corner: n. 1. a. The position at which two lines or surfaces
meet. b. The immediate interior or exterior or exterior region of the angle
formed at this position, bounded by the two lines or surfaces. 2. A vertex,
esp. the interior region of a vertex, formed by the sides of roads or streets
that join, meet, or intersect. 3. A threatening or embarrassing position,
esp. one from which escape is difficult or impossible. 4.a. A part, quarter
or region. b. A remote, secluded, or secret place. 5. A guard or decoration
fitted on a corner, as of a bookbinding. 6. A speculative monopoly of a
stock or commodity created by purchasing all or most of the available supply
in order to raise its price.
(The American Heritage Dictionary)
I first ventured into electronic publishing in 1992 with a kind of Dada
poetry book that used hypertext as its principle. After editing a literary
gazette (El gato tuerto/The one-eyed cat ), and publishing poetry
in numerous printed magazines and books, I wanted to explore the computer
and its possibilities as a new medium. If it is true that literature is
essentially richly interlinked; the printed
medium imposes natural bonds of linearity. It was in an effort to overcome
these limits that my Visual Games for Words & Sounds was born.
Other electronic adventures followed, as my The Book of XXXIX Steps:
A Game of Discovery and Imagination, inspired by Remedios Varo's paintings.
The latest attempt I made in the electronic medium, previous to CORNER,
was Eboli Poetry, an international
anthology of poetry on-line that, contrary to regular printed anthologies,
is always growing and accessible to readers worldwide. Considering that
the world wide web is giving a boost to literature on many fronts, particularly
magazines, I ventured into a new project: an on-line journal dedicated
to my always present passion: the avant-garde. With my experience as an
editor, I wanted to profit from one of the advantages that electronic publishing
offers: With a computer, a modem, access to the Internet, and the right
webmaster, it is possible to put together a magazine with a relatively
low production cost and make it available to thousands of Internet users
who can read it at their own computer screens for free.
Electronic literature or, better expressed, literature available in
electronic form, is becoming part of today's mainstream. At the end of
the century, where technology is expanding the circle for the literary
minded, CORNER is a plus. It breaks away from traditional scholarly journals
both in form and content. CORNER has the www to disseminate its vast repository
of documents, which you can browse. We can say, with Robert Kendall, that
"The computer--that remarkable melting pot of all communication--has
become another medium for expressing the incomparable beauty and power
of the word."
CORNER will publish texts that show a renewed interest in the avant-garde
movements, in many instances written by non-traditional critics about non-traditional
subjects. CORNER will focus primarily on criticism, but is open to collaborations
that include art, fiction and poetry. CORNER's focus embraces a broad cultural
perspective including avant-garde movements (past & present) in Spain,
Latin America, Portugal, as well as Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany,
the United States and other countries. CORNER's approach is cross disciplinary
and not limited to any particular critical perspective or methodology.
CORNER prefers English and Spanish as its working languages, but is open
to collaborations in other languages as well. An example of this is our
first issue, which shows several essays in Catalan.
A journey through the history of the Catalan avant-garde and the
contents of this first issue of CORNER
At the turn of the century, several iconoclastic and radical art movements
emerged from the economic, political, moral, and social upheaval surrounding
the First World War. These movements that include futurism, dadaism, surrealism,
and the Hispanic creacionismo and ultraísmo, constitute what several
writers have called the "historical avant-garde." Stephen M.
Hart's essay "The Avant-Garde in Spain and Spanish America,"
included in this first issue of CORNER, is an insightful analysis that
goes from Vicente Huidobro until the work of Salvat-Papasseit. Hart makes
us remember that between 1916 and 1924, Catalan writers experimented with
Italian Futurism and drew heavily on French literary Cubism . The earliest
practitioners of the avant-garde in Catalonia were Josep-Maria Junoy, J.V.
Foix, Joaquim Folguera and Joan Salvat-Papasseit. Practitioners of the
new visual poetry, they were the bridge to "a new aesthetics that
demands a radical restructuring of art involving its most basic elements."
Catalonia also was the cradle of the Manifest Groc or Yellow
Manifest of March 1928, signed by Salvador Dalí, Gasch and Montanyà.
