María García, member of the Bergen Assembly 2019 core group, is a visual artist and independent researcher investigating the production and representation of territory through the articulation of hybrid narratives between image, writing and action.
She curated Machines for living: Flamenco and architecture in the occupation and eviction of spaces in Palau de la Virreina in Barcelona (together with Pedro G. Romero and Valentín Roma, 2018). From 2015–16 she was Research Fellow in Residence at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. Her artistic work was presented at the Vienna Secession (2014), MUSAC in Leon (2018), and Fabra i Coats in Barcelona (2018), among others.
María García lives and works in Barcelona.
Curatorial Contribution by Pedro G. Romero and María García
When Bergen Assembly invited us to rethink the idea of what an assembly can be, our research focused on Asamblea general (General Assembly), an early 19th-century text by Serafín Estébanez Calderón (known as ‘El Solitario’), which was an intimation of what flamenco would become. The text is an account of a feast, a description of a festive celebration of what was actually a kris: a Roma assembly, court or forum of the Andalusian Roma of Cádiz, Málaga and Seville, who gathered in Triana to resolve disputes, demarcate areas of influence, establish family ties, get to know each other and reinforce self-government.
From there, from the shift implicit in Asamblea general, we embarked on an archaeology of that joint understanding of party and political assembly. Asamblea general itself refers to the genealogy derived from Goya, who was also a key influence of Francisco Lameyer, the illustrator of the text. From that point, exploring fields such as bohemia (Rosario Weiss, SEM/EN, Carlos González Ragel), the avant-garde (Helios Gómez, the Cologne Progressives’ Lumpenbälle, Federico García-Lorca) and the counterculture (Toto Estirado, Ocaña, Mario Maya), right up to the immediate present (PEROU, Flo6x8, Israel Galván), we have brought together some instances that express this conjoining of parties and politics in a single gesture. It should be understood that we are not talking about a dialectical pair, but rather a ‘gay politics’, in the sense of Nietzsche’s gay science, which in its pathos makes no distinction between festive forms and the forms of politics. As Allan Sekula said in reference to Darcy Lange’s work: ‘it was not about a party to celebrate a political decision, but about the fact that the party is the community’s only possible political space, where it finds and recognises itself’.