TO LOSE YOUR HEAD / Catalonia in Venice

In this publication David Bestué, Lúa Coderch, Lola Lasurt, Daniela Ortiz, Perejaume and Francesc Torres complement the theoretical approach formulated by Azara in the 58th Venice Biennale about the agency of public works of art.


English ISBN: 978-84-944234-4-4
24 x 16.5 cm
200 b/w images
192 pp.


In recent years, studies in contemporary art have reflected on the capacity of artworks for agency. To Lose Your Head (Idols) explores this idea as it analyses the passions that continue to be sparked when dealing with sculpture in public space.

Through the opening essays, Pedro Azara, architect, archaeologist and professor of aesthetics, explores the various cultures and historical moments that have coincided with images being perceived as living entities. He wonders, in turn, if the Western artistic tradition might still not be animist, emphasising the reactions that works of public art still incite.

In the second part of this volume, six Catalan contemporary artists from different generations—David Bestué, Lúa Coderch, Lola Lasurt, Daniela Ortiz, Perejaume and Francesc Torres—take on this question from the perspective of artistic practice, constructing through their works and accompanying essays a counterpoint to the position set out by Azara, all the while broadening it.

The publication closes with documentation related to the Catalan sculptural monuments to be exhibited in Venice, accompanied by information on the interventions prepared by the playwright Marcel Borràs, the architect Tiziano Schürch and filmmaker Albert García-Alzórriz, in collaboration with the poet Gabriel Ventura.


Pedro Azara is Professor of Aesthetics at the Barcelona School of Architecture. He has curated successful exhibitions in renowned museums across Europe and the United States, and is a member of the international archaeological missions researching Sumerian sites in Iraq. 

(Barcelona, 1980) lives and works in Barcelona. He is a visual artist interested in the relationships between art and architecture. He has done numerous studies on the work of Enric Miralles and the recent history of architecture and engineering in Spain. In 2017 he presented the exhibition Rosi Amor, at the Museo Nacional Reina Sofia (Madrid).

(Maynas, Peru, 1982) lives and works in Barcelona. She combines narrative and object-based practices in video, performance and installation work that is configured as research mechanisms. Economic value and charisma, the relationship between body and voice, creative desire and the tale of the memorable moment are some of the subjects she deals with, revealing them both materially and as fiction. Her work is focused on the superficial, aesthetic and phenomenological dimensions of shared existence, along with its latent philosophical and political implications.

Her most recent exhibitions include: Vida de O, Centro Centro (Madrid), 2018; [Shelter], Fundación BBVA (Madrid), 2018; The Girl with No Door on Her Mouth, Àngels Barcelona (Barcelona), 2018; [Shelter] As long as summer lasts, The Ryder (London), 2018.

(Barcelona, 1992), lives and works in Barcelona, where he combines architecture with his artistic practice. His most recent work includes: an architectural project for the La Infinita laboratory of creation, research and artistic production (L’Hospitalet de Llobregat), 2019; the stage design for the play Here (Sala Beckett, Barcelona/Volksbühne, Berlin), 2018; and the documentary Tras los Eucaliptos [Through the Eucalyptus Trees] (2018). In 2017 he worked with artist Jordi Colomer on the creation of the Spanish Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. His work has been seen at the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM) (Valencia), 2018, at the 50th Festival de Cinema Documental Alcances (Cadiz), 2018, and in ROVER, a project by Víctor Ruíz-Colomer and Joe Highton for Manifesta 12 (Palermo), 2018.

(Barcelona, 1983) lives and works in Barcelona and London. In her projects she analyses changing paradigms in relation to the social and the political, as well as within the world of art itself. She explores the notion of out-of-time, shunning historical doctrine with an open, self-critical endeavour employing pictorial installations, video and collaborative practices. Her exhibitions include Generación'18, La Casa Encendida (Madrid), Habitación [Room] (CA2M, La Nau and MNAC), Donació [Donation] BCN Gallery Weekend/ Biblioteca Pública Arús (Barcelona), Exercici de ritme [Rhythm Exercise], Galeria Joan Prats (Barcelona) and Doble autorització [Double Authorisation] Espai 13, Joan Miró Foundation (Barcelona). 

