(Córdoba, Spain, 1962)
Antonio Luque is a multidisciplinary artist who uses both two-dimensional images and video and artistic and sound installations in his work. At times we forget that technology is a human creation like society or politics.
‘426 Anarchists’ is a meditation on the multiple image generated by archives. The three series that form the work are developed in different ways. In the first, no one face prevails over the others, creating a new, familiar face as a result. In the second series, an image is developed through the superimposition of the individuals to produce an unreal image. Finally, in the third, the view is blurred in a return to the parameters of the multiple image.
After the events that took place in the Paris commune in 1871, and the rise of the anarchist movement throughout Europe, the French government organised searches and arrests of anarchists with the aim of repressing the movement.
Warrants were issued for the arrest of 426 people on the charge of unlawful association. Twenty-nine of the accused managed to escape. From August 6 to October 31, 1894, a show trial was held for 30 of those arrested (19 anarchist theorists and 11 common criminals) to demonstrate the connivance between anarchism and the world of crime.
But, above all, the trial served to create an unfavourable opinion of the anarchist movement among the population and to restrict freedom of the press. In what was one of the first works of modern police photography, Alphonse Bertillon took photographs of the 397 detainees. It was one of the first works of modern police photography.
The faces that form ‘426 Anarchists’ do not belong to any one particular detainee, and belong to all of them. They form synthetic faces that reflect a society which, despite the passing of time and technological development, has not really changed very much.