07 March 2007

Tarragona street art

I think I'll start with public art and move progressively more radical. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I present it because I think it's important to see trends in other places in the world that are usually invisible in mainstream American culture.

I think we must have been in the wrong places in Barcelona (not near enough to the university?), because I didn't see much interesting street art there. But in Tarragona, the city is small, the university is in the historical center, and there was a rich street art vibe.

The big deal in Tarragona is the castells, which they do a few times a year, mostly towards the end of summer. It seems that the city breaks up into 4 teams, similar to the contrade of Siena during the Palio, and they make human towers. This immense sculptural group captures what I'd imagine it's like, although it's without the crowds and crowds of people. This is what they do in Catalunya instead of being interested in bullfights.

Menu boards are so cool. This one is not particularly unique, but it's old school and that's why I like it.

Flying pigs are another of my favorite motifs; they're right up there with peacocks.

Catalan separatist graffiti. Also in Tarragona, although we did not see it, is some leftover graffiti from the Spanish Civil War period. When it comes down to it, the SCW was all of the cool people with a real, viable economy (the Basques, Catalans and Andalusians) versus those who did not have the same and were jealous (Castillians).

The following series was really powerful. At the very least, it's a happy reminder to moderate television watching and read or blog, for example, instead. Although let's be honest with ourselves, the mind-numbing nature of TV is so pleasurable a lot of the time.

"This is your god €"

"Works 8 hours"

"Destroys you, don't you think?"

"Get married and have babies."

"Buy and shut up." (or rather, shut up and buy)

We were in Tarragona for 8 March, International Women's Day. Because the Spanish are not the Italians, there were, unfortunately, no mimosas in sight.

"The patriarchy oppresses you, break the chains."

"What is the patriarchy? In a neo-liberal society it is actually the manifestation of the following: the canon of imposed beauty, rape, plastic surgery, advertisments that compromise the dignity of women, religious fundamentalism, gender violence, homophobia, prostitution, salary discrimination...
What are you waiting for? Move to the side of dissidence!"

"On 8 March the day of the working woman, destroy the patriarchy! Combat capitalism!"

Again, the issue of affordable housing.

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