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During the presentation of the book Las Disidencias (The Dissidents) by Raisa Maudit and Martí Manen at Storm and Drunk last February in Madrid, I was finally able to meet Ignacio García Sánchez. His drawings, detailed visions of alternative history scenarios linked to ideological questions which echoed social movements that emerged around 15M, such as his love for the craft of the scribes who illuminated medieval codices, had long been haunting me.
I remember how while I was chatting with him I was overtaken by the desire to bring his work together with that of two other artists, Irkus M. Zeberio and Efrén Álvarez, who, in my opinion, moved in the same orbit but who at the same time differed in their conceptual developments and formalizations.
I imagine that it was through the Fatbottom bookstore that specialized in comics in Barcelona that I came across Irkus’s dystopian fanzines, first in the publications of Medalariso and later through a project attached to the bookstore, the Maquina Total editing workshop. I asked Irkus to create the poster for Revolta en el Cómic, an event I organized in 2018 at MACBA, coinciding with the night of the museums, in which I wanted to test the possible synergies that could be established between the most avant-garde scene of self-published comics in Barcelona and those practices in contemporary art that used the language of comics to express themselves, all within a context that insisted on the critical capacity and political agency of both kinds of work. The drawing that Irkus proposed for the poster of the event showed a group of homeless people in a post-apocalyptic setting reading comics, accompanied by a photocopier, admiring a sun rising behind the ruins of the museum.
With Efrén Álvarez I had the great luck of starting the Radical Drawing Group in 2014, a collective training experiment in combative drawing, initially located in the La Canibal bookstore in Barcelona but later housed in different artist studios in the city. Among other things, throughout its short life we subverted the different existing versions of the Declaration of Human Rights, prepared actions against Gallardón’s abortion law, and illustrated small guides on sexual and reproductive health.
A*Desk’s invitation was an ideal opportunity to finally bring together the work of all three artists. I asked each of them to respond to a short interview and to accompany it with unpublished images of their latest work. Throughout this month we have made a special journey in time that has taken us through the Middle Ages, revolutionary Haiti and the current war in the Donbas.
The issue as a whole is titled Dibujo de Máquina de Tiempo Revuelto (Time-Travel Machine Drawings) and refers, on the one hand, to the commitment that all the authors have with drawing and, on the other, to the use they make of history, situating their field of operations in concrete moments of the past, the present or the future, where revolutionary tensions and armed conflicts manifest themselves.
(*) The image at the start of this text was taken from the first novel in which a time machine was described, El Anacronópete, by Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau.