As part of 'VIDEO REWIND: A look back from early video works from the 1970s and 1980s', 'Pamplona-Grazalema' (1975-1980) considers the spectacle of cultural traditions.
Pamplona-Grazalema, a project developed by Antoni Muntadas (Barcelona, 1942) with Spanish anthropologist Ginés Serrán Pagán, is an installation consisting of the publication of a book and two videos projected simultaneously. This hybrid work of visual art and social anthropology makes an interdisciplinary enquiry into bullfighting’s geographic and cultural permutations within Spain’s recent history. Pamplona is famously the modern capital of bullfighting and home to its most sophisticated practitioners, but the city’s “fiesta of the bull” is a predominately commercial and touristic enterprise. In places like Grazalema, a mountain town in Cádiz (Andalusia), the oldest known form of bullfighting is still practiced. The male residents symbolically sap the bull’s virility and power as the animal becomes weaker. As the relationship between human and animal is increasing rationalized, these social and spiritual connections become obscure. This work offers a fascinating study in ritual, myth, and community for the citizen of the global world.