NOPHOTO, using the elements of past and present photographs and film, has created a world within a world – a photo exposition that seems to reflect in upon itself and then to expand out to the city that surrounds it: Madrid.
We are in a constant process of mutation, from the styles we wear to the language we speak, and on a grander scale, the cities that we are continuously building up and tearing apart and then again bridge by bridge, tunnel by tunnel, tower by tower, refurbishing, re-expanding, mutating to recreate.
Images of this destruction and creating, taken by this group of 14 photographers born between the 1968 and 1978, begin with the room itself – the old slaughterhouse refrigerator, its brick walls and pillars still intact and frozen in time. Where frozen carcasses once hung, now hang photography and video.
The exhibit brings the viewer through old photographs of giant pigs and cows hanging from their hooves, their ribs open to large shiny knives, poised in mid slash.
These become mixed with photocopies of paper advertising by immigrants who are looking to clean homes, give massage, take care of the elderly. Pictures hang of old Spaniards in love. A video plays consistently of old men reminiscing at the corner bar.
Then there are the photographs of the city itself, where Madrid is the true protagonist. Street corners in which you recognize the pattern of the brick or the flight of the pigeon. Tunnels of construction and the workers who sacrifice themselves in the belief of Madrid’s expansion. Its citizens are caught in moments of regularity, normality, moments I saw walking to the exhibit and faces I saw when I left. Moments that we are all a part of, living the everyday of Madrid.
Yet the cutting down and pasting up of the Matadero (slaughterhouse) itself and the neighborhoods that surround it are not exclusive. The whole of Madrid is a character with the same role. And it is her citizens who are digging, wiring, emigrating, dancing, conversing, processing, voting, draining, who are rigging the transformation of her flanks, slaughtering her to recreate.
More info: Matadero Madrid
Map: Paseo de la Chopera, 10