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Artist’s projects: a project by Archivo F.X. with Pedro G. Romero and the collaboration of Lola Lasurt, Patricia Gómez & María Jesus González and Álvaro Perdices.
In the rooms dedicated to the Civil War, in the Modern Art collection, the works by Archivo F. X. will be exhibited based on the Psychotechnical chekas by Alphonse Laurencic installed in the churches in Carrers Vallmajor and Saragossa in Barcelona and in the convent of Santa Úrsula in Valencia from 1937 to 1939.
The installation will include documentary material, photographs, films and bibliography to explain its function and meaning.
This installation is part of the work done by the artist Pedro G. Romero since the late 1990s on the psychotechnical chekas that Alphonse Laurencic built between 1937 and 1939 for the Spanish Republican Army’s Military Information Service (MIS). The fact that these constructions were erected in holy places, churches and convents confiscated from the Catholic Church, clearly shows the antagonisms that interest the artist: aesthetics, knowledge and violence that, at one and the same time, appear as experimental art and religious profanation.
Archivo F.X., which Pedro G. Romero has been compiling since 1999, is an archive devoted to iconoclasm, profanation and blasphemy and their intersections with the radical practices of modern and contemporary art and aesthetics.
The chekas (spelled with k instead of c, to distinguish these particular constructions from checas, the illegal detention centres which proliferated during the Spanish Civil War on both sides) leveraged elements culled from modern art, particularly from the Bauhaus during Wassily Kandinsky’s tenure there, to carry out what was called psychotechnical torture on detainees. More than on their effectiveness, the attention is focused on the alteration of some of the utopian and spiritual tropes of modern art and design, in which what was supposed to liberate and expand the consciousness was now used to punish and subjugate.