Sin Larios

Agustín Parejo School
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This video documents a project of intervention on the monument to the Marquis of Larios in the city centre of Malaga, a sculpture by Mariano Benlliure made in 1896. APS's proposal aimed to analyse the monument and the action that took place in 1931, in which the statue of the marquis was tossed into the sea when the Republic was declared in Spain. The sculpture was then replaced by a Republican flag on a first instance, and later, by a statue representing the world of labour, which was, on a smaller scale, part of the previous monument to the marquis. The action thus lowered the marquis and lifted the worker up to his place. Sin Larios demands the recognition of the artistic character of the crowd's action in 1931. APS never obtained the necessary permits from the local authorities for the project to take place, but the proposal itself remained documented with the production of a series of objects (Sin Larios t-shirts, stickers, lighters, posters, etc.) and with a show at the exhibition space of the Colegio de Arquitectos in Malaga.

The monument to the Marquis of Larios is a statue commissioned by Malaga's Town Hall in honour of the said character. It is located right in the middle of the city, at the junction of Calle Larios, built by the second Marquis of Larios, and La Alameda. The monument is made in bronze and sits on a marble pedestal with relief motifs. It contains three characters: the Marquis of Larios II, standing and elevated, and flanked on the one side by the figure of a man -which the bullfighter Mazzantini modeled for- representing labour, holding a pick and a hoe on his shoulder, and on the other, by the figure of a seminaked woman with a child in her arms as an offering to the Marquis of Larios, representing an allegory of the gratitude felt by the city of Malaga towards the marquis. In 1931 a group of Malaga anarchists threw the statue of the marquis to the sea to lift that of the worker to its place. The worker's "reign" was nevertheless brief, as the marquis was rescued from the sea, restored and returned to its elevated original location. This whole game of political actions must be understood within the sociopolitical context of the historical moment (the social and political relevance of the Larios family, the development of industry in Malaga, the landownership structure in Andalucia based on large estates in possession of an elite few, agricultural exploitation, etc.). Obviously the allegorical female figure was effectively forgotten.

By repeating the gesture of lifting the worker up and bringing the aristocrat down to the street (rather than tossing it into the sea, as in the previous occasion), putting it at the same level of all citizens, Agustín Parejo School again works on two of their most recurrent themes in their production as an artistic activism group: to recover a fragment of Malaga's memory and to bring back to light in the present time social conflicts that, albeit coming from a distant past, remain current today.

Sin Larios was one of the last actions in the trajectory of this singular collective, a trajectory that started in the early 1980s with public performances that were always extremely critical both of the organisation of the art world and of the political system of post-francoist Spain.

Sin Larios was one of the proposals in Plus Ultra, a public art project curated by Mar Villaespesa and produced by BNV for the Andalucia Pavilion in Seville's Universal Exhibition of 1992. This is no doubt an example of collective artistic practice of poetic/political resistance, that, due to its emphatic, fun and effective character, managed to generate a lot of "noise" in the public opinion as well as at an institutional level. Malaga's mayor was forced to justify in the press his decision not to grant the necessary permits for APS's action, and to explain his personal and outmoded idea of what "culture" was, which included opera and little else. In his honour, the soundtrack of the video is made of versions of the most famous operas performed by popular public bands.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Sin Larios
  • Direction: Agustín Parejo School
  • Production: Agustín Parejo School. 1992.
  • Duration: 00:05:26
  • Original format: DVD
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright