Josepa Munoz’ art practice combines the disciplines of painting, drawing and assemblage with a broad theoretical interest to explore the themes of personal identity and remembrance via Catalan culture.
Josepa’s Catalan background is critically important to her work. With an initial focus on the history of immigration into the UK from Catalonia, her country of birth, Josepa embarked on a quest to construct or re-construct the traces that the past leaves – by interrogating and embracing her own experiences of Catalan identity, memory, history and cultural displacement.
Whilst an intrinsic aspect of Josepa’s work is to bring Catalan memories to her own present, Josepa’s project extends beyond the purely personal. Josepa samples a wide range of both subjective and objective memories of Franco’s regime and contrasts them to historical facts that are also in circulation. By seeking out and privileging individual testimonial evidence, she deconstructs aspects of the Catalan struggle. Josepa’s work is therefore also a research practice that presents the fallibility and successes of collective memory as a depository of history.
Using the materials that she unearths during her investigations, and struggling with her own dislocation, experience and personal interest, Josepa creates assemblages that weave a patchwork of evidence from her chosen period in history. By blasting her material out of its continuum, she re-presents it for public scrutiny. In so doing, Josepa points up not only the way in which history oscillates between memory and forgetting, between the past and the present, but also the importance of individual interpretation in a world preoccupied with historical facts and remembrance.
Josepa’s work resonates beyond merely her chosen locus of Catalonia, however. By zooming in and blasting open visual, written and oral evidence of a given time in history, she gives voice to all individuals in exile, their walks to freedom and their displacement across cultures. Josepa’s compiled reportage is an on-going investigation into the process of awakening; and into the shaping and misshaping of memories.