529.4 Consuming history consuming culture in XXI century Spain: The case of gernika /guernica

Friday, August 3, 2012: 1:15 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Silvina SCHAMMAH GESSER , Department of Romance and Latin American Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Raanana, Israel
Notwithstanding the increasing wave of studies on the divided memories of the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, the emergence of the new museum industries and their by-products  -- commemorative exhibitions, guided tours, diverse forms of info-tainment and pedagogy – as well as their impact on the making of memory through cultural tourism and leisure, popular culture and consumption have been scarcely explored in the Iberian peninsula. My paper addresses these issues by focusing on the modern museum infrastructures and their dynamics at the “centre” and “peripheries”. The case studies chosen are the commemorations of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Pablo Picasso, and the 25th anniversary of the arrival of the Guernica in Spain, both celebrated by mega-exhibitions jointly held at the Prado Museum and the National Museum Reina Sofía Art Center in Madrid in 2006, on the one hand ,and the 70th anniversary of the bombing of the Basque village of Gernika celebrated at the modern Interactive Museum for Peace in Gernika-Lumo in 2007, on the other. Thus, the paper addresses: a. how and why the politics of representation and display embedded in such “recuperation industries” bring the past back; b. the ways in which practices that range from youth Graffiti contests and informal internet forums to leisure and learning activities highlight fluctuations of the debates on memory  as these trickle into the public sphere through less official and more experiential ways at the individual and group level. By elaborating on the critical literature on museums and its debate on the notion of governmentality, the presentation aims to discuss the disturbing manipulation of politics and aesthetics embedded in consuming Gernika/Guernica at the new millennium, specially as younger generations are targeted as audience.