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On artist Enric Maurí's remarkable 'anti-souvenirs'.


Painter, singer, installationist, film-maker and photographer Enric Maurí (Cardedeu, 1957) has long railed against the simplistic overviews that visitors tend to have of Catalonia in general and, above all, of Barcelona: 'The tourists don't see the real city,' he says, 'they just see Gaudí'.
So he has decided to take his fight against cliché straight to these selfsame tourists, by designing four Barcelona 'souvenirs' that will be put on sale over the coming year: small figurines covered from head to toe in colourful 'trencadís', the trademark broken-up mosaic which Gaudí used to decorate the Parc Güell. The first of these figures is displayed crouching miserably in a cardboard street nest (a protest at the city's hallucinatorily high house prices). A second figure has an eternally clicking camera stuck to his face: a satirical take on the banality of the 'cultural' tourism so much in vogue here. A third figure is poised in an artificially dynamic athletic pose, as a comment on the endless fanfaring of Barcelona as a once Olympic city. The real masterpiece, however, is the fourth and final figure in the series, who is bent drunkenly over, having just disgorged a pretty pool of Gaudiesque puke. This is the artist's sarcastic reminder that Barcelonan vomiters are legion: not only the plastered locals who redecorate the pavements on Sunday mornings, but also the foreigners who flock to the city in droves for their stag or hen nights, and end up splashing doorways yellow while dressed up in plastic breasts or penis-shaped hats. Just the kind of people, in fact, who will end up buying Maurí's chundering mosaic-skinned doll, as a permanent reminder of all the fun they had in the Catalan capital.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -