Ghosts in the Closet: Reinventions Inside Francoism

Patricia Molins

Fons audiovisual / Lectures and debates

The destruction of homes during the bombings of the Spanish Civil War led to the task of rebuilding after the war, with an urgency that did not just respond to peremptory material necessity. What was also at stake was visual and social effect of destroyed housing, which was strongly accented in the propaganda of the time. Architects and artists were involved in the creation of interiors, insisting in factors like their symbolic and political features. After defending the idea of craft in the popular, more historicist models of the early 1940s, in the 1950s there was a shift from the concept of the decorative arts to that of industrial design. The Craft Market, the Colonisation Villages, the FAD, the SEDI and other artistic collectives working in design (such as Equipo 57), along with the rising presence of interior design in the media, were just some of the highlights from that period, when some of the finest artists and architects of the moment were engaged. Convinced that it was the State and those under its orders who had to determine what kind of housing was to be built, thus determining the lives of those inhabiting new housing, residents ended up having to just go along, offering no opinion, turned into mere puppet figures on the street and ghosts in their own homes.

Patricia Molins is an art historian. She has given lectures and offered classes on the history of design in Masters at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Universitat Politècnica de València, the CEU in Valencia, Madrid’s IED, the Universidad Europea de Madrid and the Universidad de Navarra, amongst others. As a curator and writer she has worked on exhibitions dedicated to graphic designers (Ricard Giralt Miracle, Mauricio Amster and Enric Crous, amongst others) and to interior and general design: Arquitectura y arte de los años cincuenta en Madrid (Centre Cultural de la Fundació “la Caixa”, Barcelona, 1996), La ciudad moderna. Arquitectura racionalista en Valencia (IVAM, València, 1998), Suiza constructiva (MNCARS, Madrid, 2002), Rietveld. Utopía y pragmatismo (Museo de Artes Decorativas, Madrid 2008) and Encuentros de Pamplona 1972 (MNCARS, Madrid, 2009), amongst others.

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