Guernica. CCTV Guernica, 2014

An animated video shows odd characters looking at Guernica: Superman,
Marcel Duchamp’s iconic urinal, and the coyote from Joseph
Beuys’s I Like America and America Likes Me (1974). What the characters
have in common is that they, like the painting, belong to a
cultural narrative of courageous actions. The animated sequences are
interspersed with footage from the actual room in the Museo Reina
Sofía where Guernica is currently on display. The footage shows how
the painting is constantly guarded by two persons and thus points
out its need for protection as an invaluable artwork. Commenting on
this situation, another animated video features a soldier in front of
Guernica. He is dressed in combat uniform and carries an automatic
rifle. He closely inspects the painting as if it is an object of military
importance (which, metaphorically speaking, it is) before leaving the
exhibition space. The two videos thus dramatize the double status of
Guernica as an artifact inscribed in the mythology of art and fiction
and as a testament to an actual act of war.

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