None of This Will Last

No va a quedar nada de todo esto
03.11.2023 - 10.03.2024

Tuesday - Sunday, 10 am - 8 pm

Floor 4

Gotta catch ‘em all!
Pokemon - 1997

History is the subject of a structure whose site is not homogenous, empty time, but time filled by the presence of the now.
Walter Benjamin

Since 2017, the Paco Graco collective has been collecting commercial graphics from the all too many businesses that have had to close down in Madrid, thus saving them from oblivion. Not only the handmade signs of shops that have been in business for hundreds of years old, but also those tacky methacrylate signs put up by more or less new shops that have only been open for a few years. As the neon lights, inlays and plexiglass have been taken down, we have all seen how the different ways of shaping the world in the city have also disappeared.

One way of interpreting this collection of more than 150 signs would be to see it as a graveyard for businesses, a museum of displaced shops and streets, or even as a testimony to what our public spaces once were and could yet be. A kind of palimpsest of texts ― some of which mean little or nothing to us today, such as a chamarilería (a rag-and-bone dealer) or a vaquería, (a cowhouse) ― many others in the form of surnames, sometimes local, sometimes those of immigrants. A veritable masterclass in the history of Spanish graphic design, with its aesthetic and political changes, and an investigation into the transformations our cities are undergoing.

In an attempt to negotiate the inevitable nostalgia, None of This Will Last (No va a quedar nada de todo esto) speculates on cities that are less impersonal, more chatty and lively, more diverse and fun, more random and free; it tries to draw visions of the future, albeit based on all this past, because the city we live in today will also pass away, just as the cities of yesteryear have passed away, even though they have returned to the surface in this exhibition. In short, one day the word coworking will be stashed away, who knows where, and will mean as much to people as such longforgotten words as haberdashery and offal shop or corner shop.