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Francesc Torres (Barcelona, 1948) is, without doubt, one of the most important European artist of his generation.
The title of the piece I am writing about comes from a sentence in Arthur Koestler’s Darkness At Noon, and it conveys in a nutshell the overwhelming disregard that History has, in its Hegelian sense, for the individual human being.
During the Spanish Civil War a contingent of 3,500 Americans –– known as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade–– joined the International Brigades. Half of them didn’t return.
Harry Randall was one of them and he did return. He was a photographer and cameraman in the brigade, and he is the prime mover of the editorial project presented here as an artist’s book. The basis material was 45 minutes of 16mm film shot over a period of two years (1937-1938), that very few people have seen to date.
As a matter of fact, this book reflects on the visual sedimentation of history beyond the concrete historical event; it is a comment on the material fragmentation, literal and metaphoric, that silently sleeps under the politically conditioned and socially negotiated official narrative of History.