press release

Hard Gelatin takes a look at the Spanish situation in the 1980s by reconsidering the stories generated during this period and questioning them from today’s perspective.

The official account of the 1980s in Spain advocated the establishment of a democracy that prioritised looking to the future over an analysis of the recent past. It was a story that projected oblivion and forgetfulness, and obviated any critical consideration of its possible affiliation with the Francoist regime. Used by politicians and treated as a festive event, culture was exploited as a means of promoting the image of a country with an active and dynamic youth, a common project that had overcome a bleak period and contemplated the future with an apparent renewed energy.

Hard Gelatin proposes a pluralist look at the 80s, reconsidering the stories generated by social, political and economic developments between 1977 and 1992. The exhibition, which takes its name from a verse by Eduardo Haro Ibars, aims to recover the experiences and memories of that period from today’s perspective and based on seven possible accounts: "Forgotten memory," about anti-history, counter-information and the omission of the recent past; "Blind spots," from autonomous groups to the institutionalisation of democracy; "From blue overalls to white collars," from the dismantling of workers’ movements to neoliberalism; "In the neighbourhood of my dreams," from real state to the city as spectacle; "Beautiful losers," on drugs and prisons; "Stolen words," counterculture versus the art institution; and "Gaseous state," on otherness.

Along with an examination of the most important historical events, the exhibition features the work of groups, cultural activists and artists who adopted irony and refutation as forms of subversion and dissent. Through films, documentaries, TV programmes, current event magazines, comics, fanzines, artwork and anti-artistic exercises, in which the aesthetic and socio-political intertwine, Hard Gelatin invites a reflection on a fascinating period of our recent history and that of today.

Works by Francesc Abad, Agustín Parejo School, Colita, Pepe Espaliú, Marcelo Expósito, Daniel García Andújar, Isaías Griñolo + Angustias García, Lluís Juncosa, Manolo Laguillo, Rogelio López Cuenca, Muntadas, Ocaña, Carlos Pazos, Pere Portabella, SIEP, Taller Llunàtic (Bartomeu Cabot and Josep Albertí), Francesc Torres, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, Video-Nou, Jaume Xifra and Zush amongst others.