Thursday, September 24, 2015

Richard Serra

Equal-Parallel: Guernica-Bengasi
Equal-Parallel: Guernica-Bengasi was specifically created for the Museo Reina Sofía as part of the exhibitionReferencias. The title is unique among the artist’s body of work, Serra having clearly stated that his works do not refer to the memory of any person, place or event; yet while Equal-Parallel: Guernica-Bengasi evokes a spatial experience of the work, it also refers to the temporal parallel between two historical events, on the premise that they are equal: the civilian bombing in Guernica by the Condor Legion on April 26th 1937 and an event that took place at the same time as the sculpture was being made, the American Air Force’s attack on the Libyan city of Bengasi on April 15th, 1986. The attack, which caused civilian casualties, was a reprisal for a bomb attack on a Berlin discotheque attributed to Libyan agents, in which one woman and two American soldiers were killed. Weaving these two references together, Serra makes an allusion to the debate around the role of history: whether it begins and ends with the individual corporeal experience, or whether its retelling can function as a construction of the world.

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