Keith Haring 1989 Barcelona

Director Lulu Martorell, Roger La Puente, César de Melero
Spain / 40 min. / 2019 / English, Spanish, Catalan

This chronicle of the passage through Barcelona in 1989 of New York graffiti and pop art icon Keith Haring and his famous mural in Chinatown speaks to us, at the speed of house, of activism against the AIDS epidemic, of a neighbourhood in process of change, and of the end of the pre-Olympic city that would never be the same again.


The action starts at the ARS Billiards Club. Acid house sounds and behind the DJ booth a guy with huge glasses is painting a mural. This is Keith Haring, one of the most recognized exponents of urban art and pop art, Warhol's favourite along with Jean-Michel Basquiat: both exponents of the assault on the seediest streets to the most prestigious art galleries. That disco incursion in the upper area of ??Barcelona was the culmination of his visit to the city, during which he had agreed to paint a mural in El Raval (then Chinatown) on condition that he could choose the wall. He went for the one with the most syringes on the ground. Those five hours working on his mural under the slogan "Together we can stop AIDS" in the square dedicated to anarcho-syndicalist Salvador Seguí, gathered the children of the neighbourhood (one of the most scourged by poverty and heroin), along with photographers, television cameras, curious passers-by, the odd hip kid, DJs and bar owners suspicious of so much media attention. Through the testimony of his pre-Olympic Barcelona cicerones, as well as the neighbourhood residents, this film describes the social context, the symbolism and the transcendence of the artistic action by Keith Haring who, a little less than a year before he died, considered that before the fatality of AIDS "he only had art, action and joy". He painted until his strength left him alongside his cassette player, which only accepted house and hip-hop tapes.



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Showing format

Keith Haring, César de Melero, Montse Guillén, Leandro Makinavaja, Sílvia Colmenero, Carola Adam, Ferran Pujol i Bonaventura Clotet

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