Antonio Gagliano: Buno

Fundació Joan Miró


Myths of origins have a function, that of explaining the world. Historical facts, on the other hand, can virtually disappear from our consciousness if we do not insert them into narratives that imbue them with meaning. At the end of the Seventeenth Century, Johannes Buno became one of the last instigators of the Ars Memoriae with the invention of a true method to remember things easily. This method was based on the construction of mnemotechnical images, diagrams that displayed historical events distributed strategically and resulting, at the end, in allegorical figures. Buno, for instance, pictured the Fifth Century as a win- ged dragon on which a number of events were placed in order on different parts of its body, or drew the Sixth Century in the shape of a strange bear.

Buno assumes that Montjuïc can be also one of these monstrous animals. During the Twentieth Century, the mountain became not only a historical arrangement, but also a historiographical, one finding its point of departure in the infrastructures that were built for the 1929 International Exposition. In the underground part of the exhibition that took place at the Palau Nacional, a diorama of the Altamira Cave provided Spain with a mythical past. Interestingly enough, this element has also become the cornerstone of the “intelligence accumulation center”, the re- sult, in the words of Antonio Gagliano, of the transformations the entire moun-
tain has accrued over the years.

Buno is a trip through the nets of History, a trip where facts recover the possibility to flow against well-established narratives. It also allows facts to turn around, and become, now, the elements that illuminate the circumstan- ces that produce all those myths that sustain the understanding of History.


Antonio Gagliano (Córdoba, Argentina, 1982). Lives and works in Barcelona. Recent exhibitions: ADN Platform (Barcelona), ArteBa-Petrobras Award (Buenos Aires), Koldo Mitxelena (San Sebastián), Fabra i Coats (Barcelona), Bienal de La Habana (La Habana), Aparador del Museu Abelló (Mollet del Vallès), Espai Cultural Caja Madrid (Barcelona), MACBA (Barcelona), among others. He has just published his first book, The spirit of the 20th century, with Album Editions.

Preventive Archeology: The projects that Oriol Vilanova, Lúa Coderch, Lola Lasurt, Antonio Gagliano and LaFundició will show at the Preventive Archaeology program, propose a series of displacements on the superficial layer of memory. More than examining the past, they propose tracking the forms on which History, at present, is laid out, told and shown in the public realm. They are a mapping of the legacies that we have inherited and that engage our relationship with the past. They are a set of paths to a number of places from which to question our collective memory.