During the 30s the avant-garde spirit was reflected in the renewing energy
of ADLAN (Amics de Les Arts Nous-Friends of the New Art), a small but influential
organization founded in Barcelona in the first year of the Republic for
the express purpose of encouraging vanguard movements in literature and
the arts and promoting creative exchange in Spain. Other names that need
to be mentioned here are those of Artur Carbonell, Angel Ferrant, Leandre
Cristòfol, Esteve Francés, and Remedios Varo, among others,
members of the group the Logicofobistas (Logicophobists) . I do not
intend this introduction to be an elaborated inventory of names, but it's
important to conclude this reference to the historical avant-garde by mentioning
that the art of vanguard saw its influence in Catalonia during the Spanish
Civil War in expressions like cartelismo and photomontage. 
The avant-garde was characterized by a vigorous rejection of the past,
and a no less vigorous promotion of everything new. Their aesthetic assumptions
were remarkably similar, for each endorsed a total revision of contemporary
aesthetic values accompanied by radical political and social change. Although
they shared common aesthetic assumptions, these movements differed widely
in their political positions.
The historical avant-garde all but disappeared by the end of the Second
World War. But, in the decades following the war, there was a resurgence
of interest for the avant-garde. For example, during the 50s, the avant-garde
Catalan magazine Dau al Set (1948-1956) reflected the works of Tàpies,
Cuixart, Tharrats, Ponç, Puig, Brossa and Cirlot. Brossa used the
word experimental on three poems that he exposed in 1951 with the group.
The interest for the vanguards has been stimulated and we can talk here
of a second surrealist generation interested in the oneiric processes and
German expressionism. The importance of Joan Miró is capital as
a bridge with the historical avant-garde and artistic movements. This resurgence
reached its height in the 60s. Among these movements, which are often referred
to as the Neo-avant-garde or Neo-Dada, was George Maciunas's Fluxus-a loosely
knit group of artists, writers, and musicians from the United States, Europe,
The aesthetic program endorsed by Fluxus resembles that of the historical
avant-garde. Fluxus had an extraordinary impact in Spain. Prior to founding
the Spanish Fluxus, the ZAJ group, Juan Hidalgo and Walter Marchetti had
taken part in the Música abierta series of concerts organized by
Club 49 in Barcelona, in the Capella de Santa Agata, during the 1959-60
season; their concert for two pianos included an action. Juan Hidalgo subsequently
performed action-concerts for a program on Ràdio Barcelona. Hidalgo
had studied under John Cage in Darmstadt in 1958, and the two had come
to become friends and worked together. Mestres Quadreny, involved with
Club 49 continued to organize these concert cycles, and presented his own
music-action work with the poet Joan Brossa from 1960 on.  The 60s in
Catalonia were also marked by Informalism and Action painting (Grupo Gallot).
Names like Vallès, Norotzky, Vilacasas, and Guinovart are synonymous
with the times.
As Van de Pas points out "Although it was only later, in the seventies,
that new generations of Catalan artists multiplied the number of individual
actions, assisted by better public dissemination of their work, the sixties
were fundamental in Catalonia, with artists who now enjoy considerable
reputations, many of them internationally, taking the first steps in their
careers." They are Mestres Quadreny, Carles Santos, Joan Brossa, Jaume
Xifra, Antoni Miralda, Joan Rabascall and Benet Rossell. 
In the 70s, the avant-garde in Catalonia had a new aesthetic contribution:
Conceptual Art.  This period is characterized not only by its great
creative and imaginative capacity, but also by the fact that the new art
has strong links with the tendencies of International Art. We find in the
70s a new impulse that "brought a breath of fresh air which taught
approaches that were later to develop along other lines."  The
way the historical avant-garde worked began to be discovered at that time.
There is a new awareness of the spirit of the avant-garde with the interest
in Dadaism. The Catalan artistic community rediscovered Marcel Duchamp.
 The artist's death in 1968 led to the publication of Siete Manifiestos
Dada in 1972, Pierre Cabanne's Interviews (1972), the exhibition
DADA 1916-1966 that took place in Barcelona (1973) and the exhibition-tribute
to Duchamp in Cadaquès (1973).
From the historical avant-garde the artists of this period welcome the
mechanisms of breakage, the revolutionary utopia, and its interdisciplinary
nature. Once more during the 70s Catalonia was the setting of a subversive
art, both from an historic as well as aesthetic point of view. As Pilar
Parcerisas points out "The radical nature of the conceptual movement
and the high content of political ideology which followed in its wake,
would not be understood without the historical framework from which it
came, or in the context of the decline and death of Franco, of the crystallization
of the step towards democracy and the hope of the national recovery of
Catalonia."  Pop Art, Nouveau Réalisme, Arte Povera, Fluxus
and happenings are part of the scene. The importance of the "Grup
de trebal" (1972-1977), a group of artists who developed a new awareness
of the socio-politico-economic problems of the country, must be acknowledged.
