La Movida

Sarah Perks (Curator)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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La Movida was a major group exhibition for which Professor Sarah Perks was sole curator with c10,000 attendance presented at HOME in Manchester Fri 14 Apr 2017 – Mon 17 Jul 2017. This was a research led exhibition re-evaluating and re-presenting the sub-cultural movement - La Movida – in Spain through 16 international artists and 3 new commissions. Major new film commission Aliens (23 mins, Hi-8) that I developed with artist Luis Lopez Carrasco was a collaboration with Matadero, Madrid, a large city-run interdisciplinary arts centre created in 2006, with financial support from Accion Cultural Española. After the exhibition the film went on to show at 48 film festivals worldwide, with awards including Dokufest Kosovo, FIDOCS, Cinespagna Toulouse and FICA 2017. Two further commissions House on the Borderland by Clara Casian and 182cm Queenie by La JohnJoseph, both of which were screened internationally after the exhibition.

The artists were an innovative mix of mid-career Spanish artists Luis López Carrasco and Patricia Esquivias, young Spanish artists Alejandría Cinque, Raisa Maudit, internationally recognised artists Oreet Ashery (UK), Bruce LaBruce (Canada), Derek Jarman (UK), Chim-Pom (Japan), Linder Sterling (UK), Stefanos Tsivopoulos (Greece), mid-career artists Jesse Darling (UK), Paul Heyer (US), La John Joseph, Puppies Puppies (USA), Esther Teichmann, plus local emerging artist Clara Casian (Romania). The majority of works were very contemporary (from the last three years with the exception of historical loans from Linder (1977) and Derek Jarman (1987-88). The exhibition opened with a live performance evening and events included curator tours and film screenings.

The exhibition was two years of research including a visit to Madrid and Professor Sarah Perks employed three international curatorial advisors, Dr Omar Kholeif, Nuria Lopez, and Anna Manubens. Perks conducted a literature review, there is very little in the English language and no major published overview, with the main texts Queer Transitions in Contemporary Spanish Culture: From Franco to LA MOVIDA by Gema Perez-Sanchez (2007), Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction: The Struggle for Modernity by Helen Graham and Jo Labanyi (1996), Contemporary Spanish Cultural Studies by Barry Jordan (2000), and various books on Pedro Almodovar, we surveyed the resurgence of new articles in Spain and translated several. Perks formed a thesis of re-presenting the La Movida central themes of transgression, hedonism, censorship and freedoms using the lens of contemporary art to look how attitudes have changed now, with particular attention to youth sub-culture, LGBTQIA+ rights and women’s equality. Recent work in Spain focused on social class, who could afford to be transgressive and take part, and in the UK, the discourse concentrated the rolling back of certain freedoms. Press coverage included Guardian Guide (15 Apr 2017) and a review in art journal Corridor 8 (29 June 2017). The gallery guide contained no pronouns to respond to current gender discourse. Perks co-edited a non-traditional publication as part of the exhibition, Dark Habits, with international writers, academics and artists including Shumon Basar, Mercedes Cebrián, Jonathan Kemp, Patricia MacCormack, and Heather Phillipson.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2017


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