We may recall that the official inauguration of the Lorca Centre went off half-cock in the course of 2015, without pomp, without ceremony, and without the invaluable resources of the long-awaited Lorca legacy, following the enforced abandonment of the ambitious opening programme planned for the summer of 2011, thanks largely to the fraudulent actions of the Foundation’s corrupt secretary, Juan Tomás Martín.
Finally, 11 October 2018, we could visit the first exhibition made up exclusively with ítems from the “Lorca Legacy” (the collection of thousands of documents and manuscripts as well as literary, critical, and artistic works that bear direct witness to the poet’s life, times and creative activity), now that they have at last been safely stored in the Centre’s purpose-built, iron-clad strong room. It has been a long and arduous path to get here, remarked Laura García-Lorca, president of the Lorca Foundation, somewhat ruefully I’d say, at the brief and low-key opening ceremony on Thursday evening. It is to be hoped that this exhibition will mark the beginning of the “normalization” of the relationship between the Poet and his City. It hardly needs saying this relationship has been over the years anything but “normal”.
Desde el Centro: Federico García Lorca y Granada is an exhibition that has obviously been put together with a lot of sensitivity, love and care by Ms García-Lorca herself and a “small but extraordinary team”. It would be unfair to make a comparison with the 1998 exhibition, Federico García Lorca y Granada, at the Centro Cultural Gran Capitán, organised by the special centenary national committee, with access to the widest possible variety of sources. If I have sneakily made such a comparison it is absolutely and categorically more to remind myself of the splendours of that one than to belittle this one.
Without going into detail, but recommending a visit to anyone who can make it – it closes on 30 November -, Desde el Centro (From the Centre) lays bare the “intense and complex” relationship of the poet with the city, what I prefer to call a love-hate relationship. The city attracted and repelled him throughout his life, with his love for its unique beauty and brilliant Moorish past battling in his heart with a hate of its provincial narrow-mindedness and bourgeois present. This is my interpretation of “intense and complex” and was not expressed in this way in the inauguration speeches; but it is there in the exhibition.
A reference in the speeches was made to this exhibition being put together rather hurriedly, which I suppose is an indirect reference to an unforeseen hitch in the preparation of Amor (con alas y flechas) [Love (with wings and arrows], an exhibition, commissioned by University of Boston Professor and Lorca expert Christopher Maurer, which was supposed to have kicked off the Centre’s regular programme of legacy events but has been silently removed from the calendar. So it looks as if another undesired improvisation has been forced on the Centre’s administrators.
The Centro Lorca has become from this moment the centre of attraction of the city’s autumn cultural programme, announced the Councillor for Culture, proudly (defiantly?). And the Mayor described the occasion as a further step in the “permanent commitment” of the City with the Lorca Centre. I won’t explain how that is a political swipe of the social democratic mayor at his conservative predecessor(s).
Although I was present at the inauguration, for much of this post, I am indebted to Belén Rico, Granada Hoy, 12 October, 2018