Museu Picasso 17 May / 19.00 h.

Agustín García Calvo

Emeritus Professor at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM)

From the Work to the Price and the Author

A recent article: “One of my granddaughters, the middle one, Araceli, who is nearly twelve and seems to have come out the smartest and has me most spellbound by her sparkle, has since I don’t know when taken to coming round every evening, with the laptop her parents bought her, to practice using it writing computer poetry, I mean, picking out words from a repertoire of the most disparate texts, and with a bunch of them composing, neither by chance nor on purpose, a formal kind of poetry, with its syllabification and its meter and sometimes the most far-fetched meanings, like today, when she was already putting away the gadget and her papers and she says to me: “Well, Gramps, I’m off, I’m meeting the gang from the yard, you know who I mean”. “Right” “See you, and showers of kisses” “Don’t you want some pocket money, as usual?” “No, as you can see” “And why’s that?” “Because I’ve realised money is nothing.” “Are you kidding me, Araceli? Have you turned into one of those people who hates money and banks and earning a living, who really wants something else?” “Come on, Gramps, don’t go and mix me up with those people who know all about life and preach about it, like in manuals on how to live better, which sell really well: no, it’s not that.” “What then?” “Quite simply I’ve discovered that money is nothing.” “Nothing? Some people will tell you it’s everything, because if you’ve got it you can have everything, well, almost everything, right?” ‘Well, that’s just it, man: don’t you realise that for it to be everything it can’t be anything?” “Ok: it’s not tangible” “It’s nothing, and that’s that: tell me, that twenty you were going to give me, what’s it worth? What’s it good for?” “It’s good for a sandwich, the cinema, lots of things...” “Yes, precisely because of that, can’t you see that it has to be nothing, smell of nothing, taste of nothing?” “What about the texture?” “The texture neither, because what we’re really touching are numbers, and who feels numbers?” “Those are things that come later.” “And that’s why they have to be nothing now.” “And so now there’s nothing?” “There has to be something, sir, there has to be, but whatever it is, money, it certainly isn’t!” “You leave me speechless, Araceli! Here, have the twenty: after all, considering what I give you …” “Come here, little piece of the future, and let me scratch your beard a bit, maybe that’s something, isn’t?” “At least, it can’t be exchanged for anything else, can it?” “And it’s not so phony.”

(N.B. For health reasons this presentation has been suspended)

Museu Picasso
Centre de Coneixement i Recerca del Museu
Plaça Sabartés, 1. 08003 Barcelona

Llibreria Icària 17 May / 19.00 h.

Observatorio Metropolitano

Beatriz García

The Commons Charter

It was time for reflection. And the support committees proposed making an inventory of the pillage. They could not merely dedicate their efforts to coping with the misery. The incipient protests and struggles, which had been consistently suppressed, finally led to the drafting of a kind of constitution for the defence of the property of everyone. Its aim was to try to turn the situation round and establish the rights owed to all the inhabitants of Madrid. This law was known popularly as the Commons Charter. To draft it, inspiration was taken from medieval times since, among the old bundles of papers and charters, they found a word, “common”, which could be defined neither by reference to private property nor the State. The Charter embodied the spirit of the times, it advocated a new citizens’ statute by means of which the public institutions would be exorcised of both bureaucracy and economic interests, reinvented with no relation to the political classes and financial flows.

(from the introduction to the Commons Charter)

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