Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

From 1 October to 30 December 2021

Jose Iglesias Gª-Arenal

Destroying the Sewers. An analysis of the male, racist and heteronormative gaze that has shaped the national landscape from its peripheries.

“When the War ends we will destroy the sewers. The perfect birth control for Spain is the one God wanted to give us. Sewers are a luxury that should be reserved for those who deserve them, the rulers of Spain, not the flock of slaves” Captain Aguilera, Franco's press officer.

Starting from the history of the colonisation villages that were built in rural areas of Spain from the 1940s onwards and an analysis of the fascist ideological foundations of Franco's National-Catholicism, this project looks at the male, racist and heteronormative gaze that has shaped the national landscape.

“Destroying the Sewers” reflects on the intersection between body and territory, food and pain, desert and city, in the rural areas of southern Spain. Through photographs and archives, current documents and materials linked to the transformation of the soil (cement, lime, flour, lithium...), I want to ask myself how a hegemonic masculinity was built on the expulsion of a plurality of ways of perceiving the territory.

How can we “hack” the modernising national-catholic gaze to which the democratic territorial organisation is heir, and look for its cracks, its glitches? What would it be like to look against the grain of the masculinities that shaped the perception of peripheries during the 20th century?

Master’s degree in Curatorial Studies at the Whitechapel Gallery (2017) and in “art praxis” at the Dutch Art Institute Roaming Academy (2020). José Iglesias works as an artist and curator in collective research processes from a perspective that criticises neoliberal heteronormative colonial structures.

As an artist he has had individual exhibitions such as Facebook's Pavilion (Palazzo Lucarini, Trevi, Italy, 2014), MÁQUINA EUROPA; “The Hadrons of Clemente VII” (Espacio Iniciarte, Córdoba, 2018) or “Shadow of a Monument” (FASE. Espacio de Creación y Pensamiento, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, 2021). He has curated exhibitions such as “Melfas. Organic Line” (MACSur, Buenos Aires, 2017), “Islands of Sand” by the artist Azahara Cerezo (Bòlit. Centre d’Art Contemporani de Girona, 2020) or “Close to the Ground” (MAL+Sala Guirigai, Los Santos de Maimona, 2021), and projects such as ARTifariti 2016. After the Future. International Encounter of Arts and Human Rights (Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algiers, 2016).  Since 2019 he has been directing the curatorial platform MAL (