Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Picasso's Guernica


While everyone was occupied with the Dalí: All of the Poetic Suggestions and All of the Plastic Possibilities exhibit on a different floor at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, my wife and I stood alone in front of Picasso's "Guernica" for what felt like ten solid minutes.  Two guards flanked each side of the iconic painting, of course, but we had it for ourselves for a good chunk of time before the mob eventually arrived.  Needless to say, the experience was incredible and will live with me for as long as I can conjure up memories.  

It didn't take long standing there before my mind returned to Eduardo Galeano's piece called "Guernica" from his book Mirrors, a tale that is as relevant today as ever.  Read or re-read it here in Spanish and/or here in English.  When considering the tragedy of Guernica, one must also think about Fernando Arrabal's play of the same name about a Basque couple caught in the air raids.  Absurd and funny even, but it makes a vicious criticism on the war machine and its conspirators, and the tragedy they inflict on the innocent.

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