© Carlos Piña, Duty of Memory II, 2004. Photo Maria Cosmès.
Carlos Piña’s current work is primarily concerned with memory, informed by a thoughtful observance that in order to prevent the suffering and war we have already lived through, one must preserve and be conscious of the ‘duty of memory’ we have to our children. Using the events of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and working with the concepts of amnesia and reminiscence, Piña’s work aims to investigate histories of power construction, truth, memory and collective silence. Believing that all historical events, though removed, are relatable of one owns concept of a personal history, Piña’s work attempts to slow down or put a stop to the gradual process of forgetfulness we all experience, both individually and as a society, caused by an overabundance of information from the mass media, a society in which the past is discarded in favour of the constant search for the new.
Carlos Piña and Maria Cosmès have collaborated on many works since 1998 under the name Collective Stidna, most notably the series, To Leave The Closet. The works in this series ranged from installation to performance and urban intervention. To Leave The Closet focused on both personal and societal psychotherapeutic imagery, informed by both Carlos and Maria’s’ experiences in treatment, asking the question, “If so many people in our society need medication, who is the ill? The people or the society?” The aim of the Stidna Collective, through these works and others, is to create a forum for the artists to relate to each other and the audience on an intimate, person-to-person basis, not as a nameless faceless collective. This aim was in keeping with the earnest and cathartic nature of the works in the series To Leave The Closet, which sought to unveil and cast light on the shadow of judgment, fear and misunderstanding around madness and taboo. Not only are Piña and Cosmès long standing collaborators, they also work together on eBent International Performance Art Festival which takes place each year in Barcelona and Madrid.