On the occasion of Galerie Gmurzynska’s wide-ranging exhibition of the work of Joan Miró, the artist’s grandson, Joan Punyet Miró, created an extraordinary performance for the festive dinner following the opening. Guests included Catherine Deneuve, who arrived with fellow actress Cassandra Gava who once starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Barbarian. Notable curators and artists were also in attendance such as the former Guggenheim curator Carmen Giménez, the Fundacio Miró Mallorca’s director Elvira Camara López, Cabaret Voltaire’s director Adrian Notz and Manifesta 2016’s Georgina Caspari, accompanied by artist Leigh Ledare.
Punyet Miró explicitly sought to celebrate not only his grandfather’s great legacy but to revive the anarchic spirit of Dada and Surrealism – the two major avant-garde movements Miró was both influenced by and significantly contributed to – for the select audience gathered at the restaurant Razzia, an opulent venue in neo-classical style which in fact had once been the city’s first picture house.
Titled Dadaism and Surrealism the Awakening Punyet Miró paid tribute to the first movement by reminding the guests of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Dada in its historical birthplace Zurich.
Punyet Miró arrived on stage on a motorcycle, clad in flashing pink biker pants and matching vest, complete with a black Stetson and sunglasses, all to the tune of Steppenwolf’s iconic 1968 rocker anthem “Born to be Wild”.
At times profoundly personal, Punyet Miró reminisced about his grandfather’s daring and transgressive oeuvre, interweaving his recollections with rarely seen archival footage such as Miró’s trip to Japan or the infamous burning of his canvases rather late in life, during the early 1970s. He also sporadically fired a gun to underscore the creative violence and aggression Miró’s work still transmits, with the artist famously once having proclaimed to want to “assassinate” painting. The performance’s high point was an on-stage live painting with glow-in-the-dark paint on a ginormous canvas, a recreation of Miró’s 1938 canvas and poem A Star Caresses the Breast of a Negress (Painting Poem), today in the collection of the Tate.
Punyet Miró was assisted by a topless model, and the performance culminated in the critic and curator himself standing stark naked in front of the piece. His brother Teodor Punyet Miró also made an appearance, reading a short homage to his grandfather. Punyet Miró brought the rebellious spark of the legendary Cabaret Voltaire and bohemian Paris back to life for one night, much to the delight of the captivated audience.