The Assassin's Last Word
Installation, Video, & Zine


The Assassin's Last Word is an installation created in Barcelona, based on an incident in local history. The project re-tells the story of Michele Angiolillo, an anarchist assassin who avenged the brutal internment and torture of his comrades in Montjuic Castle, a looming structure overlooking the city which is now a tourist attraction. This intriguing history includes acts of courage and poetic flair, as Angiolillo was remembered both for his bravery and his eloquence. His final word before being executed for the assassination of Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Cánovas was "Germinal." This mysterious watchword invokes the novel by Émile Zola, popular amongst trade unionists across ideologies at the time, as well as an image of resistance as a budding force of nature, germinating under the surface of oppression.

Installation View

The installation centers around the piece A drop in the bucket, a quiet meditation on Angiolillo's act, which occurred at a thermal bath spa. A pair of printed shirts comprise Ollé and Gana, titled for the two survivors of Montjuic who met Angiolillo in London and opened their shirts to show him the burns they had received from torture. By all accounts, this was the experience which incited Angiolillo to act. In the center of the iron-burns on the shirts, a symbol of a germinating seed is evident. Accompanying the objects is an audio piece, with occasional flashes of video, created at Montjuic Castle. In this series of recordings participants were told the story one-on-one and asked to define and explain the term "Germinal". A fanzine is available for viewers to take, which includes the full history, re-prints of the original press from the incident, and the artist's reflections on Angiolillo's act and word.

A PDF of the zine can be downloaded here.

The videos show documentation of A drop in the bucket and an excerpt from the installed audio/video piece.