Wires, Black Boxes and Urban Fetishes

The Palace as Seen by elii
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06.02.2020 - 17.01.2021

Tuesday - Sunday, 10 am -20 pm

Floor 4

Since it first opened as the Communications Palace a hundred years ago, this building has had various incarnations and has been the focus of myriad gazes. This idea of looking, of assessing from different points of view, underpins this series of exhibitions, El Palacio visto por... (The Palace as Seen by...) in which we invite, on an annual basis, different artists and architects to create an exhibition that includes an informative overview based on the building’s archives and history, while also offering their own individual perceptions of the palace.

In the drawing of the façade that Palacios and Otamendi submitted for the tender for the new palace in 1904, we can see a number of wires that connect the tower to the pinnacles that crown the façades of the building, as well as to the rest of the city. However, during construction the wires were eliminated. Why was that? For the last few months, elii has been following the trail of those wires. Wires, Black Boxes and Urban Fetishes is the result of their research, where we will discover that the wires were in fact buried and integrated into an invisible city: an urban black box; an imperceptible technological world that exists beneath our feet. Through the palace we will gain access to the city’s black box and to questions about how we should design our urban ecosystems, 101 years after the opening of this emblematic icon, one of Madrid’s true architectural fetishes.

elii is an architecture office, founded in Madrid in 2006 by Uriel Fogué, Eva Gil and Carlos Palacios. Their professional practice encompasses the fields of teaching and research. Elii was part of the Spanish Pavilion during the 15th Venice Biennale of Architecture (it was awarded the 2016 Golden Lion). Two of their works have been selected for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies Van Der Rohe Award (2015, 2019); they have obtained the First Prize of the College of Architects of Madrid (2017) and they have also won the COAM Prize on five occasions (2018, 2016, 2013, 2011, 2006). They are the authors of the book: What is Home Without a Mother (HIAP – Matadero Madrid, 2015), which won an award at the 13th Biennial of Spanish Architecture and Urbanism 2015, and they are co-editors of UHF, a publication that is included in the Creators Archive of Madrid.