Some of the participants of the group were Francesc Abad, Jordi Benito,
Alicia Fingerhurt, Carles Hac Mor, Muntades, Benet Rossell, Carles Santos
and Francesc Torres. They collaborated in harsh confrontations with the
establishment, and created manifestos defending ephemeral works, participative
art and the popularization and de-mystification of artistic displays. 
In December 1973, the German Institute, in collaboration with the College
of Architects of Barcelona organized the "Experimental Poetry Exhibition"
in Barcelona  and in February 1974 Josep M. Figueres inaugurated the
exhibition "New Catalonian Experimental Poetry" in the Sala de
Actos de Amics de les Arts de Terrassa.
Although the words "the avant-garde is dead" have resounded
in writings by both intellectuals, historians, and literary critics in
response to the collapse of the Neo-avant-garde in the 1970s, at the end
of the eighties and in the mid-nineties we find a renewed international
interest in the avant-garde. This interest was stimulated by fascinating
retrospective exhibitions of Fluxus all over the world, as well as exhibitions
With the revindication of the avant-garde, we find in Catalonia a number
of artists who developed critical and self-reflexive postures in their
actions that they later on incorporated into their video-graphic conceptual
work. Among them we can mention Antoni Muntadas, Francesc Abad and
Francesc Torres. Different alternative art manifestations of difficult
classification are born. We can mention Côclea, Aire, Revista Parlada,
Revista Caminada and Cafè Central.
In the literary field the works of Carles Hac Mor and Víctor
Sunyol (two creative manipulators of the Catalan language) became key documents
in the Catalan avant-garde world. We find again a renewed interest in visual
poetry. The poet Guillem Viladot used again the term experimental in April
of 1981 at the exhibition dedicated to his work "25 Years of Experimental
Poetry at Riella."
Another important exhibition of experimental poetry was organized by
Ramón Salvo in 1989. The exhibition covered a period of thirty years
of poetic experimentation in Catalonia. The same year the anthological
exhibition 'object poé (li) tic, the Spanish experimental poetry"
was coordinated by Estrella de Diego in New York. Many critics consider
1989 an important year for the history of Catalan experimental poetry.
It has been possible since then to have a perspective about the past and
toward the future. The 90's witnessed a renovated interest. In September
of 1992 the magazine Mirall de Glaç published a special issue
entitled "Visual Poetry", coordinated by J.M. Calleja. The same
month the magazine Valencia Factory, under the coordination of Antonio
Gómez, dedicated its issue 11 to "Experimental Poetry".
In 1992, "Guillem Viladot's Poetry Award" was created and
its first contest was dedicated to Experimental Poetry. Next year,
a major exhibition, the "Poesía Experimental-93" was organized
by J.M. Calleja and presented at the Sala Multimedia la PAPA, headquarters
of the Associació de Performers, Artistas i Poetes Associats. It
was a major exhibition that presented the poetic works of many authors
from all around Catalonia, showing in their works a wide variety of techniques
and many different plastic and poetic traditions. 
The 90s are marked by actions essentially paratheatrical that began
in the 70s. In this context, Benet Rossell, C.H. Mor, Esther Xargay and
Xavier Canals, played pioneering roles manipulating language, humor, and
using in total freedom many elements of the Theatre of the Absurd, Dadaist
and Surrealist Acts. 
Some of the artists and poets that made and keep making an impact on
the Catalan avant-garde have a place in this first issue of CORNER. Some
times they are the viewer-participants of the work of other artist/poet
and also themselves the object of some essays (C.H. Mor, Xavier Canals);
in other instances they are the critics and ludic-philosophers of their
own work (José Manuel Berenguer "Autonomía Automática.
Consideraciones especulativas previas a la concepción de Mental,
Central, Perifèric" and Víctor Sunyol "L'ombra
de l'ombra. Literatures i arts plàstiques com a correlats").
