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Ser y durar

Democracia is a duo formed in 2006 by Pablo España and Iván López, founders and members of El Perro collective (1989-2006). This artist group’s statement defines their work in a very clear way: “the decision to work as a group springs from the intention of engaging in an artistic practice centred on discussion and the clash of ideas and forms of action. The fact of working in a group in itself establishes an interest in intervening in the social sphere, by means of ideas of commitment to the real. The projects reflect a concern with the increasing staging of current life”.


In this occasion, the project Ser y Durar is made of eleven photographs representing different graves in Madrid’s La Almudena Civil Cemetery. These pictures perpetuate graves of deceased, so that their anonymities can revive “the memory of fighters from armies, and social and political organizations who aspired to a utopia driven by humanist values, while Modernity’s great tales of emancipation still made sense.” (Piedad Solans, Contra el Público). The only thing left are their epitaphs: “Don’t shed tears over my death / Continue the fight / Onward forever / Over the graves”, “There is nothing after death”. Words left by people who devoted their existences to some ideals, motivated by the hope for a different and better society. These ideals are still a dream, a dream that gave meaning and utility to their lives and even to their deaths.


Democracia also works in publishing (they are directors of Nolens Volens magazine) and curatorial projects (No Futuro, Madrid Abierto 2008, Creador de Dueños). They have exposed in several institutions such as the Fundación Pilar y Joan Miró, Palma de Mallorca; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France.

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