organised, as materials which are moving around a no man’s land where Ocaña left them.

In his letters to the young Gennariello, Pasolini –Ocaña often used to say: “I’m a big Pasolinian when it comes to this”– reveals a certain sense of impotence when facing modern “things”, and admires those who, without the acquired critical apparatus, confront it, sometimes violently, as if it were a natural reaction, something to fight against directly, hand to hand. Perhaps the way-of-life which we identify with Ocaña is an important episode in that dialectic struggle between things and bodies.
Curated by Pedro G. Romero.

October 7, 2011–January 15, 2012

Oreet Ashery, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Regina José Galindo, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Marta Minujín, Fina Miralles, Lorraine O’Grady, Tanja Ostojić, Letícia Parente, Ewa Partum, Adrian Piper, Ulrike Rosenbach, Raeda Saadeh, Zorka Ságlová, Stefanie Seibold & Teresa María Díaz Nerio, Miriam Sharon, Gabriele Stötzer

“re.act.feminism #2 – a performing archive” is a continually expanding, mobile and temporary performance archive travelling through six European countries from 2011 to 2013. In its current version, it presents gender-critical, feminist and queer performance art by 125 artists and artists collectives from the 1960s to the beginning of the 1980s, as well as contemporary positions. The research focus is on artworks from Eastern and Western Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the US and selected countries in Latin America. On its route through Europe this temporary archive will continue to expand through local research and scholarly cooperation. It will also be “animated” through exhibitions, screenings, performances and discussions along the way, which will continuously contribute to the archive.

With this project, the organiser cross links e.V., Berlin and the curators Bettina Knaup and Beatrice Ellen Stammer, draw on the success of the exhibition “re.act.feminism – performance art of the 1960s & 70s today”, which was shown to great critical acclaim in the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany, in 2008–2009.

The main goals of the project are to make performance documentation, which is dispersed and often difficult to access, available to a broader public for the first time in such a great volume and variety, and to strengthen cross-generational and trans-cultural dialogue. The project is based on the idea of a living archive, emphasising the use, appropriation, and re-interpretation of documents: What effect does the performance document have in the moment of its reception, what does it do? What kind of relationship does it create between past and future, between author and recipient?

At Montehermoso, the archive will be accompanied by an exhibition presenting twenty artists of different generations, which have been selected from the archive.


Curated by Bettina Knaup and Beatrice Ellen Stammer

Eight feminist strategies to interrupt the male gaze.
October 21, 2011–February 12, 2012

Kajsa Dahlberg / VALIE EXPORT / Sanja Iveković / Elke Krystufek / Laura Mulvey / Ulrike Rosenbach / Carolee Schneemann

Passwords aims to show and document the many lines of criticism and artistic creation based on feminist viewpoints that have been developed in an audiovisual format since the 1960s. The project’s goal is to reveal, question and refute the sexist mechanisms and undercurrent present in mainstream artistic iconography concerning women and femininity.

Since the 1960s, various generations of women artists have been developing a feminist artistic practice that, confronting the fact that the gaze is a male cultural construction built within a male order whose purpose is to perpetuate the patriarchal order, should be analyze as strategies of resistance and combat. It is an art that constitutes an essential contribution to the task of constructing a feminist gaze, a gaze that could be define as the deep gaze that interrupts the male gaze because it is capable of widening to include multiple bonds with the socio-historic matrix and the ideology that constructs it. The feminist gaze is that which makes the invisible visible, beyond recovering the discarded takes that have erased women from history, since it also exposes the socio-political origin of the very act of looking.

Curated by Xabier Arakistain

Gontzal Gutiérrez
Josu Bilbao Ugalde
December 16, 2011–January 22, 2012

NEXT is a bimonthly cycle of exhibitions in collaboration between Montehermoso and the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of the Basque Country. This programme tries to make visible the projects by artists undergoing a process of “professionalisation.”

Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea
Fray Zacarias Martinez, 2
01001 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
[email protected]

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