And, in their ways, some of them act as poets-critics (Antoni Clapés,
"Carles Hac Mor: El desorden como lógica" and Esther Xargay,
"Carles Hac Mor, escriptor," presenting this unique artist as
a nihilist, self-exiled master of the ephemeral, a master of metaphors
and of verbal games). Clapés reappears in CORNER as the poet founder
of Cafè Central, while Xargay offers the readers a selection of
her epiphanies and morphologic poetic games. In this sweeping revision
of avant-garde Catalan history, Joan Brossa takes his rightful place as
the final heir of Joyce, Houdini, Duchamp and Cage, being always the heir
of himself. A freewheeling artist with an innate provocateur spirit, Brossa
had been the touchstone artist who had challenged the artistic world since
the 40s. He had created an astonishingly varied work (visual poetry, poetic
objects, shows, cinema scripts) that culminated many of the works of Futurism,
Dada, Surrealism, Pop Art, Fluxus, and Brossaism itself.
In keeping with Brossa's own interdisciplinarity, Xavier Canals, in
his exclusive interview "Reescriure's amb llibertat amb el profeta
ateu"/"Reescribirse en libertad con el profeta ateo" the
main dish of this first issue, approaches Brossa's work from a variety
of perspectives. We find here a vivid dialogue that includes literature,
art theory, religious thought, history, biography and more, and gives the
reader a new way of visualizing Brossa. A selection of Brossa's visual
poems illustrates this interview. Canals, a maker and internationally known
theoretician in Visual Poetry, also appears in this issue as the object
of C.H. Mor's essay "Plou i fa sol als Canals Xavier" / "Llueve
y brilla el sol en los Canales Xavier".
Canals is considered by many a manipulator of language, a kind of archaeologist
of images and a poet-magician. In his ludic text, C. H. Mor plays essentially
with the name of the artist placing him in a setting for an action that
is in itself several actions and none. Canals, heir of Brossa without being
one, transforms himself (as C. H. M transforms him) through a series of
his visual poems. And we have more canals to navigate thanks to Canals'
"Música-Poesía Visual;" some reflexions that immerse
us into the realm of visual-musical experimentalism. The players in this
theorethical approach are as varied as Llull and Cage, to mention only
two of the many influences in Canals' thoughts. We complete the navigation
through the multiple canals with photographic testimony of Performances
or "Acciones" by Canals himself (and others) in "Revista
andada" y DADA contextualizado."
Another artist whose work has developed in many different directions,
all of which tend to have visual poetry, understood in its broadest sense,
is J.M. Calleja. He is known for his poetic actions, books, mail-art, chapbooks,
videos and installations. Kevin Power's essay "J.M. Calleja: Collage,
Score, Music, Silence" deals with the artist's geography of "visual
sounds" in "Música per als ulls," the title of Calleja's
exhibition in the Galeria H20 of Barcelona in May 1996. Power's essay is
accompanied by a series of visual poems where Calleja places his collage
elements within the structure of the score. The essay is also a reflection
on contemporary music, visual poetry in general, and the vanguards.
Also from Barcelona are Maite Jou's "Poética de A MA ZU
LAT: los dominós de Jaime D. Parra," a theoretical approach
with touches on personal remembrances to Parra's graphic poems built up
with pieces of dominoes. Parra, a Spanish Semiologist and specialist in
the works of Eduardo Cirlot, insightfully studies Cirlot's poetic cosmovision
in his "Los versos ingleses de Cirlot: Una síntesis de su apuesta
por la vanguardia." Cirlot elaborated a poetic cosmovision that he
related with the research on mystic symbolism carried out by Marius Schneider,
Gershom Scholem and Henry Corbin. Cirlot's "Bronwyn Circle,"
analyzed by Parra, is a cardinal work of his symbolic-mystic vision, and
his non-world, linked with the doctrines of the Persian Sufi mystics and
Corbin's theories of the álâm al mithâl , the
place without location or Nâ-Kojâ . Parra also provided
me with "Dos semblanzas y un testimonio" dedicated to Xavier
Canals, Antonio Beneyto and to the survival of the "latest vanguard."
Other avant-garde figures, already mentioned above, are a necessary
presence in this first issue of our journal. They are Antonio Beneyto and
Benet Rossell. There is a Dossier Beneyto, which shows part of his world
of obsessive oneiric visions and bizarre fantastic community of strange
beings. A selection of eight "descaradamente postistas" drawings
are presented here. CORNER offers its readers some insights about Benet
Rossell, a singular artist who cultivates an unusual, very personal and
intimate art. His work is enriched with a selection of his Zen avant-garde
calligraphic universe and paintings.
