The mayor of Pollensa, Tomeu Cifre Ochogavía, cannot hide his pleasure at the collaboration between the town hall and Joan Bennàssar in mounting the “Human Reasons” exhibition in two exceptional locations in Pollensa’s historic centre - the Calvari steps and the Convent Church.
Bennàssar has not exhibited in Pollensa since his 1999 exhibition in the Convent. How did this collaboration come about?
It was his initiative. He offered to exhibit his work this year in order to help with the reconstruction of the local economy, which has been badly affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Because of the crisis, we halted preparations for an exhibition in the Convent about the ‘Pollensa School’ (the art movement of the early twentieth century). So, his idea was a great one. I’m sure that an exhibition by Joan Bennàssar, an artist of international renown, will be an attraction that adds value to the architectural heritage and to everything that Pollensa can offer which is differentiated from ‘sun and beach’.
Why the Calvari?
For everyone who comes to Pollensa, it is an essential place to visit. The result is a really interesting contrast between Bennàssar’s contemporary art and our cultural and architectural heritage. The Calvari is a site of penitence. It signifies suffering. And right now, we have much on which we have to reflect.
The heritage association Arca believes that the anchors for the sculptures will damage the steps. What’s your view?
It’s necessary to anchor them for safety and security reasons. This has been done in a most respectful manner. We have not drilled into the steps’ stones but into the joints, and these will be redone when the exhibition is over. I don’t see this being a problem.
Is there particular anticipation because this is a Pollensa artist?
Without doubt. As well as being a renowned artist, he is someone who has always collaborated on everything that we have ever asked: books, posters, benefit events for which he has donated works in order to raise funds. He is altruistic and following the confinement, he wanted to create a combination between tourism promotion and art, and I greatly appreciate his desire to reactivate the municipality.