Curatorial Statement

"When we recall, when we invoke the memory to render it clearer, we stack associations just as when we pile up bricks to build a building. Memory is a way of architecture."

Louise Bourgeois

Bogart Cinema. Imagining a Building

In the autumn of 2013 six artists visited Bogart Cinema, which had been closed since 2001. Each one of them documented its visit and now they show the result of their most personal interpretations of the building in this exhibition: its spaces, architectural symbols and the stories that happened inside. The artists work in a direct dialogue with the archi-tecture; the resulting pieces, specially produced for this exhibition, rebuild the memories of their visits, invoke the particularities of its architecture and invite the visitor to imagine the building. We rescue it from the memory of the city in order to reflect on the unused spaces around us.

The Bogart Cinema is located in the city centre of Madrid, behind the Congress and a few steps away from Alcalá Street. Its current form is the result of several enlargements and renovations that took place since it was first designed, in 1907, and 1929, when the last one of them took place. Many of the original elements of that renovation still remain. Dur-ing its almost 100 years, the building has hosted a cinema, a theatre, a cabaret, a ballroom and even a Spanish frontón exclusively for women. It has also had multiple names: Madrid Ballroom, Madrid Frontón, Rey Alfonso Theater-cinema, Picadilly Club, Lido Club, Pano-rama Cinema, Arniches Theater, Cedaceros Cinema and Bogart Cinema. In short, a direct witness of Madrid’s social and cultural life during the past century.

After more than one decade of dereliction and no plans for the future, its doors will “open” for this exhibition. Art, architecture and memory: urban unused spaces that invite us to reflect on the city, its buildings and their possibilities; on the endless, dif-ficult and vital need of keeping them alive.

Inés Caballero