ARCHIVE / 2010 / Texts

Salvador Giner
President of the Institute of Catalan Studies

Nanoart, Nanoprint

Ours is the century of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Even though the miniature –or the concentration of a work of art in tiny spaces– is as old as mankind, the discovery of new ways towards reduction has still not finalized.

The art of printed creation –not necessarily of the reproduction of art–, which once led to the poster, also found a means of expression when it entered into what Walter Benjamin called art in the age of mechanical reproduction. This expression by the great critic who, in 1940, died unfortunately and tragically in Portbou, so near to Cadaques, would materialize some decades later in the idea of “miniprints”. It is now thirty years since Pascual Fort convened a first competition of International Mini Prints, unique in the world. His wife Mercedes Barberá continued the task after his decease.

The extraordinary success of the annual convocation is undoubtedly due to the intelligence and sensitivity of both of them, but also to their knowing how to touch an ultrasensitive fibre of advanced modernity: our consciousness that the size of a work is not a decisive component that explains its quality.

The thousands and thousands of competitors do not participate in the Mini Print International of Cadaques only for the facility of transporting, manageability or the simplicity of caring for the works, but also because they are responding to the spirit of our time. This has not completely pulverized the physical dimension. The human body imposes on it the laws of its perception of the universe: our hand, our eyes, are dictators of the aesthetic, just as the sense of hearing determines what we can or cannot define as music, combined with the background rhythm that our organs perceive.

On the other hand, it has made relative what were conventional sizes. It has also rediscovered for us what in other times the medieval miniaturists declared to be the best or holiest of arts, like the illustrations of sacred books, and has rediscovered the sublime importance expressed in smallness: the Ottoman, Hindu or Chinese draftsmen and painters had achieved its greatest expressiveness. The latter, thanks to their invention of printing –with wooden blocks among other materials– are ancient antecedents of the Cadaques miniprints. And truly, in some cases, those who exhibit year after year in Cadaques directly recall, or echo, the oriental invention.

The Mini Print’s link with contemporary nanotechnology and nanoscience is clear. Both advance together hand in hand. One more source of fascination.

Today it seems that we can do nothing that does not link philosophic knowledge with the poetic, the artistic with that of science. Who can speak today of disconnection, segregation and atomization in the heart of this civilization, characteristic of advanced modernity? Certainly you will not find it in the works that Mercedes Barberá gathers together, with such success, in Cadaques. They come from all parts of the world, in a constant transnational and transliguisitic conversation in the grouping of small format prints that is the largest in the world and in the whitest and most balanced corner of our land.

Mercedes Barberà Rusiñol
Director of the Mini Print International of Cadaques

This year the Mini Print International of Cadaques celebrates its 30th anniversary. The high quality of the exhibited art, the great diversity of techniques, the number of countries represented, the recognition of its efficient organization by so many participating artists are among the many factors that have made possible its successful continuity. During this time 8,071 artists from 91 countries have participated. For this we can be sure that the Mini Print is well known throughout the world for its duration and for the constancy of its annual shows.

The Town Hall, represented by its mayor Joan Borrell, has cooperated in the celebration of the Mini Print’s 30 years of existence with a festive supper, inviting all the Cadaques residents who have participated in one way or another with its continuity.

Authors of the presentation in the catalogue, winning and participating artists, miniprint collectors, gallery directors who contribute to its itinerancy, together with all those who have collaborated in its organization, gathered in the Taller Galeria Fort for a simple and affective act in which Pascual Fort was emotionally recalled. His curiosity for knowing what printmakers around the world were doing, led him to create the Mini Print International of Cadaques 30 years ago. The desire for the Mini Print to remain integrated into the beautiful, welcoming village of Cadaques is confirmed by its inhabitants as well as by the thousands of participating artists who have visited us during these thirty years. They have often told us how the image of Cadaques, together with the Mini Print has remained indissoluble in their memory.

The solo shows of last year’s winning artists are visited by collectors and printmaking specialists who express their great admiration and interest. The following artists have attended their openings and acted as jurists for the 30th Mini Print: Reti Saks from Estonia; Merlyn Chesterman from England; and Leonardo Rial from Spain. We shared with them days of knowledge, sympathy and good humour leaving us with an amicable souvenir and the promise to return to Cadaques. Verena Vernunft, Chikahide Saeki and Wojciech ukzak were unable to attend, but their works were also highly esteemed.

Mercedes Molleda, art critic and professor of Art History, was invited this year to be a member of the jury and she kindly accepted. Her knowledge of art and techniques and her enthusiasm for the Mini Print has accompanied us for thirty years and we hope for many more.

The show has again travelled to Wingfield under the efficient direction of Ian Chance, promoter of its success during many years in that beautiful English village. After closing in the Taller Galeria Fort of Cadaques, the show travels to the Tharrats Graphic Art Foundation in Pineda de Mar where the local participating artists as well as those from nearby print workshops visit. Thus the Mini Print continues to perform its pedagogical and popularizing function. Sophie Cassard receives the Mini Print once again in her gallery L’Étangd’Art in Bages, 4 kilometres north of Narbonne. Because of her great professionalism the Mini Print is awaited and desired as an established cultural event in the south of France.

Many thanks to the Directorate-General for National Fine Arts and Cultural Heritage of the Spanish Ministry of Culture for its economic support in the edition of this catalogue and for its understanding of the importance of the international diffusion of art and artists through the Mini Print.

The numerous congratulations received for the 30th anniversary are very moving, but I want to state my admiration and gratitude to the participating artists. The Mini Print could not have existed for so many years without the beauty and creativity of their work.

We await you again with energy and hopeful anticipation!