Cénotaphes (Cenotaphs)


Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain, 1942
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  • Material: 
    Polystyrene, plexiglas, electric motor, water pump, turtle shell and diverse materials
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    Installation consisting of four cenotaphs: "The Cenotaph of the Hunter General", "The Cenotaph of the General's Darlings", "The Cenotaph of the General's Favourite Dish" and "The Cenotaph of the Last Eight Victims"
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    Overall: variable dimensions / Part 01: height: 55 cm, diameter: 100 cm / Part 02: height: 70 cm, diameter: 140 cm / Part 03: 100 x 100 x 100 cm / Part 04: 100 x 100 x 100 cm
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Cénotaphes (Cenotaphs) are five funereal architecture projects (one of which is currently lost), which Antoni Miralda conceived as models of fictitious places of tourist interest. Based on utopian architecture and the commemorative monument, Cénotaphes display various aspects of the lives of generic ‘generals’, some anonymous and others identifiable with real heads of state, taking an ironic, critical look at the political and personal horizons of these representatives of military power. Cenotafio de las ocho últimas víctimas (Cenotaph of the Last Eight Victims) consists of five floors; the three lower ones with meditation gardens and five wooden sarcophagi on superimposed levels. Cenotafio de las queridas del general (Cenotaph of the General’s Darlings) has a group of women lined up in formation, along with a list of the names of these mistresses, their perfume and their make-up, as a reference to legendary military virility. Cenotafio del general cazador (Cenotaph of the Hunter General) is a great homage to the role of the general as hunter, referring directly to Francisco Franco, presenting the animals and their howls and cries of pain. The final one, Cenotafio del plato favorito del general (Cenotaph of the General’s Favourite Dish), includes cooking classes, a restaurant, a tasting of turtle soup and the animal itself, similar to the kind of culinary investigation that Miralda was to explore in the future.

Carmen Fernández Aparicio