The Spanish real estate crisis forged its speculative basis during the mid-eighties and reached its phase of collapse in 2008, when the so-called Brick Bubble exploded.
The resulting recession caused a social catastrophe that extended to the following decades. More than ever, rising house prices and an agressive speculative market define the reality that the inhabitants of urban centers have to face.
A paradigmatic example of this extreme situation is Puente de Vallecas district in Madrid.
A highly populated working-class neighbourhood located in what was once the socioeconomic south of Madrid, Puente de Vallecas is currently an area progressively assimilated to the center of the city and therefore a valuable real state target.
In this geographical delimitation I developed Weeds, a project that began in 2011 and was carried out until 2017, the year in which I left Madrid.
After observing a gradual increase in the number of real estate advertisements (both rental and sale) present in the area, mostly in the form of paper prints fixed to walls and other urban elements, I began a methodical harvesting of these items.
Following from a discrete distance the real estate agents in charge of the daily distribution of ads, I would remove those flyers from the walls, car windshield wipers, bus stops and any other points where they had been placed minutes before.
Over time, I learned the routes and times of each agent, assimilating them as a constant extension of my own daily activities.
A rigorous counting and documenting of these elements followed, and through their observation one can trace the evolution of market trends, prices and other real state strategies.
This long term process was finally completed when thousands of the collected flyers where presented publicly, covering entirely the walls of ABM, an exhibition space located in the same district of Puente de Vallecas.