The exhibition of the Archivo F.X. project by Pedro G. Romero (Aracena, 1964) shows this documentary collection, which began in 1999. This project consists of different types of files, most notably an extensive collection of images from iconoclastic, anti-sacramental political occurrences in Spain between 1845 and 1945. In his archive Romero draws parallels with the iconoclastic pulse present in all avant-garde modern art. In Archivo F.X., an open archive, relationships of readings from documentary sources of image are established -iconoclastic ones- and the dictionary that names it -the artistic index-. The instrument used by Romero for it, is the composition of this archive with over a thousand images, documentary films, reflections on seminars and publications. It also includes various social and political practices on anticlerical, political iconoclasm in Spain, such as: beheaded statues, soiled paintings, pierced architectures, expropriated sacred spaces, reuse of religious buildings, or the smelting of objects of worship for civil industry.
This exhibition covers all Spanish geography and stops at the events of the Semana Trágica (Tragic Week) in Barcelona (from 26 to 31 July 1909, abundantly documented) and the Civil War, especially in the summer of 1936 with photographs of temples and devotional images being devastated. One of the most striking pieces is the reconstruction of the Checa, psychological torture site installed in 1938 in the church on Calle Vallmajor in Barcelona. This is a 2 metre high and one and a half metre wide room, some two by two and a half metres wide, with floors covered in oblique bricks. The cell was built by the Communists to detain Trotskyists and anarchists, it also consisted of two seats angled to prevent rest and was decorated with geometric patterns reminiscent of some works of European art between the wars.
In Romero’s archive, available online, political and propaganda details of these images are narrated; they include the literature, pamphlets, fantasies and mythologies that these documents have generated and philosophical, aesthetic or scientific reflection are offered that have served both to justify and question these actions. The origins of the name of his archive may refer to "File X", an archive that holds the unclassifiable, the unknown but also has connotations of special effects and even of f(x), the function of "x" as a complex, open archive that becomes a tool, useful for knowledge.
Collection artworks included in the exhibition
Museo Reina Sofía Publications
1 December 2023 – 10 March 2024
Ulla von Brandenburg
29 November 2023 - 11 March 2024
15 November 2023 - 4 March 2024
The Turning Point
4 October 2023 - 26 February 2024
27 September 2023 - 22 January 2024
Call It Something Else
Something Else Press, Inc. (1963-1974)
27 October 2023 - 9 February 2024
Text and Image, a Perfect Symbiosis
José García Tella Through His Personal ArchiveLibrary and Documentation Centre