Friday, 17 February 2023, 09:14
Going inside the house in which hispanist and writer Gerald Brenan and his wife Gamel Woolsey lived for over 30 years is like opening a door onto the past century. Visitors can discover more about the cultural power which used to be wielded by this residence in Churriana, where such illustrious writers as Ernest Hemingway and Julio Caro Baroja, among others, were guests at times.
Several decades later, this cultural legacy is more relevant than ever inside the Casa Brenan, and it is drawing up challenging new plans in order to enhance its potential.
One of these aims has been to gain additional space and be able to offer a more ambitious programme of events.
The first stage of that project has been completed successfully with the inauguration of the Gabinete Brenan/Woolsey this week, a room which will be used for exhibitions, not only of art but also literature and photography to recreate some of the aspects that Brenan and Woolsey enjoyed in that house.
"We want to exhibit Brenan's entire collection of books and works," explained the director of Casa Brenan, Alfredo Taján, at the opening.
The items which will be on display in this and other rooms include original poems by Arthur Rimbaud and correspondence between Gerald Brenan and Ralph Partridge, a member of the Bloomsbury Group.
The sensual movements of Afro-American artist Josephine Baker can be seen in two of the many rooms in the house at present, thanks to the geometry and colour which stem from the hands of Malaga-born artist Diego Santos , in an exhibition called Laberinto y Locura (Labyrinth and Madness), a display in which he weaves the life of the dancer with that of the British writer.
"Josephine Baker was a spy and Brenan, as a war correspondent, also spied in a way. They had very different lives and circumstances, but had many points in common and that was the beauty of the project," said Santos.
"This exhibition has brought back incredible memories for me because I was born here. It is a very interesting project and I have done everything I could to ensure that the work is of high quality and that it tells the story of that magical world of the golden age which had a great deal to do with the time the Brenans lived here," he said.
In order to continue developing the cultural growth of Casa Brenan there will be different activities coming up in the future including a concert inspired by the works of Woolsey and Brenan called En la Tierra Media (Nueva York-Malaga), with soprano Sharon Harms, guitarists William Anderson and Oren Fader, percussionist Juanjo Guillem and electronic luthier Reyes Oteo.
There will also be a tribute to the work of Malaga publisher Francisco Cumpián.
And in April the cultural centre will be the venue for Días Blancos, Noches Rojas (White Days, Red Nights), a performance based on the docudrama by director José Antonio Hergueta, which recalls that legendary hotel which was witness to the horror that engulfed Malaga after the military uprising of 1936 until the city fell in February the following year.
Also on the programme of events will be an exhibition on the invasion of Ukraine, by Francisco Peinado.
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