Intangible. Heritage and collective memory
We know that there is a reality beyond material things, because we constantly take part in it. But unlike objects, the intangible aspects of life can be difficult to show without losing some of their content, some of their richness. The present exhibition shows, suggests and discovers these aspects.
The intangible elements that form an important part of every culture are a unique form of heritage, which UNESCO safeguards through its programme text of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Paris, 17 October 2003), ratified by a number of countries, including Spain. According to the Convention, intangible cultural heritage includes all oral traditions and expressions, including language, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, as well as traditional craftsmanship.
All of this is shown in this exhibition through photographs taken long before the signing of the Convention, and these images are now presented here to be read in a new light. The exhibition invites the visitor to recognise in the photographs that which is secretly or implicitly present. The photographs show people who, regardless of appearances, come together and connect in different festive, work or domestic settings on occasions that one can still recognise despite the major social and economic changes that have occurred in the decades since.
The intangible world described here is seen through the eyes and lenses of Jean Laurent (who took his photographs between 1860 and 1886), Mariano Moreno (1892-1925), Baltasar Cue (1891-1894), Aurelio de Colmenares y Orgaz (1894-1935), Pedro Ibarra (1858-1934), Eustasio Villanueva Gutiérrez (1913-1929), Otto Wunderlich (1914-1933), António Passaporte (1901–1983), Loty (1927-1936), Luis Escobar López (1920-1960) and Cristina García Rodero (1949).
The exhibition has been prepared by the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage and Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Spain and realized by the Slovene Ethnographic Museum upon the initiative and with the support of the Embassy of Spain in Slovenia as part of the cultural program of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.