NOTHING WILL BE LEFT OF ALL THIS | Madrid graphic heritage



Date: 3 November 2023 - 10 March 2024


Madrid graphic heritage

03.11.2023 - 10.03.2024
Tuesday - Sunday, 10:00 - 20:00
Floor 4

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Pokemon - 1997

History is the object of a construction whose place is not constituted by homogeneous and empty time, but by a time full of now.
Walter Benjamin

Since 2017, the Paco Graco collective has collected commercial graphics of the many businesses that are closing in Madrid, and thus rescues them from disappearance. Not only the handmade signs of centuries-old stores, but also the ugly methacrylate plastics of more or less new stores that were only open a few years. We have been seeing how, by dismantling neon, marquetry and plexiglass, ways of making the world in the city have also faded.

This collection, of more than 150 signs, can be interpreted as a business cemetery, a museum of displaced shops and streets, or also as a witness of what our public space has been and could be. A kind of palimpsest of texts - some without current meaning, such as chamarilería or dairy farm, many others consisting of surnames, sometimes local, other times migrated -, a lesson in the history of Spanish graphic design, with its aesthetic and political changes, and a research on the transformations that our cities are experiencing.

There will be nothing left of all this, trying to manage the inevitable nostalgia, and speculating on cities that are less impersonal, more vocal and lively, more diverse and fun, disordered and free; wants to develop views towards the future, even from all this past, because the city we live in today will also pass away, as did the ancient cities that return to the surface in this exhibition. In short, soon the term coworking will have the same meaning, stored who knows where, as the old words haberdashery, junk shop or grocery store.

About Paco Graco
When only franchises remain, no one will believe that on our streets there once were family businesses, specialized stores, construction materials stores, and all kinds of essential stores. We recover all the signs of the businesses that are closing, with the aim of achieving a permanent museum of commercial graphics in Madrid.

Paco Graco is a living archive, both of the signs that are still on the streets, and of those that have been rescued, donated and recovered from containers or from people who contacted us. It is an extensible family. Today it is a project by Alberto Nanclares, Mercedes Moral, Guillermo Borreguero and Zuloark.

In 2019, Paco Graco promoted the founding of the Iberian Network in Defense of Graphic Heritage, which today brings together more than 40 nodes in 30 cities in Spain and Portugal, with the aim of exchanging experiences and creating joint strength in the protection of this heritage.


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