Art projects

Con Fe y Sacrificio: testimonios femeninos
Mención Especial Fundación ENAIRE

Con Fe y Sacrificio: testimonios femeninos

Andrea Lería Oses

Montserrat Borés -my grandmother- was born in the early 1930s, during the period of the Second Republic in Barcelona, the daughter of one of the bourgeois Catalan families of the time. Her expected fate, following a stint at a finishing school in Paris, was to marry and dedicate her life to her family, in a society that imposed a traditional and subordinate role on women. With a spirit beyond the norm for her time, she did not remain anchored in the role of wife and mother; cutting ties very early, she set out to explore the world. This world is glimpsed through the archives and objects I have uncovered in my artistic work, the raw material from which I construct narratives that speak of memories, oblivion, feminine identities, and the inner journey.

Con fe y sacrificio is perhaps the most ambitious project I have undertaken in this process of 'family excavations,' consisting of a video piece (a performance in which I shred documents and the book that contained them) and a drawing. Both pieces will dialogue with each other through a single body, weaving a plot where the spectator leaves their passive role and becomes the protagonist of a story that speaks of history and its geographies, of collective memory, of inhabited landscapes, and the one that resides within each person. It is a staging that transports us and interweaves micro-histories of women's lives who rebel against gender stereotypes and their mechanisms of reproduction.

Between 1937 and 1978, the lives of many young Spanish women were marked by the 'Women's Social Service,' an ideological recruitment instrument under the Female Section, which the Franco regime had copied from Nazi Germany. The Social Service served a clear function of political indoctrination and social control, spreading conservative values among the female population that relegated women to the roles of homemakers and reproducers.

This situation of subjugation was the unshakeable and predominant ideological model in Spain until the last third of the 20th century, equivalent to the Anglo-Saxon stereotype of the 'angel of the house' of the 1950s, which was based on the cult of motherhood as the ultimate horizon of personal fulfillment for women and the ideology of domesticity.

From this perspective, Con Fe y Sacrificio proposes works that open questions and reflections around memory and the identities of the female role, evoking symbolic forms of re-appropriation of history. The explorations, interventions, interrogations, and interpretations developed around the archive will be a fundamental part of this tapestry. In terms of the formal treatments and visual operations applied, the work opens new paths in the investigations on the 'archive material.'

A commitment where the archival material itself, these found documents, acquire a different status by being recovered and placed in a discursive and aesthetic context of the art representation apparatus, constructing a subjective narrative that introduces the viewer to a journey through borrowed images, inevitably evoking their own, transporting them to their own landscape, that secret garden no one sees.

In conclusion, the interior, emotional, political, poetic, and creative journey that I am going to undertake to configure this work will give name to the exhibition where the home, the family, the affections, the intimate forms of inhabiting, desires, secrets, and resistance to the imposed will be revealed. Thus transforming personal experiences and archives into plastic and evocative devices that blur the boundary between the private and the public, between the lived and the evoked, between the said and the unsaid.

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