Democratic Transaction

Installation, 2012. 14 postcards, corner fixers  – 1,40×0,45 m

Exhibited at ‘all design’ Research Architecture. Departure Foundation, London (28 Sept – 14 Oct 2012). Curated by Helene Kazan and Louise Ashcroft.

Exhibited at Artfoyer Cavigelli, Zürich (23 Feb – 15 March 2013). Curated by Anca Sinpalean.


My mum has a collection of postcards from 1970s that she received from friends vacationing at the Spanish coast. Those turmoil years were the midpoint of the transition from dictator Franco (died 1975) to the current parliamentary monarchy. The emergent phenomenon of tourism shaped the collective imagination of future urbanity at that time. However, as J.M. Naredo points out, Spain has never been truly democratic; there never was a point of radical discontinuity between both political systems. Francoist oligarchs, who massed their fortunes through engineering, urbanism and banking, have kept (or increased) their status until today. Both regimes overlapped in time in many senses. Some of the original stamps on the postcards – with either Franco’s or the King’s busts – do not even correspond to the actual sovereign of the year the postcard was sent.

Leftist politician J. Anguita rather refers to the period of the Transition as a ‘transaction to democracy’.

I went to the same coastal places and bought the image of today. Even if speculative urbanization has become worse, overcrowded beaches are marketed as empty paradises. The coast tries to negate the mistakes from the past by deleting them from present souvenirs.

Read Feature at Domus Magazine.















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