Angel de la Rubia

The Sky under Franco

The works here presented are my three most recent formalizations of an ongoing concern and research about unresolved issues of the recent past that haunt my country today. Democracy was re-established in Spain in 1978, but four decades of authoritarian dictatorship, and the Civil War preceded it, left deep wounds in a yet divided society that the Transitional process could not or did not want to fully satisfy. Years have passed, but some of these ghosts have not been re-examined or rendered justice.

In the installation “To kill the one who fishes in calm waters” I disclose a relatively unknown episode of Francoism: the daring and unaccomplished attempt at killing the Dictator from a small plane that flew from France to San Sebastian.

This is a photographic monument to a headline that was never read, good news that were never received. In its game with the solidity of a marble stone and the dreamy fluidity of the light projection and the images of clouds, in its articulation of the visible and the invisible in the few documentary traces of the attempt, the newspapers that reported the failure once the plane was found, I find myself in the ambiguous position of praising a violent action for a political reason, an action that could have changed my past and my present.

This is my homage to Laureano Cerrada, an anarchist revolutionary that after fighting in the French Resistance devoted his life restlessly to modify the course of Spanish History.

“13.383 days of Dictatorship” is a reflection on what a family album cannot show. These witnesses of intimate life and celebrations can only give us subtle clues about the historical context that determine them through its constrictions, morals and silences.

“The Bureau of Exile” is a poetic approximation at the displaced and problematic notion of belonging that defines the condition of exile. Approximately 220.000 people, half of the initial refugees from the Spanish Civil War, established themselves permanently in foreign countries, and many others would join until 1975. Under these circumstances, I imagine a topography of the homeland as being only possibly described by a wall crack.

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