The Arts in Barcelona
MET AR 787
This course will look at the ways in which the arts have played a key role in the history of Barcelona and Madrid and by extension, Spain. To understand the city and its inhabitants and their sensibility one needs to have some knowledge of history -- particularly 20th century history and art history. To the Catalonian, Spain is to some degree an intellectual and political construct and there is a complex history in its relation to Madrid. With its own language, cultural traditions and cuisine the Catalonian sees himself as distinct from the Castilian Spanish speaking population of Spain. As a culture that experienced considerable oppression -- especially during the Franco regime, Catalonians are eager to celebrate and preserve their distinct customs and traditions. This has become particularly important over the past years as the Spanish economy has been in recession and the movement for Catalan independence was put to a vote this past winter. The course will focus on the relationship between the two cities and on the visual representations of social conflicts, civil unrest, violence and Foucauldian representations of madness in the arts.