A critical, often satirical and always sharp look at current social and political issues is offered to us every day without exception by humorous cartoonists. "The politics portrayed" wants to give, for the first time, a global and contextualized vision of our recent history through humorous drawing.
Revisiting the opinion that we had formed of recent events through humorous drawing is one of the objectives of this exhibition. The other is to highlight the social function of graphic humor by removing from the anonymity the group of artists of our country and elevating them to the category they deserve.
Satire and graphic humor as an expression and political weapon, have a long tradition and their history follows closely the incidents of the struggle for press freedom. Every day, without exception, humorous cartoonists provide us with a critical and careful portrait of political and social news playing an important role in the critical construction of collective opinion.
On the verge of celebrating 40 years in democracy, it is a good time to stop and review our recent history in a different way: through the work of humorous cartoonists. From the first democratic elections until today, "The politics portrayed" wants to contrast the individual memory about the lived thing, with the representation that the cartoonists have made. The effects on the visitor can be two: that the opinions formed be consolidated or that all be shaken by putting them in question.
FOR THE FIRST TIME, A COLLECTIVE SAMPLE
Humorous cartoonists are prominent opinion writers in the press and, today also on social networks. However, they have gone unnoticed in the exhibition field with the exception of some specific monographic samples. One of these exhibitions was the one that the Palau Robert dedicated, in 2007, to Cesc, one of the best graphic communicators of the country, with the name "The strength of a line", coinciding with the first anniversary of his death.
The line and the critical or humorous personal look of the humoristic cartoonists are followed massively. If someone creates their own universes by injecting vitality and critical capacity in the world where we live, these are the cartoonists. Connected with reality, they contribute with their vignettes to enrich, with humor and criticism, the experience and opinion of the people.
FIRST LINE OF FIRE OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
The cartoonists are the first critical line of daily and exceptional events. They portray reality with an often humorous and always sharp vision. The synthesis of image and word in a joke has a history that goes back to the very beginnings of the press. The joke has picked up the news and has often opined or reflected using the disguise of the satirical drawing, which allows saying things that said otherwise would be too harsh or objectionable.
It is for this reason, because they are the most daring, that the cartoonists have always been objects of censorship and totalitarian attacks.
Historically, the humorous drawing has had among its practitioners the most representative and innovative figures of the drawing. All renowned artists have explored this language: from Opisso in Junceda and from Apa to Cesc. Today, with new technologies, the pixel replaces the ink and new plastic possibilities are opened: collage, typography and design appear as new communicative techniques added to each author's own stroke.
Despite the wealth of the collective, we can say without reservation that cartoonists, cartoonists and other upcoming events are the great forgotten of the visual arts. Maybe because they work from the press, the opinion and the politics. Maybe because they work from anonymity. Maybe because they move in the field of humor.
For whatever reason, for the artistic quality of their work and the role they play in the critical construction of collective opinion, it is time to open the doors of the Olympus of the visual arts. And in this sense, this exhibition wants to be a modest contribution.
THE PROGRESS TEST: 40 YEARS IN TRANSITION
"The Politics portrayed" is the result of an important work of emptying the archive of the last 40 years. An investigation that has allowed to define the eight areas of the exhibition to the time to identify the subjects of each scope that then have been requested in the form of work published to the cartoonists.
Already in the research phase a constant has been identified: repetition. A repetition that old jokes are now fully valid and vice versa. An interactive game with the visitor of the exhibition allows to become aware of this repetition constant. And is that the resurgence of issues that seemed overcome occurs over and over alternating with the emergence of new themes of a world in motion.
200 JOKES OF 48 AUTHORS PUBLISHED IN 57 MEDIA AND PUBLICATIONS
Imagine the number of artists that can be in our country and multiplying for as many days as the year and for as many years as we have democracy, would give us an idea of the magnitude of the work produced. It is not the will of the exhibition to be exhaustive, neither of subjects nor of authors, because it would be simply impossible. But it is the will of "The policy portrayed", the representativeness, as shown by the list of authors with work in the exhibition and the media where it has been published.