An exhibition with works by:
Verónica Aguilera, Fermín Jiménez Landa, Daniel Rodríguez Castro, Oriol Vilanova. Co-curated with Aimar Arriola.
‘La, la, la, la: on winning and losing' was an exhibition developed in the context
of the Premi Miquel Casablancas 2008. It brought together works by four artists that reflected on the dichotomy of winning and losing and the social representation of success and failure, both in our private and public lives.
The exhibition title referred to the infamous 1968 winner of the Eurovision Song Contest – ‘La, la, la
’ – performed by the Spanish singer Massiel, yet originally written by Barcelona-born Joan Manuel Serrat. Serrat would have sung in Catalan but was prohibited from performing in Eurovision by the Franco regime. His lyrics were stripped of all political connotations and Massiel brought in. ‘La, la, la’ eventually triumphed over the favourite – United Kingdom’s entry, suitably titled ‘Congratulations
!’ – by just one point. Recently it has been understood that the votes were probably fixed by the Spanish dictatorship in order to boost the country's image abroad, and the UK performer (Cliff Richard) has asked to be recognised as the real winner. Beyond the anecdote, this ironic story of victory and defeat served as a paradigmatic example of the relativity of achievements and failures.
The exhibition was presented in the context of a prize for artists under the age of 36, and in an international cultural context increasingly orientated towards recognition and awards – an economy of cultural production and prestige. Is it possible that awards like this reinforce the assumption that prodigious success can only be achieved at an early age? Does the art system need to reward artists in order for them to be considered of public worth? Does this make artists more strategic about their options? And, how is this glorification measured and represented in artistic practice?