Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation


Pedro Luis Cembranos


An exercise to audiovisually reconstruct an improbable city of the future based on the few documents that remain of the models and drawings made by Nemesio Sobrevila for his now lost film Al Hollywood Madrileño, which link a rather bizarre and typical Madrid science fiction fantasy with the figure of the anarchist writer Andrés Carranque de Ríos, son of the caretaker of the Madrid’s Municipal Slaughterhouse (now Matadero Madrid), and with the settings for his novel Cinematographer (Cinematógrafo).[LO1] 

As a child, Carranque de Ríos had to turn his hand to all manner of jobs to avoid having to beg on the streets. One of them was as an actor in the early years of what was a then incipient, precarious and quite tenuous Spanish film industry. In his rocky career as a con man, Carranque took part in one of the strangest, most fascinating and indeed most legendary projects in the history of Spanish filmmaking, Al Hollywood Madrileño, by Nemesio Sobrevila, one of the few Spanish filmmakers who was open to the artistic avant-garde of the first decades of the 20th century.

Of all the work that Carranque de Ríos put into those scenes that were set in the city of the future Estikión, only a few photographs of the film shoot remain today.

To recreate that city, Sobrevila drew inspiration from the sets and techniques that Fritz Lang had just used in Metropolis, as well as from Hugh Ferriss’ designs for skyscrapers.

The filming of these models, which were cut out and superimposed, in combination with Sobrevila's own drawings and frame-by-frame montages, served to recreate Estikión, the city of the brainy and symbol of science.

The audiovisual essay is based on the recording of scenarios taken from an improbable Madrid of the future, reconstructed and modified using the most basic image editing and manipulation techniques, as an exercise in reverse historical recreation based on the limited number of images that remain today of the models that Sobrevila made for this film.

His work has been exhibited in several individual and collective exhibitions in such countries as Germany, Rumania, Sweden, Cuba, England, Brazil, France, Portugal, Slovenia or Belgium.

Pedro Luis Cembranos
He has received a number of awards and residency and creation grants such as the BBVA Foundation Multiverse Grant for Videoart, the ArtistaXArtista Grant in Havana (Cuba), the Casa de Velázquez Grant in Madrid, the Institut Français-AC/E Grant in Paris, the Grant of the Essaouira Contemporary Art Centre in Morocco, the Joan Miró Foundation of Mallorca’s Pilar Juncosa and Sotheby's Grant, the Grant of the Portuguese Serigraphy Centre, Lisboa, the Grant of the Druckvereiningung Foundation of Germany, Generations Art Awards and the Matadero Madrid International Mobility Grants for Creators in Brazil.