Archivo F.X., 2001

F.X. Archives, 2001
Media installation, Various dimensions

Pedro G. Romero defines his project Archivo F.X. in these terms:

“The main body of the Archivo F.X., is made up of photographic and cinematographic images that show shattered sculptures, slashed canvases, burnt rooms, churches dismantled stone by stone... portraits, caricatures and emblems of nihilism. To establish the plans for a possible development, a series of indices classify these images taking as a model for the Thesaurus the names of styles, movements, magazines, artists and works that have come to be known as modern avant-garde. The rest of the documents are texts and images that help both to date the historical event, the iconoclastic action, and to underline the connection between the documentary image and the term that, in this archive, names it. Thus, there are successive clarifications of the action, the image or film and the photographer or camera operator who captured them together with the political, propagandistic and documentary details of the images. In addition, the literatures, pamphlets, fantasies and mythologies that these documents have generated are brought together and philosophical, aesthetic and scientific reflections are offered that have served either to justify these actions or to question them. Also included are more general reflections that, often, share a genealogy with the terms used to designate within the archive. The archive also contains texts from the movements, magazines or artists that form its table of contents, espe<p>cially all those that effectively marry with the image named.”

Pedro G. Romero has been working on the Archivo F.X. project since the late ‘90s. As he himself describes it, the archive takes the form of a collection, constantly being added to, of different materials that document cases of iconoclasm lived in Spain during the period around the Civil War. The materials are classified in a Thesaurus in which each image is related with a concept, an artist or a category from the history of art. In this way a formal relationship is established, a play on words, between the image of iconoclasm, the result of the destruction of a pre-existing image, and the visual culture acquired through the avant-gardes and contemporary artistic movements.

As Pilar Parcerisas explains when referring to the materials of the archive that deal with the Setmana Tràgica (The Tragic Week) in Barcelona: “Pedro G. Romero acts according to this method of relational similitude on various levels. On one hand, the image of the old postcards, landscapes of devastating iconoclasm. On the other, there are the present-day photographs of the places where the events took place. And there is even a third level, on which the various categories from the history of art, in the form of a Thesaurus, are related, also for similitude, with the old image of the postcards and the site as it is now. Each place, each image has its reference or artistic reading (De Chirico, Acconci, Secession, Steiner, Torres-García, Salvat-Papasseit, Sant’elia, Klein, Matta-Clark, etc.).” Parcerisas continues: “With this work, Pedro G. Romero sets in motion the gears of a kind of total art that has its roots in the time machine, recovering the original nihilist sense of the artistic avant-garde that shook the mechanisms of art, a machine célibataire that gave rise to a new concept of beauty and poetry. In the configuration of these machines, we should not forget the psychological-philosophical-aesthetic connections established between Roussel, Duchamp, Benjamin and Warburg as the machinery of modernity, nor other nearer keys to interpretation (...). Romero, at the same time, questions the task of the artist in this era of technical reproducibility and constructs an image of thought in the style of Benjamin, without renouncing – and this is even more difficult – the representational nature of art.” (1)

In short, the archive, clearly related to Mnemosyne by Aby Warburg, Passagen-werk by Walter Benjamin and Document by George Bataille, is conceived of, then, as a political tool. It is an instrument with which to work the rough terrain of nihilism with the aim of making it more productive. In this sense, the concentration on iconoclasm – destructive in terms of anti-sacramental politics, constructive in terms of the visual constructions of the modern project - responds not only to a methodology of indexing but also to a political desire to introduce critical elements into the very heart of nihilism. A eulogy to profanation that aims to return to nihilism its original sense, that of being a tool that gives back things to the common use.

The archive can be consulted on-line at any time. For its display in the form of an exhibition, G. Romero specifically adapts the archive for the location in which it is to be exhibited, making partial selections of material and working specific aspects of the iconoclastic actions. The MACBA Collection contains various materials belonging to the Archivo F.X. project. The list below indicates, on the one hand, the group of works that are for exhibition, and which visitors may see periodically in the exhibition rooms of the Museum, and on the other, the documentary material ceded by the artist to MACBA, much of which can be consulted in the library.

(1) Pilar Parcerisas, “Cartografies de la memòria”, a Pedro G. Romero F.X., sobre el fi de l’art / F.X., sobre la fi de l’art. La Setmana Tràgica. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya. Departament de Cultura, 2002.

Pedro G. Romero Publications / Archivo F.X. in the MACBA Collection:

Hojas de Libre Circulación nº 1, 2, 3
MACBA. Antagonismos. Casos de Estudio.
Publication of sheets in A3 format. They are presented to the public arranged in a pile and are free to visitors. Barcelona, 2001

Hojas de Libre Circulación from num. 4 to num. 14
Publication of sheets in A3 format. They are presented to the public arranged in a pile and are free to visitors.
Reg. 2558

Tesauro. Deacciones
MACBA. Antagonismos. Casos de Estudio.
Two twenty-minute videos, shown on two screens, in parallel. Documentary cinema images and text. Barcelona, 2001

Tesaurus Anarquitecturas
MACBA. Antagonismos. Casos de Estudio.
Two sets of 81 slides, projected in parallel. Barcelona, 2001

Pedro G. Romero Publications / Archivo F.X. in the MACBA document collection:

La Semana Trágica
Publication and facsimiles of 100 postcards. Barcelona, 2002

_____Publication: La Setmana Tràgica / F.X. sobre el fi de l’art. Barcelona: Departament de Cultura de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 2002.

_____Postcards: La Setmana Tràgica. Sucesos de Barcelona

Hojas de libre circulación nº 4, 5, 6
Graphic material on A3. Valencia, 2002.

En el ojo de la batalla
Publication. Valencia: University of Valencia, Rector Peset College, 2002.

Hojas de libre circulación nº 7 y 8
Graphic material on A3. Barcelona, 2002.

Recorrido F.X.
Guide for the anti-globalisation march called by the Seville Social Forum.
A4 Flyer, Seville, 2002.

Hoja de libre circulación nº 13
Graphic material on A3. Santander, 2002.

Hojas de libre circulación nº 14 y 15
Graphic material on A3. Barcelona, 2002.

Sacer, fugas sobre lo sagrado y la vanguardia en Sevilla
Publication and set of postcards. Seville: UNIA Seville International University, 2004.

Lo viejo y lo nuevo, ¿Qué hay de nuevo, viejo?
Publication and graphic material on A5. Olot: Culture Institute, Olot, 2004.

Technical details

Original title:
Archivo F.X.
Registration number:
Romero, Pedro G. - Archivo F.X.
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Media installation
Printed ink on paper
Various dimensions
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.