A note-homage dedicated to the Croatian avant-garde writer Janko Polic
Kamov completes the international landscape of the Catalonian vanguard.
Kamov spent the last 40 days of his short life in Barcelona where he died
on August 8, 1910. It was in Barcelona, in the office of the magazine Lateral,
where I discovered Kamov in 1997, thanks to the book by Mladen Urem dedicated
to the writer. Back in the Bay Area, I wrote a letter to Urem and he enthusiastically
sent me a copy of his study as well as some reviews published about it.
With his permission, I am including some fragments of his introduction
and some illustrations of his book.
Reconnecting with the Latin American vanguards, presented in Hart's
essay mentioned at the beginning of this journey, we have Elizabeth Coonrod
Martínez's "Back to the Future in Vanguardia Narrative: Martín
Adán's Vision and Revisioning of the New Era," an essay that
makes us open with new keys La casa de cartón (The Cardboard
House ), the only novel published in 1928 by Adán, one the most
fascinating Peruvian poets of all times. Adán's narrative fiction
is a masterpiece of subjective impressions, sensations, and emotions by
a nameless youthful narrator of Barranco and Lima. It is essentially a
"kaleidoscopic" bildungsroman of the formation of an artist.
In the trend of rethinking the meaning of art, culture and identity in
the Hispanic world the essay "El simulacro de la representación
en Zootsuit " by Héctor Mario Cavallari analyses the
strategies of representation in the film text of Zootsuit by the
Chicano writer and director Luis Valdez. The analysis serves as a pre-text
to a discussion of the film's deconstructive potential confronting empiricist
ideology. The study is premised on the idea that, by focusing on the problematical
theme of "representation" in the filmtext, it becomes possible
to reveal and specify an important though "invisible" cluster
of notions which subtend the relationship between "fiction",
"truth", and "reality" within a particular discursive
Also included ia a selected bibliography which lists representative
works dedicated to the Spanish and Latin American Vanguards.
I would like to acknowledge the enthusiasm with which many of my friends
received the idea of CORNER:
The Spanish artist Antonio Beneyto suggested the name CORNER for this
magazine, taking the word from an international understandable term used
in football; CORNER is also the translation of esquina, a word with avant-garde
connotations: In the 60s, the Colección LA ESQUINA was edited in
Barcelona by Beneyto himself, publishing in chapbook format the works of
some of the keystone figures of the Hispanic vanguard of those times: A.F.
Molina, Juan-Eduardo Cirlot, Joan Brossa, Carlos Edmundo de Ory, Alejandra
Pizarnik, and Beneyto, among others.
The Catalan visual artist J.M. Calleja surprised me one evening at the
Carrer dels Còdols in Barcelona, my corner in the Gothic Quarter,
with a present: a visual poem titled "Corner" that became the
logo for this on-line magazine. Other artists whose support, ideas and
contacts made this first issue possible are Xavier Canals, Teresa Hereu,
and Carles Hac Mor.
My friend Mihály Dés, editor of Lateral, a literary
magazine published in Barcelona, immediately published a note about the
new on-line CORNER. Genaro Pérez, editor of the Monographic Review/Revista
Monográfica, gave me a good advice: "to be patient."
With a new, non-traditional publication exploring a new-medium, developing
a community of readers takes time.
I am also profoundly indebted to Renée Jadushlever, Director
of the F. W. Olin Library, Mills College, for her support and suggestions.
I want to thank Janice Braun, Mills College's Special Collections Library,
for guiding me through several avant-garde publications. I am grateful
to the members of the Editorial Board who joined me in this adventure and
provided me with materials, ideas, and most important, trusted me. Above
all, I need to thank Servando González, WebMaster extraordinaire
and designer of CORNER, for the help he provided at every single step of
this project, for his support and patience working with me, and for his
expertise in optimizing graphic files for maximum quality and minimum downloading
time, and for his magic art of finding missing files which apparently found
a secret pleasure hiding in remote "corners" of the hard drive.
In designing CORNER we faced the difficulties of reproducing in a new
medium, with intrinsic low resolution output, graphic materials created
for the printed page, a high resolution medium. We hope that CORNER will
challenge the new generation of avant-garde artists to create materials
expressly conceived for the new electronic medium.
