On November 19, 2022, it will be exactly twenty years since the oil tanker Prestige sank off the coast of Galicia, a crisis whose mismanagement met with an overwhelming public response. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers arrived from all parts of the world to remove the spilt fuel-oil from the beaches while a wave of artists united creativity, wit and protest on behalf of an emerging global ecological awareness.
To mark the anniversary, the cultural association Unha Gran Burla Negra [A Great Black Mockery] is seeking to recall, investigate, disseminate, and reactivate the popular memory of those events through a project for a publication and an exhibition. It has therefore produced O Ghaiteiro Petroleiro [The Bagpiping Tanker, 2022], an artistic pack of cards that satirically combines memories of the Nunca Máis [Never Again] movement with the popular imagery of Galicia to form a visual archive, a mnemonic device at the service of a critical commemoration of this twentieth anniversary. This pack and its original illustrations, the result of the work of draftsmen, photographers, graphic artists, and designers, forms the backbone of Cards on the Table, a documentary exhibition on playing cards as a form of political art, which is on show in Space D of the Library and Documentation Center.
To contextualize the project, other series of cards linked to political struggles and demands are also displayed. Some date back to 19th-century republicanism while others bring us up to the present day, with ecologist, feminist, pacifist, or anti-racist packs. The display also includes posters for the Nunca Máis movement and enlargements of the cards in A baralla do Prestige [The Prestige Pack, 2003], created by the ‘Platform against the Black Mockery’, a group to which O Ghaiteiro Petroleiro also pays tribute. With all this, the exhibition aims to stimulate broader reflection on playing cards as a complex device with popular roots that blends leisure, protest, humor, and design.
Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 9 pm
Xosé Carlos Hidalgo, Germán Labrador Méndez and Daniel López Abel
Unha Gran Burla Negra
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