The retro-post vanguardia

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The retro-post vanguardia

 

In this first session of the Neighborhood Laboratory we explained about the laboratory and its purposes. The fanzine resulting from the Poetic Guerrilla was also presented, and we had the opportunity to listen to Dimas García Moreno and Francisco Villaverde, from the Popular School for Adult People from the neighborhood of El Pilar. They told us about the actions performed by the neighbors at La Vaguada in the 1970s and 1980s, summarized in their chat “The Retro-Post Vanguard and the Neighborhood of El Pilar”. Their interventions, carried out by their group Vomitus interruptus, were based on a humor that involved complicities with the public in a very intelligent fashion, breaking barriers of common logic, as they said, going from the “most absolute nothingness” to the “misery, and then to the worst”. Phrases like “Art is an act” painted in the streets made us aware that the artistic action has been very important for the form of work in the neighborhood.

Through the conference “The Retro-Post Vanguard and the Neighborhood of El Pilar” given at the Laboratory on September 15, we learned about the kind of intervention of these neighbors who are part of the Popular School for Adults. With their creativeness they generated a place for artistic meetings that were much awaited for by the public of the neighborhood because of their unexpected and unusual nature in a neighborhood such as El Pilar in the 1980s. Familiar with the performances from the 1960s/1970s (lovers of Cage’s work, meetings in Pamplona, etc.), they updated in their chat (which was attended by a considerable number of neighbors) the actions they had established. This meeting served us to create a field of memory (gathering of data) and gave us the idea to remake them in the present in order to activate that relationship with the past.

Their interventions went from performative actions presented at the School for Adults (from 1983-1984) of a more conceptual and absurd style, to expositions of “pop-conceptual” art, music performances with their group Vomitus interruptus, and presentations in the feasts of El Pilar with the performative installation Monument to the Unknown Neighbor.

The relationship with contemporary art has been very important for them in both their formation and pedagogy; for instance, it involved even visits to the exhibitions of the ARCO fair with the pupils of the Popular School for Adults.

The interventions of their group Vomitus interruptus were based on a humor that included complicities with the public in a very intelligent manner, breaking barriers of common logic, as they said, going from the “most absolute nothingness” to the “misery, and then to the worst”. Phrases like “Art is an act” painted in the streets made us aware that the artistic action has been very important for the form of operating the neighborhood.

They define their actions as “Protopost-pop”: before and after pop at the same time.

By using improvisation they appealed to the “cutre” through a staging in which they did not know how to do things or did them erroneously. It was an ironic game with the articulation of the message conveyed by the artistic action, the rupture of logics through the revaluation of useless (and absurd) actions such as the letter in support of the oppressed people of Caledonia. In music they played themes such as “My Mother Loves Me and I Love My Mother”, bis.

Among other performative installations was Transmogidify the Brain, using an old hairdresser’s drier, or others directly in the street, such as creating a kind of bird cage full of paper slips during the elections, to issue provocative signals.