I don't want to finish this editorial without wishing CORNER a good
life and readership. Let CORNER be also an homage to Mills College's avant-garde
history. Since the 30s, many vanguard artists, painters, writers and composers
have found this corner of the world, the Mills campus (a place where I
came to teach in 1992), a niche for inspiration and work. The list is long,
so I will mention only a few names: Alfred Neumeyer, Darius Milhaud, Madeleine
Milhaud, Lazlo Maholy-Nagy, Max Beckmann, Alfred Neumeyer, Alexander Archipenko,
Fernand Léger, Lyonel Feininger, Tina Flade, John Cage, Lou Harrison,
Henry Cowell, Robert Ashley, Ramón Sender, Pauline Oliveros, Maggi
Payne, John Bischoff, Chris Brown, Alvin Curran, Trisha Brown, Molissa
Fenley and Antoni Clapés.
In the spirit of this changing world, I suggest we consider the formula:
1. Robert Kendall,"Writing for the New Millennium: The Birth of
Electronic Literature." Poets & Writers Magazine , (Nov.-Dec.1995):
2. See, for example Guillermo Díaz-Plaja, L'avantguardisme
a Catalunya i altres notes de critica (Barcelona: "La Revista,"
1932) 17-18 and Willard Bohn, The aesthetics of visual poetry (London:
Cambridge UP, 1986): 85-145.
3. Ibid., 90.
4. The organization lasted until 1936. It was founded by Josep-Luis
Sert, Joan Prats, and Joaquim Gomis. Among its members were Joan Miró,
Sebastián Gasch, and J.V. Foix. It exponsered exhibitions of work
by Jean Arp, Man Ray, Dalí, Miró, and Picasso; objects from
African, Oceanic, and pre-Columbian cultures; and exhibitions of "objects
in bad taste," children's games, drawings by the insane, nineteenth
century postcards. ADLAN sponsored the first and only exhibit of the Logicophobists
which took place in May 1936 at the Glorieta Catalonia. This alliance of
artists and writers proclaimed the union of art and metaphysics in the
manifesto that accompanied the exhibition. The spirit of the group was
essentially surrealist. For more complete information about the Logicophobists
see Janet A. Kaplan, Unexpected Journeys. The Art and Life of Remedios
Varo (New York: Abbeville Press, 1988) 44 & 250. ADLAN was closely
linked to GATCPAC (Sert, Torres Clavé, Illescas, R. Arias).
5. I need to thank Antoni Clapés for initially being my connection
to the Catalan avant-garde. After many years of not visiting Barcelona,
the city of my paternal grandmother, I returned in 1995 to participate
in some of the activities of the group Cafè Central that Clapés,
with his wife Isabel Casals, created in the 80s. Not only did he welcome
me as his guest, but he opened his valuable library to my researcher's
curiosity and put me in contact with many Catalan artists and writers.
One year later, with support from Mills College, I was able to invite him
to lecture about the avant-garde as part of our Hispanic Studies Spring
Lecture Series.' lecture "Un siglo de vanguardias en Cataluña
(1900-1995)" delivered on March 20, 1996, proved to be a keynote to
my own work and to this Editor's Corner.
6. Many of these references are taken from the Catalogue of Idees
i Actituds. Entorn de l'Art Conceptual a Catalunya, 1964-1980 . (Barcelona:
Generalitat de Catalunya, 1992).The exhibit took place in the Centre d'Art
Santa Monica from January 15 until March 1st, 1992. Of particular interest,
in order to follow the trajectories of the Catalan Neo Avant-Garde, are
the essays by Annemieke Van de Pas, Teresa Camps Miró and Alicia
Suárez-Mercè Vidal. For information about the action-concerts
in Barcelona see Estudis escénics. Quaderns de l'Institut del
Teatre de Barcelona 29 (March 1988).
7. Annemieke Van de Pas, "1964-1980: Moments d'acció en
les trajectòries dels artistes catalans" ("1964:1980:
Moments of action in the trajectories of Catalan Artists.") Catalogue
of the exhibit Idees i Actitudes 55-60 and 325-328.
8. For the Conceptual artists the idea was more important than the material.
Conceptual art valued the ephemeral rather than the durable, and questioned
the nature of the work of art and of the avant-garde itself. The artists
introduced new mediums and recognized them as works of art, such as written
language, the manipulated object, actions with the body itself and video,
which was considered an artistic medium from that moment on. .
