Foam 3h: Bebe Blanco Agterberg – Theatre of Broken Memories

Press release | Amsterdam,  December 2022

Foam presents the first museum exhibition by Dutch photographer Bebe Blanco Agterberg. Theatre of Broken Memories captures how Spain dealt with its violent history and how 'forgetting' was used as a political tool in order to move on.

Like an optical illusion, a memory can also be manipulated or distorted: by your own brain, but in some cases also by external factors. An example is the Spanish amnesty law of 1977, which introduced the ‘Pact of Forgetting'. After the death of Francisco Franco in 1975, the government took the decision to officially forget the 40-year dictatorship. Legally, this meant that crimes under Franco's dictatorship were not prosecuted. In public spaces it meant that visible remains of these crimes were obscured. Thus Spanish collective memory before the Pact was fragmented, distorted and blurred. 

This history forms the starting point for Bebe Blanco Agterbergs images. Politics, media and citizens play a key role in her work: they are inextricably linked, but they also find themselves in a continuous power struggle. Anyone looking at her work senses a dark history, but it is not immediately clear what lies at the core of it. This is what is fascinating about Agterberg's work: she not only investigates the manipulability of memories, but also how people, willingly or unintentionally, try to fill the voids within.

Bebe Blanco Agterberg

Bebe Blanco Agterberg (The Netherlands, 1995) is a visual storyteller based in Amsterdam. She graduated in 2020 cum laude from the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague, with a BA in Photography. Agterberg’s family history plays a large part in her work. Her mother was born in Spain in 1964 when dictator Francisco Franco was still in power.

Het Florentine Riem Vis Stipendium

Bebe Blanco Agterberg is the sixth recipient of the Florentine Riem Vis Grant. Established in memory of Florentine Riem Vis (1959-2016), the grant is awarded each year with the aim of enabling a young artist to further develop their artistic career. The previous recipients of the grant were Karolina Wojtas (2021), Gilleam Trapenberg (2020), Solène Gün (2019), Rebecca Sampson (2018) and Stefanie Moshammer (2016/17).

Foam 3h: Theatre of Broken Memories, by artist Bebe Blanco Agterberg can be seen from 9 December – 5 March 2022 at Foam. Open daily 10am - 6pm, Thurs/Fri 10am - 9pm. 

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© Bebe Blanco Agterberg, 2020

© Bebe Blanco Agterberg, 2020

© Bebe Blanco Agterberg, 2020

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Exhibitions in Foam 3h are made possible by support from the Van Bijlevelt foundation, the Leeuwensteinstichting and Kleurgamma Fine-Art Photolab.

Foam is supported by the VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and the Gemeente Amsterdam.

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