Wednesday, October 20

Carmen Alborch, a life of activism, art and feminism

Carmen Alborch (Castelló de Rugat, 1947 – Valencia, 2018) left a lasting mark on Valencian society and culture. Feminist, critical and with a splendid spirit, Alborch stars in an exhibition at the Center del Carme de Cultura Contemporània that reviews her life journey through numerous photographs, her art collection and even some of the dresses by designer Francis Montesinos that the former minister wore of Culture and former director of the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM). The exhibition, inaugurated this Thursday with the assistance of the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, has been curated by the historian Salvador Albiñana and the publicist José Vicente Plaza, both close friends of Carmen Alborch.

Thanks to the collaboration of the former minister’s family, the exhibition abounds in numerous graphic testimonies, memories, books and various adventures. Albiñana explained that the exhibition is based on the book The city and life, in which Alborch “intertwined the history of Valencia, her history and that of her friends and her feminist convictions.” “Carmen was an enthusiastic woman of life”, has affirmed the historian, who has highlighted her “versatility”. “When Carmen entered some place it was noticeable and in this room she was noted,” said the general director of Culture, Carmen Amoraga.

The curator of the exhibition recalled that Alborch, an elegant woman by definition, “changed the perception of fashion in the world of politics.” Rafa Alborch, brother of the former minister, has expressed his satisfaction at being able to “share Carmen’s legacy.” Her library was donated to the University of Valencia (she was dean of the Faculty of Law) and her wardrobe was donated to the Museo del Traje in Madrid.

“Organizing and documenting Carmen’s legacy is a grateful task,” said her brother. Rafa Alborch was also grateful that the process of preparing the exhibition has served to conserve the leftovers and the documents of the former director of the IVAM and former senator of the PSOE.

The exhibition, which includes a documentary and a catalog with 40 collaborations, serves as a “tribute to Carmen’s generation.” The journey through the life of Carmen Alborch, an essential figure of Valencian culture, dates back to the 1960s, when she began her law studies and ended in 2015 with the abandonment of politics and her brief re-entry at the University of Valencia . In between, Alborch led the IVAM, was appointed Minister of Culture of the Government of Felipe González and even faced, without success, the almighty mayor Rita Barberá. In his last public appearance, on October 9, 2018 on the occasion of the High Distinction of the Generalitat Valenciana, Alborch vindicated the commitment he maintained throughout his life: “Feminism should be declared a world heritage site”, he said already very ill.

“Carmen has never left because we remember her so much that she is with us,” Carmen Amoraga said excitedly.

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