Guernica – Bagdad
A work from the art collection
When United States Secretary of State Colin Powell in February 2003 held a press conference in the UN headquarter about preparations for warfare against Iraq, the large reproduction of Pablo Picasso’s painting »Guernica« that hangs in the entrance of the Security Council, the spot where diplomats and others make statements to the press, was covered. Picasso’s painting was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque country town in northern Spain April 26th 1937 by Nazi Germany and Italian warplanes at the request of the Spanish Nationalists.
A group of artists from Umeå implemented a peace action by making a paraphrase of the painting »Guernica«. On February 15, in connection with the first anti-war demonstration at Rådhustorget in Umeå, they performed a symbolic unveiling of the work. In addition to the obvious peace appeal the artists wanted to show art’s strong power and ability to talk without using words.
Participating artists: Helena Wikström, Gerd Aurell, Bill Olson, Birgitta Sparrman, Karin Frennesson, Anita Midbjer, Eva Söderström, Mats Eriksson, Kjersti Dahlstedt and Mikael Hultdin.
The paraphrase of Pablo Picasso’s painting is acquired by Västerbottens museum since it is a document of an important art happening in Umeå.