We Protect You from Yourselves: Group Show

Eduardo Arroyo ·  Equipo Crónica ·  DEMOCRACIA ·  Kendell Geers ·  Núria Güell ·  Imon Boy ·  Eugenio Merino ·  Joan Pallé ·  Avelino Sala

Ten years ago, on October 3, 2014, we inaugurated the exhibition We Protect You from Yourselves by DEMOCRACIA collective at ADN Galeria. Among the pieces that made up this exhibition, there was a series of portraits of officers who were part of the Intervention Units of the National Police Force. The images had been captured by artists the previous year during the demonstration that took place in the city of Madrid on April 25, 2013 under the slogan "Asedia el Congreso". At the close of the exhibition, two complaints were filed against both the gallery and the artists: one for criminal libel and the other for the exhibition of personal data filed by the Unified Police Union through administrative proceedings at the Spanish Data Protection Agency. 


As is well known, the story that the gallery has built around the triad art, politics and society, has received more denunciations and pressures from other groups and institutions. These episodes have left a mark on our history, prompting us to reflect as we revisit 16 retratos. This time, altered voluntarily by DEMOCRACIA, under what we might call a "legal imperative" with dual aims: to protect us from ourselves and to show that self-censorship is in the default toolbox of the cultural sector.


We complement these altered portraits with additional pieces from the ADN Collection and works by artists we work with, all exploring police iconography and subject matters. As you step into the Locker Room, you're greeted by Eduardo Arroyo's drawing, El arresto del estudiante Julio López (1968), engaging in a dialogue with Kendell Geers' PlayPreyPayPray (2011) and Equipo Crónica's Espectador de espectadores (1972). In the main room, you'll find Núria Güell's Aportación de Agentes del Orden (2009) –iconic piece of her artistic practice–, alongside other artworks infused with humor and irony, such as paintings by Imon Boy or sculptures like Eugenio Merino's Antidisturbios de juguete (2019) and Joan Pallé's Antifa Ecstasy Pill. The exhibition concludes with a small watercolor by Avelino Sala from the Blockhouse series (2012-2016), inspired by the Organic Law 4/2015 of March 30 on the protection of citizen security, commonly known as the Mordaza Law.



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