Not Yet. On the Reinvention of Documentary and the Critique of Modernism sets out from the re-discovery of the Worker-photography movement of the 1920s and 1930, but within the social and intellectual context after 1968 and the new urban struggles.
The title is a double reference to Martha Rosler and Allan Sekula. At the end of her essay In, Around and Afterthoughts (1981), Rosler’s reference to the unfulfilled historical promise of documentary echoed the 1920s awareness of documentary as an art produced in parallel to social struggles. The incompleteness of documentary referred to the incompleteness of social justice, of a revolution not yet fully accomplished.
Allan Sekula’s programmatic essay Dismantling Modernism, Reinventing Documentary (1978), can be seen as a generational statement for politicized artists who placed the reshaping of documentary at the centre of their activities. The reinvention of documentary formulated by Rosler, Sekula and others was parallel to a critique of postwar depoliticised and institutionalised photographic modernism. The defence of documentary was also of its epistemic and archival condition and its instrumentality in social struggles, opposed to an autonomous understanding of art practice. It was precisely this historical need to politicise representation that turned the 1930 Worker Photography Movement into a reference for the new struggles against the repression of the working class revolutionary memory in the official history of the upsurge of modernism.
The exhibition is organized in various specific historic-conceptual areas, with the aim of offering a complex understanding of historical temporality. Together with photography and its printed public forms – magazines, books, posters, ephemera – the exhibition includes film and video work. Both in the 1930s and in the 1970s documentary activity has been produced in the complex confluence of photography, film and video.
Exhibition organized in conjunction with the celebration of PHotoEspaña.
15 December 2020 – 12 April 2021
The Kind Cruelty
León Ferrari, 100 Years
11 November, 2020 - 1 March, 2021
Mondrian and De Stijl
22 October, 2020 - 17 May, 2021
From North to South, Rhythms
14 October, 2020 - 15 February 2021
Sound Experimentation 1980-2020
7 October, 2020 - 26 April, 2021
Niño de Elche
Invisible Auto Sacramental: A Sonic Representation from Val del Omar
23 September, 2020 - 1 March, 2021
Art in Sound up to 1980
17 July, 2020 - 28 February, 2021
To a raven and hurricanes that from unknown places bring back smells of humans in love
25 September 2020 – 5 February 2021
What Are We Doing Here?
Alternative Spaces in Madrid at the Turn of the CenturyMuestras documentales, Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación