A Change of Aesthetics: Citizen Ruptures in the Spanish Transition

A course conducted by Germán Labrador

24, 25, 28, 30 and 31 January 2019

Museo Reina Sofía, 5pm / Sabatini Building, Workshops


This course, with its design rooted in the exhibition The Poetics of Democracy. Images and Counter-Images from the Spanish Transition, explores the imaginary of 1970s Spain from a central hypothesis: the articulation, in the confrontation with Francoism and post-Francoism, of citizens’ breakaway resulting from an upsurge in certain aesthetic practices. Through these practices, new political subjects were shaped in opposition to the regime’s institutions and forms of discipline. This other society included women, young people, neighbourhood groups and “dangers to society”, the last of which refer to the Francoist Law that stigmatised those considered a menace to the regime, from beggars to homosexuals. In parallel, the emergence of this multifarious civil society and its struggles for emancipation questions the limits of the dictatorship and the transition to democracy, its practices producing and organising alternative forms of culture and social and urban models, in addition to ways of life referred to here inside this framework as ‘transitional’. The documents of such actions and proposals constitute a democratic archive, susceptible to questioning, in exhibition terms, and intervened in from the present. Thus, to think about the transitional legacy means to reflect upon the origins, devices and limits of democracy, and imagine its possible transformations.

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