Let’s imag­ine for a moment that, in June 1937, a cul­tur­al space in Paris had offered to exhib­it Guer­ni­ca, you know that work by Picas­so, but want­ed to avoid men­tion­ing the sit­u­a­tion in Spain in any way.

This mon­u­men­tal can­vas is a com­mit­ted denun­ci­a­tion of the bomb­ing of the town of Guer­ni­ca which had just occurred dur­ing the Span­ish war, a bomb­ing ordered by the Span­ish nation­al­ists and exe­cut­ed by Ger­man nazi et Ital­ian fas­cist troops.

In Paris, the Blum gov­ern­ment abdi­cat­ed under the pres­sure of those events.

What would a Parisian cul­tur­al space have done then, had it been offered the oppor­tu­ni­ty of exhibit­ing Picas­so’s Guernica?

It would have con­sult­ed with its superiors.
Or per­haps, in a jolt­ing  attempt at exist­ing on its own and won over by the beau­ty and pow­er of the work, it might have attempt­ed to reduce its polit­i­cal impact by trans­form­ing it into “a mas­ter­piece of con­tem­po­rary art” in order to hang it on its walls.

We are in 1937, Picas­so is already an estab­lished painter which is why he was com­mis­sioned for the work.

But the Pop­u­lar Front goven­ment has decid­ed to keep a low pro­file over the Span­ish war.

So the cul­tur­al space is up shit creek with­out the prover­bial pad­dle. Exhibit­ing Guer­ni­ca and talk­ing about the Span­ish rev­o­lu­tion means run­ning the risk of being called to account, or of see­ing doors lead­ing to fund­ing, closed.

So, in a cre­ative surge, it looks for a way to exhib­it the work as describ­ing bull-fight­ing, and orga­niz­ing a round table with anti-bull­fight­ers; con­tra­dic­to­ry free expres­sion hav­ing its requirements…It even con­sid­ers the pos­si­bil­i­ty of invit­ing a Ger­man picador…

Silence, this is an exhibition!

No, I’m kidding…

I had a night­mare, that’s all. I saw myself nego­ti­at­ing over the exhi­bi­tion of Zehra Doğan’s works with a Parisian cul­tur­al space. And I’m still try­ing to under­stand how a dream can turn so screwy… 

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges

Expon­er el Gerni­ka sin lev­an­tar ampol­las Haga clic para leer
Expos­er Guer­ni­ca sans faire de bruit
Cliquez pour lire

Vous pouvez utiliser, partager les articles et les traductions de Kedistan en précisant la source et en ajoutant un lien afin de respecter le travail des auteur(e)s et traductrices/teurs. Merci.Kedistan’ın tüm yayınlarını, yazar ve çevirmenlerin emeğine saygı göstererek, kaynak ve link vererek paylaşabilirisiniz. Teşekkürler.
Ji kerema xwere dema hun nivîsên Kedistanê parve dikin, ji bo rêzgirtina maf û keda nivîskar û wergêr, lînk û navê malperê wek çavkanî diyar bikin. Spas.
You may use and share Kedistan’s articles and translations, specifying the source and adding a link in order to respect the writer(s) and translator(s) work. Thank you.
Por respeto hacia la labor de las autoras y traductoras, puedes utilizar y compartir los artículos y las traducciones de Kedistan citando la fuente y añadiendo el enlace. Gracias.
Daniel Fleury on FacebookDaniel Fleury on Twitter
Daniel Fleury
Let­tres mod­ernes à l’Université de Tours. Gros mots poli­tiques… Coups d’oeil politiques…