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Encuentros de Pamplona 72-22

What are the Encuentros de Pamplona 72-22?

Summer of 1972 saw the Encuentros de Pamplona, a cutting-edge international festival that is still considered to be the most important art event aimed at the general public that has taken place in Spain. 

The organisers of this pioneering event were the artists in the ALEA group, in particular on the initiative of Luis de Pablo and José Luis Alexanco. 

The main line of discussion formed part of a dialogue between the avant-garde and popular tradition, the interaction between artists and public and the combination of all this in a great venue: the city of Pamplona. 

In this respect the Encuentros placed Pamplona on the level of cultural milestones such as the Spoleto festival, Documenta 5 in Kassel and the 36th Venice Biennale. However, this surge was not continued and over time its public impact faded.

Pamplona, ​​epicenter of art, thought and culture

The holding of the Encuentros de Pamplona 72-22 marks the 50th anniversary of the Encuentros de Pamplona in 1972. However, its purpose, apart from this important commemoration, is to establish a starting point to move towards a new cultural dimension for our community in a sustainable, innovative way – also transformational – able to offer an ethical dimension and nurture a critical public.

The programme of Encuentros de Pamplona 72-22 is promoted by the Government of Navarre and it is a proposal by Ramón Andrés, essayist, thinker and poet. And under his guidance, a team fills out the programme with contributions of their own.

The image of los encuentros by Frederic Amat

I am part of an intermediate generation of visual artists at the cusp between two centuries. In the last century, posters were the means of local communication and publicising a range of cultural events. Today new technologies and the net have made the image radiate out through endless screens with other possible codes.

When one “paints” a poster one becomes in a way the visual ambassador for an idea, in this case an event involving a contemporary gathering of different art forms and at the same time a commemoration: the Encuentros de Pamplona 72-22. For those who were around at the time in 1972, at the end of the Franco dictatorship, the original Encuentros were an open window from Pamplona. A breath of fresh air.

I took the invitation to create the image and poster for this year’s Encuentros de Pamplona 72-22 as a privilege and a challenge.

How was I to set this down in an image that the viewer is supposed to remember in a few moments, to identify amid the maelstrom of images that assail us every day?

This is my proposition: a sprouting of ink, a cluster of spots. A dialogue where the brush strokes call to one another, on different colour territories that want to celebrate their meeting and exchange of ideas.

Frederic Amat