La bèstia i el sobirà
Malalletra : l’escala cromàtica de la ràbia
After the controversy over the cancellation of the exhibition, the MACBA exhibition ‘The Beast and the Sovereign’ can be visited: How can sovereignty be thought beyond power? How can sovereignty be produced by questioning these relations of domination? The exhibition, which takes its title from the seminar given by philosopher Jacques Derrida, analyzes how contemporary artistic practices question and undo the concept of Western political sovereignty and at the same time proposes alternative ways of understanding individual and collective freedom and the current formulas of the nation-state.
The work of austrian artist ines doujak «not dressed for
Macba’s director assures that he has not been pressured by the museum’s board of trustees – «neither now nor ever, we have always worked with total freedom»- and argues that it has come to this point because of a «very sad» case of communication. Did the curators hide the contents from him? «Let’s say they didn’t communicate it to me,» he insists. «It’s certainly a failure of the team.» «I have always defended the relevance and necessity of this exhibition. I think it’s important for contemporary art to debate and discuss issues such as sovereignty and the relationship between the individual, the collective and power, but I don’t agree that the museum should send out certain messages, and that’s my responsibility».
This was explained to Europa Press by the director of Macba, Bartomeu Marí, who stressed the museum’s «great capacity to generate ideas» through a rich collection like that of the Catalan contemporary art museum.
The controversial work is a sculpture by Austrian artist Ines Doujak and Briton John Barker, which in December 2014 exhibited at the 31st Sao Paulo Biennial under the title ‘Haute Couture 04 Transport’, and which exhibits a sexual scene of the King, a Bolivian feminist leader and a German shepherd who sodomize each other, while he vomits cornflower on a bed of SS helmets.
«Art is messages, and museums are their transmitters,» argued Marí, who said he made this decision as the head of the institution’s content, with Queen Sofía as honorary president of the Fundació Macba.
La bèstia i el sobirà/la bestia y el soberano/the beast and the sovereign
Ciurana sees the controversy that arose from the decision to cancel the exhibition as unnecessary, and has confined it to a «disagreement» between the curators and the director, although he has avoided pronouncing on whether the controversial work by Ines Doujak and British artist John Barker should have been shown from the beginning.
In the work, which could be seen in December 2014 at the XXXI Sao Paulo Biennial, King Juan Carlos, a Bolivian feminist leader and a German shepherd can be seen sodomizing each other, while he vomits cornflower on a bed of SS helmets.