CentroCentro, Madrid’s Town Hall cultural centre has recently inaugurated the exhibition “Atlas of the ruins of Europe“, a new project which is part of the centre’s seasonal program reflecting on Europe since last May. Organized and produced by CentroCentro, the exhibition explores the ruins of modern European infrastructures, taking more than 140 examples -prints, books, paintings, photographs, video and other documents- from over a hundred artists, ranging from the century XVI to the present.
“Atlas of the Ruins of Europe”
September 29, 2016 – January 29, 2017
Plaza Cibeles, 1
The project takes ruins as a tool and language to read the history and memory of Europe against the current. As explained by the curators, Julia Morandeira and Jose Riello, “in this exhibition the ruin is understood not only as a result of wearing-out or the material and symbolic destruction, but also in its expressive dimension: it is a narrative element that can be used to build new accounts, as a witness but also as an index for any past and future imaginable events, as a commodity at the service of different ideologies and as a fragment full of potential. ”
The exhibition presents a journey through four sections. Nature / Culture / Body explores how debris has articulated an ideal throughout history as well as a confrontation between culture and nature; Infrastructure refers to the institutional fabric that directs, produces and governs the idea of Europe; Superstructure discusses how to produce and organize the territory; finally, Destruction / Repair refers to the ruin of war, iconoclasm, reconstruction and memory.
The exhibition is organized by the logic of Aby Warburg’s image atlas. It exposes an atlas of anachronistic images without any explanation, which allows the visitor to recombine them to make his own speech. “This exhibition does not say or show” explain the curators, “it presents a discontinuous, incomplete account of Europe with the potential to be rewritten and re-imagined“.
The exhibition has been possible thanks to the collaboration of institutions such as the Historical Library Marqués de Valdecilla (UCM), the National Library of Spain, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, CA2M-ARCO Foundation, Municipal Newspaper Library of Madrid, Goethe Institute (Madrid), The Menil Collection (Houston), Metropolitan Museum (New York), MNCARS, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Cerralbo Museum, National Museum of Anthropology, National Museum of Decorative Arts, Prado Museum, University College (London), and Victoria & Albert Museum (London) as well as different contemporary art galleries and national and foreign artists.