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The Casa Pintada Foundation - Cristóbal Gabarrón Museum in Mula presents next Saturday May 4 at 18:00 hours the installation Fireproof Memory by Juan Antonio Cerezuela, in La Bodega at Fundacion Casa Pintada.
Curated by Olga Rodríguez Pomares and Juan García Sandoval, the exhibition can be visited until 28 July 2019, during the museum's opening hours. (Mornings: Tuesday to Friday from 10 to 2. Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 11 to 2. Closed on Mondays)
ʺFireproof Memory - Juan Antonio Cerezuela is the formulation of a visual experience through the book, is perhaps the object of objects, the most vulnerable by the materiality of paper and the most resistant in time. History is plagued with burns and book prohibitions. [...] Bonfires of hypocrisy and dogmatism that threw into the fire or banned free expression, go back to the times of Inquisition censorship or today the fanatics of the Islamic State, who have continued the custom of destroying cultural production (literature, sculpture or painting) in the name of so-called "religious purity". […] ʺ
Olga Rodríguez Pomares
Doctor in Fine Arts from the University of Murcia. Curator of the exhibition
After the Spanish Civil War, a deep repression took place under the Franco dictatorial regime, in which one of its least known episodes had to do with the massive burning of books, libraries and documents representing Anti-Spain. In the worst case, countless books were burned and destroyed; many others were seized, and on other occasions several of their passages were suppressed or modified.
Fireproof Memory is a project that aims to recover the historical memory of this bibliocausto, manifesting the physical and symbolic wound of the cultural repression exercised during the Franco regime, manifested in the destruction and disappearance of tens of thousands of books.
This practice of burning books is not an isolated case, but has taken place throughout history, especially under various dictatorships. At the same time, in the field of fiction, the burning of books is present in literary and film passages, such as the well-known novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, later adapted to cinema by the hand of Truffaut.
It also highlights a very curious fact in the justification of the burning of books by Franco's intellectuals, specifically the sixth chapter of the famous Cervantes novel, "Don Quixote", which recounts a well-known episode where the priest and barber set fire to the cavalry novels of the ingenious nobleman. With this reference a dramatic burning of books in the garden of the Central University of Madrid (today the Complutense) was justified on April 30, 1939, while the anthem of the "Face to the Sun" was raised to voices among its precursors. On this occasion, books by Sabino Arana, Rousseau, Karl Marx, Voltaire, Lamartine, Maksim Gorki, Remarque, Freud, among thousands of others, were burned.
Curiously, the first book that appears in Truffaut's film, discovered during the search of a house by the army of firemen (in the novel, converted into destroyers of the books, because they filled the head with bad thoughts to those who read them), is Don Quixote.
Fireproof Memory intends, from the overlapping of both fictions (images from Truffaut's film and fragments from the chapter of Don Quixote), to talk about a historical reality such as the burning of books in our country.
Fireproof Memory is a chapter that forms part of a larger project, composed of other episodes that deal with books banned or seized by the regime, or those books with passages that have been modified by censorship, among others. The synopsis of the project would therefore come from an intention to address the various aggression and wounds of the book in the Franco regime: invisibilization by seizure and prohibition, burning, suppression and variation of passages, etc., all aspects and resources that intervene in the symbology and political processes of socio-cultural control exercised by censorship.
The book, at the end, is a trace of all these registers, aggressions, wounds and silences.
Juan Antonio Cerezuela
Juan Antonio Cerezuela (Cartagena, 1982)
Visual artist and researcher. Doctor with International Mention, Cum Laude and Extraordinary Thesis Award in Visual and Intermediate Arts (Valencia, 2014) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (Granada, 2005). He has received numerous awards and recognitions as a visual artist, including Special Mention in Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize (London, 2018); Production Grant UNZIP Arts Visuals (El Prat de Llobregat, 2018); 1st Prize Art Emergent Sabadell (2017); Best Artist Award in WEAREFAIR (Madrid, 2016); 1st Prize XXXI Muestra de Arte Joven La Rioja (Logroño, 2015), among others. He has participated in exhibitions such as Full Blanks (CEART, Fuenlabrada, Madrid); ESC-OUT: Desviaments de les pràctiques artístiques en l'esfera pública (Fabra i Coats, Barcelona, 2019), Ex Hodos. Diálogo en torno a relato, memoria y exilio (El Prat, 2019), Recreant Ruïnes (La Escocesa, Barcelona 2018), Ciutat Oberta. Biennal de pensament (Barcelona, 2018), Hybrid Art Fair (Madrid, 2017), International Prize for Plastic Arts Open Work (Plasencia, Cáceres, 2016), Gas Natural Fenosa Art Exhibition (Museo MAC Gas Natural Fenosa, La Coruña, 2016), En procés (Fabra i Coats, Barcelona, 2016), Gramáticas de la temporalidad (La Conservera, Murcia, 2016), etc. He has been an artist in residence in Fabra i Coats (2015) and since August 2018 has resided in La Escocesa Centro de Creación (Barcelona).