The Abattoirs are a cultural place in the Saint-Cyprien district of Toulouse, located at the old slaughterhouse of the city. The transformation from an industrial site to a museum happened through a big construction site which started in 1997. The new site was unveiled on the 24th of June 2004.
Today, people from Toulouse enjoy a complex which gathers outside ephemeral exhibitions, conference rooms, a big garden and sometimes electronic music festivals, added to a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.
From the 15th of March to the 25th of August, the museum describes the Spanish Art history from the 1935’s: Picasso and the exile. The exhibition explores the consequences of the exile through Picasso and other famous painters. Far from their country, they only had their brushes and speech as weapons. Through their artworks, they related the story of those who had suffered, who had lost everything and who had fought.
Since 1936, Spain suffered from political and social crisis. The illusions disappeared for the anger and the discontent increase. The people was divided between the Nationalists, led by Franco and the church, and the Republicans who gathered several political left movements.
After 3 years of civil war, in 1939, more than 500 000 spanish people crossed the border of the Pyrenees in terrible conditions to transit in refugees’ camps. Life was frightening, hygiene was missing, death was common. When Barcelone fell into the hands of the Franco troops, the exodus skyrocketed. This time of Retirada marked the end of the Second Républic, the victory of the General dictator Franco and the begining of the anti-Franco guerilla.
Belong the rare and original artworks shown, the exhibition deeply questions us about our vision of others, the unknown welcoming and the position we have to grant to those who are wiped out by War. Between cultural resistance and humanism, it is the exile without spatio-temporal framework that is sublimed.