The show of the work of the American artist Raymond Pettibon includes a broad selection of drawings, video screenings and materials from the artistâ€™s archive. His creations reveal his fascination with sixties American counterculture. David Goldblatt: this retrospective exhibition will be the first presentation in Spain of the work of the artist. It includes about two hundred photographs by the South African author, who has collected half a century of meticulous observation of the reality of his country, from 1948 to 1999.
The show of the work of the American artist Raymond Pettibon (Tucson, Arizona, 1957) includes a broad selection of drawings, video screenings and materials from the artistâ€™s archive.
His creations reveal his fascination with sixties American counterculture. Other references of his are Goyaâ€™s etchings, film noir or fifties and sixties childrenâ€™s television programmes, which appear as fragmented signs in a discourse which is critical of the images which sponsor the cultural power of the time. By combining image and word, Pettibonâ€™s work starts at the point where the work of other cartoon and comic artists, or Pop Art artists, such as Roy Lichtenstein, ends.
This is the first exhibition in Spain devoted to the work of the American artist Raymond Pettibon. It features more than one thousand works, including drawings on paper, murals especially designed and executed for the spaces of MACBA, videos and music, as well as books and original manuscripts from the artistâ€™s archives. Together, these materials show the heterogeneity and richness of Pettibonâ€™s artistic production, which embraces such themes as American mass culture, religion, sex and art. Following the wake of a generation of Los Angeles artists including John Baldessari, Jim Shaw and Edward Ruscha, Pettibon, along with Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley, is a clear exponent of an artistic tradition that originates on the West Coast and is characterized by the coexistence of underground subcultures and the fictional world of Hollywoodâ€™s film industry.
Raymond Pettibon, - "Pettit bon" is the nickname his father, a university professor of English and a spy novelist, gave him as a child - was born in Tucson in 1957 but shortly thereafter moved with his family to Los Angeles. During his college years, studying economics at UCLA, Pettibon contributed political who supported armed struggle against the Vietnam War and American imperialism. The videos Judgement Day Theater: The Book of Manson and Citizen Tania are accounts of the Manson family and the surreal story of Patty Hearst, alias "Tania". Captured by the Symbionese Liberation Army, Hearst later participated in robberies staged by her kidnappers. Pettibonâ€™s most recent video, entitled Red Tide Rising: Venice and Mars (2001), deals with the life of Jim Morrison.
Pettibonâ€™s drawings refuse the aura of the masterpiece. Their deliberate commonness provides open access to every member of their audience. The vast body of work he has produced over the last twenty-five years, a large selection of which is brought together in this exhibition, could be understood as an ambitious, however anomalous novel in which the reader has the impression not of having read a story, but of having witnessed an accident.
This retrospective exhibition will be the first presentation in Spain of the work of David Goldblatt. It includes about two hundred photographs by the South African author, who has collected half a century of meticulous observation of the reality of his country, from 1948 to 1999. For David Goldblatt photography is a tool that enables him to analyse social and cultural structures. His photographic documents make a detailed investigation of the tensions and fictions typical of city and country life in South Africa. Altogether they make up an impressive testimonial of a contemporary African society, coming from the industrial revolution, which has provided an outstanding example for studying how colonialism and apartheid can evolve.
David Goldblatt was born in 1930 in Randfontein, a gold mining town near Johannesburg in South Africa. His grandparents were Lithuanian immigrants who fled the persecution of Jews in the late nineteenth century. As a child, Goldblatt was raised in a family that emphasized racial tolerance. But he grew up in the broader social climate of racial segregation which, beginning in the early 1950s, was institutionalized into apartheid.
As a citizen and as a photographer and witness to apartheidâ€™s penetration of every aspect of life in South Africa, Goldblatt became an explorer of values and "far more engaged by the states of being that lead to events, by the conditions of society rather than by the climactic outcomes of those conditions." ing the National Party to power in 1948 and keeping it there for more than 40 years.
pass laws Laws controlling the movements and residential rights of Africans, principally by means of a "pass" or pass book, signed by an official or employer. First imposed on slaves and Khoikhoi in the Cape in the 18th century. See dompas and influx control. plot A small-holding.
Reef A name for the Rand or Witwatersrand; it referred to the gold reefs that lay under its 100 km length from the town of Springs in the east to Randfontein in the west. Robben Island An island about 10 kilometres off Cape Town and almost 8 km2, long used for the banishment of political prisoners and until 1931 for the isolation of lepers and the insane. It contained major defence installations during the Second World War. From 1961 until 1990, Blacks convicted of political offences against the apartheid regime were imprisoned there. Now a nature reserve and museum.
Republic Day Annual public holiday on 31 May commemorating the creation of the Republic of South Africa in 1961. Russians A gang of blanketed Sotho men who terrorized Johannesburg townships from the 1940s.
Security Police Section of the South African Police that dealt with political matters. Also known as the Special Branch. shaftsinking The process of digging the hole which will form a mine-shaft, and lining it with the equipment necessary for ventilation and the movement of men and ore. sinker A category of miner skilled in shaftsinking. slimes dump A heap of tailings, the residue after the extraction of gold from crushed rock, rendered as a mud which gradually dries out to form a solidified pile.
shebeen An informal place for the drinking of liquor, illegal until 1980.
Soweto From "South Western Townships", Johannesburgâ€™s "location", the extensive series of townships in which African residents of Johannesburg were required to live in terms of segregation laws regulating African access to urban areas. stage A multi-storied steel structure suspended on ropes from the surface, which hangs above the shaft bottom during shaftsinking and on which work the men who line the shaft with concrete and equip it for mining.
Strijdom, J. H. (1893-1958) Uncompromising proponent of White and particularly Afrikaner hegemony and supremacy. Leader of the National Party and Prime Minister 1954-1958. SWAPO South West Africa Peopleâ€™s Organisation.
Tant Afrikaans. Aunt, also a term of affection for an older woman. total onslaught Term used by the National Party government to describe what they perceived as an all-out offensive using every weapon at their disposal, by foreign governments and the liberation movement to undermine and ultimately destroy the South African state.
township A segregated residential area for Africans or Coloureds, a location.
Verwoerd, H. F. (1901 - 1966) The principal architect of apartheid particularly in regard to geographical segregation and the massive social engineering required for its achievement. Prime Minister from 1958 until his assassination in 1966. volk Afrikaans. A people or nation. In Afrikaner Christian- Nationalism, the Afrikaner volk is an organic whole greater than the sum of its individuals, created and chosen by God as a divine instrument.
Image: Raymond Pettibon, No Title (Vavoom. When he turned...), 1990. Private collection, Los Angeles. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles. Â© Raymond Pettibon, 2002
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