The spirit of the 20th century Buno Guyana Moledo

Antonio Gagliano (Córdoba, Argentina, 1982) is a visual artist. His projects interweave artistic practices and research, using drawing and writing to explore the many ways in which knowledge emerges, is organized and disseminated. He has participated in exhibitions at the Württ Kunstverein Stuttgart, the Havana Biennial, MSK, Casa Encendida and Fundació Antoni Tàpies, among others. He was awarded prizes such as Generation 2018 (Fundación Montemadrid, 2017) and ArteBA-Petrobras 10th edition (Buenos Aires, 2013). His publications include El espíritu del siglo XX (Album, 2014), Buno (Fundació Joan Miró, 2014) and Estado de la técnica (V___erlag für Handbücher, 2018). Since 2014, he has been a member of the editorial team of Son(í)a Radio Web MACBA


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Web design by Hijos de Martín, programmed by Carlos Carbonell.

General View. Espaliú Library, Arteleku (2013), Koldo Mitxelena (2013),

Espazo Normal (2015), Tabakalera (2016)

The origins of this book lie in a waterlogged landscape out of which looms the library of an artist (Pepe Espaliú, 1955-1993) deposited in a public institution (Arteleku, San Sebastián, Spain) that suffered a series of physical and ideological deluges, including the overflowing of a nearby river intent on bursting its banks and flooding the memory of the place. Submerged at the heart of this scene lie two boxes crammed with handwritten pages and printed materials. The constellation of documents was found in the mid-nineties inserted amid the pages of the books in Espaliú’s personal library –which the artist had donated to Arteleku shortly before his death–, and removed from the volumes during the library’s unceremonious conversion from private body to public heritage.

In any case, neither the artist, nor the institution, nor the library and its margins are the protagonists of this book. Rather, it is the twentieth century, a monumental spectre that has ended up casting its elongated shadow over the entire narrative. The 106 drawings that recount The Spirit of the 20th Century are copies based on a selection of these shipwrecked documents, which were then organised around a series of latent questions to do with the limits of authorship, the points of contact between virality in the fields of illness and culture, and the supposed exhaustion of the archive. However, rather than creating barriers of a different nature we have turned to the handmade, mimetic copy as a legal strategy that can speed up their circulation. The idea is to set a galaxy on paper free: to engulf the babbling that controls the multiple life of memory, its infinite forks, its free distribution.

Text by Aimar Arriola and Antonio Gagliano

106 drawings. Variable sizes.

Myths of origins have a function, that of explaining the world. Historical facts, on the other hand, can virtually disappear from our consciousness if we do not insert them into narratives that imbue them with meaning. At the end of the Seventeenth Century, Johannes Buno became one of the last instigators of the Ars Memoriae with the invention of a true method to remember things easily. This method was based on the construction of mnemotechnical images, diagrams that displayed historical events distributed strategically and resulting, at the end, in allegorical figures. Buno, for instance, pictured the Fifth Century as a winged dragon on which a number of events were placed in order on different parts of its body, or drew the Sixth Century in the shape of a strange bear.

Buno assumes that Montjuïc mountain can be also one of these monstrous animals. During the Twentieth Century, this former quarry became not only a historical arrangement, but also a historiographical one, finding its point of departure in the infrastructures that were built for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. In the underground part of the exhibition that took place at the Palau Nacional, a diorama of the Altamira Cave provided Spain with a mythical past. Interestingly enough, this element has also become the cornerstone of the “intelligence accumulation center”, the result, in the words of Antonio Gagliano, of the transformations the entire mountain has accrued over the years.

Buno is a trip through the nets of History, a trip where facts recover the possibility to flow against well-established narratives. It also allows facts to turn around, and become, now, the elements that illuminate the circumstances that produce all those myths that sustain the understanding of History.

Text by Oriol Fontdevila

General view of the exhibition,

Miro Foundation, 2014

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43 drawings printed in Giclée / Hahnemühle mounted on Dibond

(20 de 60x40 cm; 23 de 50x 35 cm)

General view. Fabra i Coats, 2012 (Performer: Montse Vellvehí),

ArteBA-Petrobras, 2013 (Performer: Elisa Gagliano)

By means of a reading in a sensationalist tone, a set of arguments begin to be outlined about the diverse forms of social organization and the way in which mass contagious phenomena in the communities operate. The starting point is the Jonestown massacre of 1978 in Guyana, an incident classified as the biggest collective suicide in modern history. From this episode, the trajectory of diverse cultural artifacts is reconstructed by following their ramifications, rotations, curves and folds. The presentation insists on the skills of writings and the spoken word to shape and multiply mental images capable of uniting or destroying a community.

(...) "Gagliano weaves together stories that contain a complex historical background through a process of associative investigation. The narrative of these family resemblances is offered to the public by means of a fanzine and a lecture that is activated in various moments during the exhibition by an actress who comments on the images live".

Excerpt by Cuauhtémoc Medina

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10 drawings, 12 documents.

Variable sizes.

Opening. Leonor SS

playing "Te he pegado una infección"

More than a thousand years (993-2012) in the history of Mollet del Vallès city are reconstructed with the collaboration of a number of institutions and local organizations dedicated to the management of memory and heritage. In this way, the municipal archive, the city’s gallery, the centre of Mollet Studies and La Bombeta –a self-managed social centre- are involved in the process, articulating a kind of “collaborative historiography” in which the narratives multiply and keep on collapsing among themselves. As the investigation advances, the timeline begins to branch out and become rarefied, losing the fundamental drive of identity and territory characteristic to any map. Then fragments of remote information begin to interrupt this local history. From the journeys of Marco Polo to the birth of king Juan Carlos I, to the appearance of the first emoticon on the Internet.

Colaborative timeline (1500 x 220 cm), 

Abello Museum, 2012

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