In Memoriam JOSÉ LUIS BREA (1957-2010)

Anna Guasch


At the end of August 2010, the publication of what would sadly turn out to be the penultimate text written by José Luis Brea, Professor of Aesthetics and Contemporary Art Theory at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, awoke in many of us a deep feeling of sorrow and anxiety. The article in salonKritik, the online magazine he founded, was not by any means a farewell or some autobiographical sketch, but the comprehensive re-issuing of a text that served as a theoretical basis for the exhibition “The Last Days” (Seville, 1992). During those years, Jose Luis Brea proved himself to be ahead of his time when it came to leading the way in new curatorial practices, with his exhibition “Before and After the Enthusiasm” (Amsterdam, 1989) and with his essays that explored the end of the so-called Age of the Enthusiasm and the advent of the new “Cold Auras”. The message carried by the re-publishing of Brea’s article was very clear: All those who knew Jose Luis well were very aware of his illness – although we couldn’t imagine that the end of his life was so near and his last days so close.

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