BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
In Spain, and until well into the 1970's, it was common to find newspaper and magazine sheets in the bathrooms of public establishments, reused to fulfil the function that today we reserve for toilet paper.
The dominant National-Catholic morality and the rigid social control inherent to any dictatorial regime dictated an unwritten norm according to which any page in which either obituaries or reproductions of the effigy of the then head of state, Francisco Franco, should be excluded from this use.
But we also know that these considerations were diluted n the field of the private, and that in many homes the photos of the dictator Franco did receive this eschatological use in a preferential way, in an act of resistance and conscious subversion towards the effigy of authority, embodied in the sad figure of the generalito.
During the month of June 2013 I found a batch of various newspapers (Abc, Ya, Informaciones, Pueblo ...) published between 20 and November 28, 1975.
These documents reflect the official narrative of the moment, and from that point of view they present in detail the short period (less than a week) between the death of the dictator and the coronation of Juan Carlos I as King of Spain, in a change in ownership of power that was not such more than in the epidermal, and whose details and purposes had been designed behind closed doors.
Given their perfect state of preservation, the newspapers found today would reach an approximate value of 4000 Euros in the nostalgic Francoist memorabilia market, which still exists in different areas.
My intervention consisted in the guillotining of these newspapers, reducing them to identical modules, stamped in their upper left corner.
With this simple manipulation, the documents' value was completely nullified.
After undergoing this process, the resulting strips were presented fixed to the bathroom wall of the exhibition space by means of an oxidised nail, available to attendees who can use them as toilet paper behind the closed door of the only intimate space in the room.
The progressive disappearance of these documents through the drain will make it impossible for them, after their inclusion as elements of artistic discourse, to be reintegrated into the field of the symbolic with an additional semantic (and added value) load.