Photo: Jordi Pesarrodona outside the Generalitat on September 20th, 2017
By Marcel Barrera
February 8th, 2018
Clown noses are one of the most powerful symbols of the circus, but outside the tents they also play a social and therapeutic role. Some people wear them as amulets, to sweeten moments with humour or reduce tensions in difficult times. The noses also have a rebellious side to them, which has recently been brought to light by the authorities. Wearing a clown nose can almost be like waving a white flag, not in the sense of volunteering surrender, but in the pacifist sense.
It is also a mask which evokes smiles, and which in the circus contrasts the white-faced clown, who is usually serious and authoritarian. Donning a clown’s nose is a universal gesture of fraternity and an expression of innocence. That is why it is so reprehensible that the Civil Guard has accused the artist Jordi Pesarrodona, of the Gog and Magog theatre company, and also a counsellor for Culture of the Town Council of Sant Joan de Vilatorrada, in a recent report, of incitement to hatred, for a photograph taken of him wearing a red nose next to a Civil Guard on September 20th at the headquarters of the Department of the Interior, after the arrests of senior officials of the Generalitat. Luckily, the judge did not pay the accusation much mind, and at least for the time being, this abuse of the definition of the charge of incitement to hatred by wearing a clown’s nose, has gone no further. But this case is not isolated – Toni Albà and Carles Biosca Sr. Bohigas have also been denounced – they show how a simple clown’s nose can force the emergence, like a circus stage, of an authoritarian nature. The only difference is that the circus is a mirror and a representation, but in the case of Pesarrodona, Albà and Biosca this is reality.