9. Pilar Parcerisas, "A l'altra banda del mur" ("On the
other side of the wall"). Catalogue of the exhibit Idees i Actitudes
13-23 and 305-310. According to a note in the title of this essay, wall
means here that insurmountable wall of established avant-garde which informalism
represented to the new generation of concept artists, and at the same time,
the idea of the wall as material painting and texture as embodied by this
10. Duchamp came to have an extraordinary impact in the international
artistic community. Among John Cage and his friends and admirers, the reconsideration
of Duchamp began around the 50s. The artist was also rediscovered in Europe
thanks to Richard Hamilton, and the French Nouveau Réalisme of Arman
and Tinguely. This renewed interest was felt in Catalonia much later.
11. Parcerisas 306.
12. For a study of the Group see Antoni Mercader "Sobre el Grup
de Treball" (About the Grup de Treball). Catalogue of the exhibit
Idees i Actitudes 65-71 & 331-334. The first piece of the GDT dates
from July 1973. It was a publication/catalogue that contained a programmed
text (about the presence of the group in the Art Section of the Fifth Catalan
Summer University in Prada. Its public presence ended in 1977 with the
exhibition "Artistic avant-garde and social realism in the Spanish
State, 1936-1976" at the Miró Foundation.
13. The exhibition came from Madrid to Barcelona, where the Catalan
poets added their work. See Poesía Experimental-93 (Barcelona:
Sabater Edicions, 1993). With an introduction by Ramón Salvo and
the coordination of J.M. Calleja, this catalogue is a valuable source for
the study of the history of Experimental Poetry in Catalonia.
14. Some of the reflections for this editorial originated as the presentation
of the exhibit "The Avant-Garde: Past and Present" organized
in the Fall of 1993 by David Bernstein, Dean of Fine Arts, and myself at
the F. W. Olin Library, Mills College. The principal question raised by
our display was "Will the avant-garde rise again? or, as Andreas Huyssen
has critically observed in his book After the Great Divide: Modernism,
Mass-Culture, Post-Modernism (1986), have we already witnessed "the
fragmentation and decline of the avant-garde as a genuinely critical adversary
15.See Van de Pas 326.
16. The artists Francesc Abad and Carme Riera were the winner ex aequo
of the first prize that consisted in a million pesetas. The two finalists,
also ex aequo, were the J.M. Calleja and C.H.Mor.
17. See Catalogue of the exhibition. We find works by Albert Ràfols-Casamada,
Benet Rossell, Andreu Terrades, J.M. Calleja, C.H. Mor, Xavier Canals,
Gustavo Vega, Antoni Tàpies-Barba, Guillem Viladot and Joan Brossa.
In the Epilogue to the Catalogue, Salvo takes a general approach to the
experimental Catalan poetry considering that what we find is: 1. Different
traditions coexisting together; 2. Most of the poets did begin their work
long time ago; 3. Most of them use collage as technical skill; 4. Almost
all the works are hand made except for two of them that are computer made;
5.There is no representation by women; 6. Half of the poets are Catalonian.
Amongst the young artists who in the 90s keep consolidating a new vision
of art we need to mention Miquel Valdasquin (Barcelona, 1959) and the German
Christoph Hafner (Hall, 1964), both living and working in Barcelona. Two
of their most interesting works, are the installation Signalhorn
(1991) and Hipertext (1992). This second has as its theme the later
correlation between text and computer, and the new changes taking place
in relation to the traditional text. The four texts that form part of the
installation are by Joan Brossa, Julio Cortázar, Tristan Tzara and
18. Two examples of these actions are "a paraparoenic hyposepsis"
by C.H. Mor, Rossell and Xargay in Perifèrics 91 (Teatre
Obert festival in Vic, May, 1991) and "L'acció contra l'acció"
Teoria i pràctica d'un llenguatge artístic sense codi organized
by C.H. Mor and Xargay with the participation of Jordi Benito, Josep Manuel
Berenguer i Clara Garí (Côclea), Barbara Held, Angels Ribé,
Benet Rossell, Eulàlia Valldosera, Pep Aymerich, J.M. Calleja, Xavier
Canals, Jordi Cerdà and Nieves Correa among others in La Virreina,
Barcelona (24, 25 and 26 of January, 1996). They are part of Rossell's
exhibition Diario Residual (Residual Diary), a series of reciprocally
informing and enriching installations that represent one particular anthological
view of the course of Rossell's artistic development up to the present.
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Contrary to common belief, hypertext is a term that comes from literature
not from the computer field. Ted Nelson, the guru of hypertext who in fact
coined the term, named his ultimate universal hypertext system Xanadu,
after Coleridge's poem.
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