2012-2013. “User’s Guide” Exhibition, Centro Centro, Madrid [Spain]
Turning Madrid Skyline into recreational-participatory facilities.
Skyline iconicity is most frequently used as an easily recognizable motif suitable to decorate t-shirts or souvenirs, a novelty to lure some unprepared tourists fed up with Cibeles and statues. John McHale was quite clear when he stated that millions of copies of Parthenon reproduced in small scale and sold all over the world were much more important than the original historical building in itself. It’s all just urban marketing, cities losing their minds trying to own the biggest one…
Madrid plays this game of urban identity definition through the image of very large buildings protruding above city skyline to be seen from far away. In spite of not being clearly recognizable from any outside location, Madrid not only shows off its traditional skyline, but also has increased it in recent years by the erection of for towers, a symbol of “the city that could have been better (but it wasn’t)”.
However, skyline ability to represent the identity of a city is out of doubt, that’s why it is unavoidable to reinterpret it. [MAD] SKYLINE games proposes turning some representative buildings of Madrid Skyline into recreational-participatory facilities to fit out Centro Centro. It is a prototype for the activation of “public property” and the appropriation of Madrid identity by its citizens and visitors. Kio Towers turned into a double and simultaneous Ping-Pong “KIOPONG”, Picasso Tower as an active bench “PICASSHELVES”, Torrespaña building as a mini-golf hole “PIRUGOLF” or España building as nine slides “SPAINSLIDE”. A new skyline occupied by Madrilenians having fun… [MAD] SKYLINE games.