ARCHIVE / 2003 / Texts

Salvador Alsius
Journalist, Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra

With That Point of Passion

For me, what most convinces me about the Mini Print International of Cadaqués is Mercedes. Let me explain. We live in a time where almost nothing is what it seems to be and where things of great pretense usually pass before or even hide those things that are authentic. Look at how many pedantic, proud, false senseless and insipid people there are. For that, one is so grateful to find someone who does things with what used to be called conscientiousness. Or call it dedication or tenacity and with the essential passion needed for certain human works. Well, when at the beginning of summer I arrive at Es Poal, I visit the Mini Print and Mercedes tells me how many artists have participated, shows me the catalog of the previous exhibition and displays the prints of the winning artists, I renew my faith in the enterprise. Her eyes and her voice say everything with so much enthusiasm, with so much affection, with so much conviction.

I hasten to say that I know that important things are not achieved solely by determination. Good works perhaps, but really well done works need something more. They need, perhaps, intelligence, dedication and good direction. All this I accept as given. It has existed here for many years. And, of course, I don’t refer only to the exhibited works, but to that small miracle represented by making this incredible mosaic summer after summer. Can you imagine this? Behind every print there are letters, packages, registered mail, comings and goings, making of labels, mattes, hooks… an exhaustive task. But I insist, it would not be possible without the impulse of this woman about whom the only thing little is her anatomy.

I don’t understand too much about art. I confess that I can’t always distinguish the wheat from the chaff and that I am confused when I hear talk of lithography, linoleum, etching or dry point. But I am the first to be fascinated by the variety of themes and styles that can be appreciated on these walls and every summer I pass through the gallery several times accompanied by people who occasionally visit Cadaqués. Without exception, laymen like me, they are all impressed by the explanations they receive, as often as necessary, from Mercedes or one of her sons. Others, the majority, are delighted by the intrinsic significance that they recognize in the event.

There are many ways of looking at the Mini Print: hurriedly, slowly, alone, accompanied, in silence, making comments, with a cursory glance, selecting a print, thinking of oneself, thinking of someone else… That is why I like to go several times each year and I always discover something new or different in such a small gallery. Sometimes, instead of looking at the hanging works, I have even amused myself by observing the reactions of other people, especially someone who has discovered it for the first time.

But of all this I will finish by emphasizing two facts. One is that the Mini Print breaks decisively with the illogical commercial logic of the art world. Mercedes would explain it better than I. Here, to make a long story short, I will explain it with an example. One might find, hanging side by side, a print by a Swiss artist and another by a Rumanian artist. The first one might cost 150 euros and the second 25 euros. What does this mean? It is not a matter of quality, of course, nor of the prestige of the respective authors. It probably means nothing more than that these two artists live in two countries where the respective costs of living are very different. This is the same as saying that whoever visits the Mini Print with the intention of buying some work that has seduced him, should rid himself of any prejudice or snobishness. The quality price relationship is here a relationship between the artist and the potential buyer without artful mediations.

The other fact is related to that word, globalization, so fashionable recently. It would be amusing to make the following experiment. On a world map we would draw in one color the lines that would connect Cadaqués with the places of origin of all the works, and in another color lines that connect Cadaqués with all the places in the world where the sold prints have come to rest. I am convinced that the result would be dazzling. I personally, last summer, bought five prints from artists from Poland, Chile, Great Britain, Japan and the Canary Islands. I brought them as gifts to people of different countries that I knew I would meet in a Congress. This is one of the amiable faces of globalization. Don’t you agree?

Mercedes Barberà Rusiñol
Director of the Mini Print International of Cadaques

As usual, artists from the five continents participated in the Mini Print International of Cadaqués. The exhibition, with a magnificient technical and formal level, was outstanding for the large quantity of different techniques used, among which digital art appears, though still very discretely. This new technique permits very innovative forms of expression, though seemingly it is still not easily accepted by the public and by some critics. Traditional media continue to be greatly valued and esteemed and maintain their seductive power.

During the showing of the Mini Print in the Taller Galeria Fort, the solo shows of the previous years winners were held and were highly regarded and extensively visited. The presence of the artists at their respective openings is a great incentive for acquiring new knowledge both technical and historical about the customs of their countries.

This year Roger Limbrick of England, Maria Nichita of Romania, Elvira K. Kriauciunaite of Lithuania, Anna Vilarrubias of Spain and Sebastiao Pedrosa of Brazil visited us and acted as jury. Stephane Zaech of Switzerland could not travel to Cadaqués but his works were very much admired.

From May until middle of August the Mini Print was exhibited at the «Wingfield Arts Festival» in England. As they have done every year, the media have given wide coverage to the various activities of the Festival among which the Mini Print has a preferred position.

From November through the middle of January, Sophie Cassard, director of the Gallery l’Étangd’Art of Bages, France, receives the Mini Print with her usual interest and enthusiasm. Many people of the south of France are accustomed to visiting the show during this time and to enjoy the beautiful landscape that the village offers.

The existence of the Mini Print International of Cadaqués is due to the generous subsidy by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Spanish government which this year has permitted us to publish the complete edition of this catalog, and to the assistance of the Department of Cultural Promotion of the «Generalitat de Catalunya» which has contributed to the announcement of the event throughout the world.

And finally we state our gratitude and sympathy for the participating artists. Without them the Mini Print would not exist and with their beautiful works they fill with life and color the walls of all the galleries that receive them. We hope to count on their participation in the future exhibition that we are already organizing with enthusiasm and hope.