ARCHIVE / 2008 / Texts

Joaquim Pijoan
Writer and painter

The Key to Cadaqués

The dilettante arrives in Cadaqués in mid-morning. A gentle summer tramuntana is blowing and the bay is flooded with a cascade of sunlight that hurts the eyes. Following the footsteps of memory he walks to Llané, greets Na Lidia, so firmly rooted, and contemplates the hulk of the church that dominates the typical architectural accumulation, divines the Baroque altar, and puts music by Brahms. Aimez-vous Brahms? But nobody answers the question. The dilettante is in Cadaqués to resolve an enigma: the mystery of M., the mystery of the Miniprint… He needs time. The postcard forms part of the enigma though it only appears to be a pastime. A group of local men discuss current politics in the salty speech characteristic of the village. Authentic speech seduces him.

It was too early for lunch. He had a table reserved in Es Baluard and the friend with whom he was to share the banquet, Marcel, a key piece for resolving the question, would not arrive until the appointed time: one thirty. “The wheel of time and the persistence of memory”, he thought while he contemplated the terrace of Bar Meliton, full of foreigners in search of lost time. Marcel arrived as punctual as a soft watch. The meal was excellent, the dialogue deliberate, the after dinner conversation disperse and vague as corresponds to two men possessed by the same spell that they had to resolve that very afternoon since the next day the dilettante had an appointment with the sailor Luard in the Café de la Marina in Port de la Selva. It was getting late, they had spoken more about the divine than the human, but in taking leave of Marcel, he had a concrete, but laconic address: Hort d’en Sanés 9.

He arrived there when the late afternoon combed the bay, the village, the sea and the sky with threads of gold, not a sign of clouds, extreme stillness. He crossed a large blue doorway, that blue which combines so well with the whitewashed houses and which reminded him of a voyage to an imagined Ithaca. Mystery and more mystery thought the dilettante when he read the inscription above a glass door inside the patio: Taller Galeria Fort. A Nordic looking couple conversed with a woman who, once she was free and introductions made (Mercedes Barberá, at your service, the dilettante of Guinardó, unoccupied and curious as ever, he grumbled) invited him to contemplate the miniprints that filled the white walls of the workshop gallery: prints, all the same size, 10×10 centimeters, that formed a global kaleidoscope of 55 countries from the 4 continents and more than 600 artists. He closely scrutinized each piece and the mystery increased. He remembered that someone had spoken to him about the Mini Print as if it were a miracle. Yes, perhaps it was that: a miracle. Nevertheless his chronic, skeptical and rational relativism did not allow him to believe in miracles. He was only a dilettante, but also a man of his time. Miracle or not the enigma has endured for almost 30 years, a sufficiently extended time for one to be able to speak about consolidated effort, persistent and continuous work, sustained faith, virtues that are scarce in the liquid time of our postmodernity. He noted the prices which were reasonable and as a souvenir he took a possessed face by a Rumanian artist that vaguely recalled a De Sucre.

He took leave of the gallery owner and left. She had told him in detail the history of the Mini Print, which made everything even more mysterious and enigmatic. And how had so many years passed without the dilettante having heard of such a notable fact? The nocturnal bay amid the silence of the starry sky, not the slightest breeze, Jupiter reigning majestically in the darkness, all spoke to him of the mysteries of this world, mysteries that were for him reason for rejoicing and life. He had not discovered what the enigma of the Mini Print was. There are enigmas that it is better not to resolve. The dilettante gave up, but he had found, like someone looking for mushrooms, the key to a long history of the art of the country. It was the key to Cadaqués: the Mini Print.

Mercedes Barberà Rusiñol
Director of the Mini Print International of Cadaques

The Works sent by 661 artists from 55 countries form an exhibition of great beauty, since the absolute freedom of expression fills them with authenticity and the high technical level merits the admiration and respect of the visitors who are more and more numerous.

The solo shows of the previous year’s winners are awaited with great interest because of the high quality of their works. The presence of these artists at their openings is a great incentive for visiting the Mini Print in the Taller Galeria Fort in Cadaqués.

This summer we have suffered the loss of one of the winning artists, Lanfranco Bombelli, called the “galerista of Cadaqués” because some of the great artists of the time like Marcel Duchamp, Richard Hamilton, Max Bill, John Cage, etc. exhibited in his gallery Cadaqués I. He was also called the “architect of Cadaqués” because he designed some of the most beautiful and elegant houses of Cadaqués in a pure style that always respected the surroundings. His 8 years of participation in the Mini Print with works that translated mathematics into forms of great visual beauty culminated in his forming part of the 6 prizewinners of 2007. We know that he prepared his solo show with hopeful anticipation, but we could not know that it would be the last of his life. The Mini Print will miss the presence of his perfect Pythagorean serigraphs. Personally I have suffered the loss of a very good friend.

The artists Míriam Cantera (Spain), Josip Mijic (Croatia), and Kiko Ohno (Japan) were present at their exhibitions and acted as jurors of the Mini Print 2008. During their stay they expressed to us their joy at visiting Cadaqués and the Mini Print. We regret that Leena Kaplas (Finland) could not attend for reasons beyond her control and that Yun-Jung Seo (Korea) had to cancel her trip at the last minute.
The Mini Print begins its itinerary in September and October at the gallery of the Farleys Yard Trust cultural center created by Antony Penrose. Its director, Ian Chance, during his visit to Cadaqués, informed us of the interest it arouses for its pedagogic and artistic value, so it seems that the Mini Prints presence at Farleys will continue.

During October and part of November the Tharrats Foundation of Graphic Art in Pineda de Mar (Barcelona) will show the Mini Print. It is very well received there and easy to visit from Barcelona because of its proximity and good communications.

The gallery l’Etangd’Art in Bages (France) near Narbonne, shows the Mini Print during November, December and half of January. The show is awaited with great expectation thanks to the professionalism and congeniality of the gallery director Sophie Cassard.

It only remains for me to express my gratitude to the “Entitat Autònoma de Difusió Cultural” of the Generalitat de Catalunya and to the Spanish “Ministerio de Cultura” for their assistance to the Mini Print year after year. Without their economic aid the Mini Print International of Cadaqués could not continue to exist.

Many participating artists visit us and write enthusiastic letters of admiration at the continuity of the exhibition. But the merit is not only ours but also that of all the artists who, by sending us their beautiful works, encourage us to keep on going. We won’t stop. The convocation of the 29th Mini Print is already on the move!