COLLECTION / 1945-1989 / Spain / Zaj

In 1964 the composers Juan Hidalgo and Walter Marchetti settled in Madrid, where, together with Ramón Barce, they founded the group Zaj. Soon after they were also joined by the composer Tomás Marco, the writer José Luis Castillejo and the artist Esther Ferrer. The presence of a writer and an artist among musicians denotes the desire to create a type of experimental music, far-removed from the rigors of serialism and the practice of instrumental virtuosity, and even to transcend music as a genre. This led to a type of art akin to the practice of happening, building relationships with members of Fluxus, with whom they collaborated on various occasions.

Their actions included the transfer of objects, trips, stage performances, silent concerts, appearances and other acts that concentrated more on poetics and visuals than music (in an acoustic sense) and that were closely tied with the events and actionism of other contemporary groups. One of the most characteristic features of the work of Zaj´s was the editing of four books and an extensive collection of cards, produced between 1966 and 1970, which were printed on coloured cardboard and used to announce events, set out proposals, formulate maxims and to simply keep in contact with their followers. Some of these cards are the scores or ‘instruction manuals’ of their actions, which were always written beforehand and never improvised.

The crowning point of Zaj was their presence in the Encuentros de Pamplona in 1972. The group was disbanded by Walter Marchetti in 1996.

Archivo Lafuente brings together over 100 Zaj items, including cards, invitations, posters, catalogues, photographs, manifestos, mail art, leaflets and artist books.

 



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