The exhibition on Salvador Seguí, recognized as "el noi del sucre" (the sugar boy), presented a significant scenic challenge as it tackled an exhibition setup without tangible historical objects but with a weighty narrative: the life of the anarchist leader assassinated in a Barcelona marked by conflicts between the working class and the bourgeoisie.
The exhibition narrative outlined the life of the protagonist, and my scenic proposal, akin to the "Spoliés!" exhibition I conducted in 2010 at the Musée de la Résistance de l'Isère in Grenoble, involved tracing the steps of the character throughout the exhibition space—a quest that would never find a clear answer. The absence of documentary objects allowed the scenic deployment to take the lead in the discourse. The scenography upheld a story divided into 3 major areas and 7 thematic spaces.
The entrance of the audience to the room coincided with Salvador Seguí's arrival by train from Lleida to Barcelona. This concept materialized with a fragment of a railway car that, through mirrors, multiplied the train of hopeful individuals arriving in the city in search of a better life.
This wooden train served as a support for an audiovisual production contextualizing the historical moment in which Salvador Seguí lived. After this immersion, the audience embarked on a journey through different spaces, guided by the shadow of the exhibition's protagonist.
From the factory, the visitor reached the bullring of Las Arenas in Barcelona, where Seguí put an end to the strike of "la Canadenca" after tough negotiations between employers and unions. This rally marked the success of an eight-hour workday for laborers but also foreshadowed the tragic end of the anarchist.
The visit continued in a recreation of a café frequented by Seguí for political meetings and passionate debates about the social situation. The space, of limited dimensions, conveyed intimacy through mirrors that duplicated the room, and paintings, photographs, and posters provided historical context.
The conclusion of the exhibition unfolded in a dark street displaying documents, newspaper clippings, and photographs. This veil with images of Barcelona from that era allowed visitors to discover, through the intricacies, the evolution of events that led to the leader's assassination.
The final curtain rose in an imaginary post-Spanish Civil War call center, with phones installed in a compartmentalized manner, enabling the audience to listen to the account of Salvador Seguí's assassination narrated by his sentimental companion, Teresa Muntaner. This dramatized recreation was based on an interview conducted during her exile.
Promoter institution: Palau Robert (Generalitat de Catalunya)
Location: Barcelona (España)
Photography: © Pepo Segura