It is quite possible that the great exodus from the city to the town and the rural world triggered by the pandemic may well be a reference. Teleworking brought about this massive displacement, the essence of which will eventually remain after the returns and adjustments that are already being imposed. But there is no doubt that this phenomenon created new links between ideas and people, spaces and times, proposing intuitions that take us into the experience of the city in the post-pandemic dystopian scenario that characterises the so-called Rural Galaxy of the Techno-city.
However, that period was characterised above all by an unbridled increase in control over people, often subjected to the paradox of believing themselves freer than ever before thanks to the possibilities and dominion of technology. This is reflected in Life Inside the Techno-city, where maximum freedom coexists with the loss of all intimacy, as if the god of technology could penetrate even the most secret corner of our minds, and which has been translated into concepts.
The exhibition follows the symbolism of the number 3, as Dante Alighieri did in his Divine Comedy, and in this way the visitor travels through the exhibition supported by the exemplary trajectories of three magisters: a philosopher, a musician and a writer, the guides/gurus/sherpas who lead us into the city. They are Javier Echeverría (Pamplona, 1948), Llorenç Barber (Aielo de Malferit, Valencia, 1948) and Noni Benegas (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1947).
Everything revolves around the concept of social and cultural interactivity in the processes of political innovation and community, but this time revised from the perspective of cultural expression as the driving force behind the formalisation of these processes. Everything has been brutal: the post-COVID-19 scenario and its aftermath of bio-techno-surveillance and the establishment of controls over the citizen as never seen before; the crisis of climate change and our relationship with the planet; the spectre of war that rides again along with other horsemen of the apocalypse, all of this places us squarely in a paradoxical technological environment.
"Ciudad Adentro is an exhibition of a new kind, which offers us the opportunity to redesign our time, where the boldness of public art perhaps consists of slowing down our rhythm", says José Tono Martínez, curator of the exhibition, who believes that it is also a time of opportunity to recover forgotten spaces of intensity and intimacy, of reading and listening, and even to recover new alternatives for creation and personal fulfilment, of coexistence and work, building from the bottom up, from the small to the large.
In his opinion, the most original feature of the exhibition is undoubtedly that it does not focus on the work per se, but on an allegory that allows for the mapping of feelings in civic life, incorporating reflections that include the concepts of wellbeing, dissonance, technonomadism, enjoyment and creation, inspiration and ecstasy, happiness and celebration as a communal festival. An exhibition that in the end "allows us to see where we have come from and where we are going".
The exhibition, which occupies the first north gallery of the Palacio de Comunicaciones in Madrid's Plaza de Cibeles, will remain on display until 18 December.