(Cusco, Peru, 1985) lives and works in Barcelona. In her practice she seeks to generate visual narratives where concepts like nationality, racialisation, social class and gender are understood critically in analysing colonial, capitalist and patriarchal power. Recently her artistic practice has focused on visuality and the manual through work in ceramics, collage and other formats, such as children’s books, as she strives to distance them from Eurocentric conceptual aesthetics.

Apart from her artistic work she is a single mother of a two-year old wawa (“child”, in Aymara), and gives talks, leads workshops and participates in debates and struggles against the European system of migratory control and institutional racism.

(Olot, 1989), lives and works in Barcelona. He is an actor and theatre director, and since 2007, together with Nao Albet, has created new theatre pieces that seek to explore novel stage languages while delving more deeply into the traditional idea of the theatrical play and the actor. In this regard their theatre has been a hybrid between dramaturgy dedicated to presenting fictional characters and situations, and the development of ways of heightening the tension between theatrical reality and performance. In 2018 they presented Falsestuff (La muerte de las musas) [Falsestuff (Death of the Muses)], at the Festival Grec, Barcelona

(Sant Pol de Mar, 1957) is an artist and writer. He began to show his pictorial work in the mid-1970s, although soon turned to new expressive resources, including text, actions, photography and video. Nature is a theme running through his work, as it opens up for him the possibility to question a broad range of issues. Perejaume sets up a rich dialogue between the representation of things and things in themselves, between the protected space of the museum and everything left out of it. He breaks the artifice of artistic tradition to construct a poetical discourse that is close to the ground. This creative focus includes the consideration of language as a consubstantial part of things in themselves, so that Perejaume is capable of comfortably crossing that soft threshold between visual and literary creation.




«The Catalan pavilion, offers a sample of the power of images in the twentieth century, To Loose Your Heads (Idols): adoration, iconoclasm, dishonor and reinterpretation of images. Pedro Azara has done a magnificent job and, especially, an exemplary catalog.»

Gerard Vilar, Lamurad. Southern Journal of Research in Art and Design

He has published numerous books of essays and poetry, including Oïsme [Hearism], Obreda [Work Grove], Pagèsiques [Farmeresques] and Mareperlers i ovaladors [Mother Pearlers and Ovalers]. He exhibits regularly, with some of his most significant exhibitions being Deixar de fer una exposició [Stop Making an Exhibition], MACBA (Barcelona), 1999; Ai Perejaume, si veies la munió d’obres que t’envolten, no en faries cap de nova! [Oh Perejaume, if you could see how many works surround you, you wouldn’t make any more!], La Pedrera (Barcelona), 2011, and Maniobra de Perejaume [Perejaume Manoeuvre], MNAC (Barcelona), 2014.

(Barcelona, 1948) is a visual artist, exhibitions curator and writer. He has lived in the United States (Chicago, New York, San Francisco) and Catalonia (Barcelona) since 1972, after spending a period in Paris (1967-69). From 1986 to 1988 he lived in Berlin. He began to make art in the epiphanic year of 1968 and has not tired since. Since then he has done many exhibitions, has received numerous awards and has published various books, the consequence of having been on the cutting edge for half a century.

(Granollers, 1988) is a writer. His literary practice explores the derivations of hyper-information and global dispersion through a combination of genres and techniques (poetry, narrative, essays). He habitually collaborates with other creators as he works at the intersection between literature and other disciplines, especially the visual arts and cinema. He has also translated works by Samuel Beckett, Sarah Holland-Batt, Jen George, Judith Thurman and Joseph Brodsky. In 2018 he received the Montserrat Roig Grant. He is currently working on the filming diary of the latest film production by Albert Serra. He has published Ignar (Edicions Poncianes, 2013) and W (Edicions Poncianes, 2017; 2nd edition appearing in May 2019). Gabriel Ventura lives in Cadaqués, Catalonia.

«The Catalan pavilion, offers a sample of the power of images in the twentieth century, To Loose Your Heads (Idols): adoration, iconoclasm, dishonor and reinterpretation of images. Pedro Azara has done a magnificent job and, especially, an exemplary catalog.»

Gerard Vilar, Lamurad. Southern Journal of Research in Art and Design