Long before it was the subject of controversy, inclusive language was already used in the union posters of the Alcoy industrialist. “To all the workers …” was the heading of an anarchist convocation of 1904. Other documents from the same period invoked “the workers and workers” and called the general meeting “to all the carders in wool and devils (…) “. These supposed followers of Satan were in charge of working with the dangerous textile machine called La diabla, which recycled threads and fabrics.
This textile past of the Alicante city is part of the exhibition Industry / Matrices, Plots and Sounds, presented by the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM). Also the old iron and steel legacy of Sagunto, the ceramics of l’Alcora or the footwear of Alicante, locations circumscribed to the territory of the Valencian Community. But they could be other enclaves with a similar industrial tradition. The general idea is to relate the forms of social organization around the industrial, both at the time when the factories were operating and, later, when they become heritage, often more valued by the new generations than by those who suffered their closure. .
In this sense, the exhibition is part of the current trend of creating archives of memory for artistic purposes based on legacies that are often neglected or forgotten. Added to this purpose is the interest in rescuing the sound heritage of manufacturing jobs, for example, which have not focused as much interest as the trades of other sectors in the processes of ethnological and artistic recovery of popular culture, as explained by the curators , Tono Vizcaíno and Lorenzo Sandoval, on the show that can be seen until October 17.
”Tono Vizcaíno is an archaeologist and heritage manager, Lorenzo Sandoval is an artist. This project is based on this hybrid gaze, focused on the study of heritage and collective memories ”, commented Nuria Enguita, director of the IVAM. Both drives, memory and sound, come together in this research exhibition, which brings together industrial pieces, publications, photographs, posters, records, videos and numerous sound documents (such as an Ovidi Montllor album from 1974 that talks about workers). There are also recordings of factory chants or sessions of dj organized in factories converted into self-managed social centers.
The use of alternative groups
“The exhibition focuses particularly on the proactive uses of industrial heritage promoted by citizens, from social centers busy, the participatory asset activation or the organization of raves and cultural events ”, stated the curators of this dynamic project that includes performances and other activities organized throughout its exhibition.
The sample reflects the appropriation of the factory spaces abandoned by alternative collectives and the cultural use that is made of the industrial and post-industrial concept, which is substantiated in the organization of raves in old ships or in the exploitation of the machine in the musical drift of the so-called route of the cod (or route destroy). This particular route, which was active from the eighties to the mid-nineties, ran mainly along the road parallel to the sea that linked Valencia and Sueca, marked out by nightclubs whose schedules were supplemented to be in operation throughout the weekend. week.
In these places, avant-garde music began to be played. Then it was drifting towards the sound machine whose aesthetic correlate drank from the Soviet avant-gardes of the interwar period, as can be seen in the pieces in the exhibition, at least in its posters. Two posters invite you to attend the Party of the machines in 1991 at a well-known disco or at Worker rave in 2008, simulating Cyrillic characters. This machine aesthetic associated with the route of cod contrasts with that of his contemporary Madrid movida, more pepper and colorful, and less interclass, according to some revisionist music critics in recent years.
The social burden is very present in the exhibition that aims to go beyond “the perspectives romanticizing, commonly associated with those of images that are linked to industrial heritage ”, according to the curators. Documentation related to the collectivizations during the Civil War, the forms of socialization derived from factory work and the initiatives of citizen claim of industrial heritage are also exhibited.
The director of the Valencian museum has highlighted that Industry / Matrices, frames and sounds “Understands heritage and history as living, non-closed processes that allow generating tools to understand the past, present and future of the history of work and its relations with culture.”
The exhibition is open to reading and listening in order not to lose the archival character of the project. Thus, a good part of the materials can be consulted by visitors in the installation inspired by the Workers Club (1925) by the great artist of the Russian avant-garde Alexander Rodchenko. Once it is closed, the archive will be transferred to the IVAM Library to facilitate its access and consultation.