• Bernardí Roig, Otras manchas en el silencio, 2011. Exhibition “Personae.Masks Against Barbarism”, Es Baluard Museu, 26.11.21-08.01.23. © of the work of art, Bernardí Roig, 2022. Photograph: David Bonet

The violence of the image

Aesthetic theory and criticism seminar

  • Days: October 5 and 6
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Space: Auditorium
  • Payment activity with prior registration (€10)

Es Baluard Museu presents the seminar on aesthetic theory and criticism under the title “The violence of the image”. In it we propose to reflect on the issues that characterise our contemporaneity, through a rigorous analysis focused on those iconographic forms that define our times.

On the one hand, we start from the contents present in the review and analysis exhibition of the Museum’s collection “Personae. Masks Against Barbarism” which can be visited until January 8, 2023. The exhibition is based on a line of research focused on the human body understood as a reflection of the sociopolitical situations of each era. In this sense, the project relocates the focus on the meaning of “person”, based on the work developed by a group of artists around censorship and the impossibility of being, also pointing to the need to claim the defense of human rights. fundamental.

On the other hand, we have the collaboration of four thinkers and theoreticians who accentuate and open the discourse to other contexts and ideas, facilitating an approach to violence that generates not only a corpus of images that define our present, but also how the their circulation and processes of creation, is nourished by aggressiveness and perversion.


October 5th

6:00 p.m. Altering the image, transforming the body by Andrea Soto

The body has always been a battlefield. There is a long history of suspicions that weigh on him, but also of ways in which he has been tried to tame through various ordering techniques, which have seen their maximum expression in the rationality of modern thought and the categories of abstraction, where the tendency has been to erase all the singularities of noisy, diverse and multiform bodies. Through the work of three artists from the Es Baluard Museu collection: Esther Ferrer, Miriam Cahn and Shirin Neshat, we will explore how spaces are opened up for bodies in images.

Many times the place that images have in the representations of the body, in their ways of presenting themselves and appearing, as well as in the creation of collective identities, has been underestimated. The attempts to reduce the bodies to their minimum expression have been numerous, not only making the unruly bodies disappear, dismembering them, disfiguring them, fragmenting them, but also because of the ways in which their representation has been fixed. Much has been insisted on affirming that there is no body without an inscription that narrates it. However, not as much attention has been paid to the role of images in this configuration. For this reason, I would like to argue that there is no subject without an image. Hence, the need to explore the potential that appearances have in the construction of new imaginaries and in the creation of other forms of sense of the common.

7:30 p.m. Look at the Sky and See Hell: Face and Mask of the Victims Under the Bombs by Juan José Lahuerta

This conference deals with two intertwined themes, on which Lahuerta has been working for a long time: the first deals with the fondness that the classical avant-gardes without exception felt for aviation, and how that inclination served to excuse what, above all and since the very invention of the airplane, it was its raison d’être: its military power — the hopeless identification of aviation with bombing; the second could be understood as a practical, and quite tragic, application of this experiment: graphic propaganda during the war in Spain (1936-1939), in which the plane and the bombing became its main motif. In the republican propaganda, much more abundant and much more linked to the “aesthetics” of the avant-garde than the national one, the victims look terrified at the sky and their faces become masks as stereotyped as the machines themselves or as the media of the same advertisement. In short, once again we are talking about the responsibilities of the avant-garde in the horrors of modernity.

October 6

6:00 p.m. Story of a passion by Horacio Fernández

Focusing on the figure and photographic work of Boris Mijailov, who has captured images of abandoned and violated people a few years ago, in Kharkov, the second largest city in Ukraine and one of the main industrial and cultural centers of the country, Fernández will comment on the photographs to compare them with certain religious, artistic, literary and cinematographic issues, in addition to establishing connections and making references to the current war in Ukraine.

7:30 p.m. Schizophonies of Ubú: of the mask and the phonograph by Carmen Pardo

A schizophonia consists of the separation of the sound and its cause. This dichotomy appears as a primary requirement in Alfred Jarry’s Ubu roi where the voice of Ubu, the voice of the tyrant, must be constructed as a singular voice. For this, the use of the mask will be essential. The voice that comes out of the mask resembles for Jarry the voice that the phonograph reproduces; both are seductive voices; powerful voices. These voices resonate in the timbre of Hitler and in the flute-like voice of the Generalissimo, but also in so many schizo voices whose purpose today is for listeners to lose their own voice.


Horacio Fernández Martínez is a Doctor of Art History and has been a professor of Photography History at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Cuenca. He has also curated exhibitions such as Fotografía Pública. Photography in Print 1919-1939  at the MNCARS (1999) which in 2016 was presented at the Amparo Museum in Puebla, Mexico. Between 2004 and 2006, he was general curator of the PhotoEspaña International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts. His most recent exhibition projects include the exhibition Fotos y Libros. España 1905-1977  at the MNCARS (2014) and Miserachs Barcelona at the MACBA (2015) or Lo nunca visto. Del informalismo al fotolibro de posguerra (Fundación Juan March, Madrid 2016), in which the photobook is a central element.

​Juan José Lahuerta is an architect, director of the Gaudí Chair at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and professor of History of Art and Architecture at the Higher Technical School of Architecture of Barcelona. He has been a member of the Collegio Docenti della Scuola Dottorati of the Istituto Universitario di Architettura IUAV in Venice, and holder of the King Juan Carlos I Chair of Spanish Culture and Civilization at New York University. He is the author of: La abstracción necesaria (Barcelona, 1989); Antoni Gaudí, 1852-1926. Arquitettura, ideologia e politica (Milano, 1992), Decir Anti es decir Pro. Escenas de la vanguardia en España (Teruel, 1999), Le Corbusier. Espagne. Carnets (París/Milano, 2001); El fenómeno del éxtasis. Dalí ca. 1933 (Madrid, 2004);  Destrucción de Barcelona (Barcelona, 2005); Le Corbusier e la Spagna (Milano, 2005) and Estudios antiguos (Madrid, 2010) among many other titles.

Carmen Pardo Salgado is a full professor at the University of Girona. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the IRCAM-CNRS unit in Paris (1996-1998; 2018). She took charge of editing and translating John Cage’s Escritos al oído (1999) and is the author of Música y Pensamiento. Apuntes de un encuentro (2020, Univ. de Jaén); En el silencio de la cultura (Sexto Piso, 2016/ Eterotopia France, 2018); La escucha oblicua: una invitación a John Cage (Sexto Piso, 2014/L’Harmattan, 2007, Coup de cœur 2008 de l’Académie Charles Cross); Las TIC: una reflexión filosófica (Laertes, 2009); Robert Wilson (Miguel Morey with, Polygraph, 2003).

Andrea Soto Calderón is a philosopher, professor of Aesthetics and Art Theories at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. In addition to her teaching activity, since 2016 she has developed a research project on the statutes and operations of images at La Virreina Centre de la Imatge in Barcelona. She has written various academic articles, book chapters and catalogs for artists such as Pedro G Romero, Bleda y Rosa, Max de Esteban, Mar Arza among others. Her recent publications include Le travail des images, together with Jacques Rancière, 2019 (translated into Portuguese [2021] and Spanish [2022]), La performatividad de las imágenes, 2020 and Imaginación material, 2022. 

Cultural Training
aesthetics image personae theory
5th October 2022 → 6th October 2022