CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo


10 OCTOBER 2018 - 27 JANUARY 2019


As always, we are caught between desire and appearances, between the wanting and seeming of a Spanish night that does not allow us to see fully. Between the legacy of our historical nostalgia and the present of our histrionic moment, it is in the baroque, in brownish-grey, in oiliness, where we will find ways to negotiate with a painful and elusive tradition. The narrative of an imageless city, from whose darkness also emerges the clarity of an idea, the inspiration missing in the text or the serenity and intensity of silence.

Querer parecer noche (To want to seem night) is an exhibition featuring various forms of artistic production in Madrid with a remit to imagine darkness. Instead of objective analysis, we will raise a curtain of anachrony and phase-lags; instead of a portrait of a state of affairs, we give ourselves over to intuitions and palace intrigues. A form of partial, eccentric madness, perhaps caused by passion or bedroom secrets, that helps us to speculate on what makes a city which constantly eschews continuity so unique. Without a genealogy or overriding movement, everything that draws a timeline or narrative line is here: love, dreams and chance.

The incision we propose is one of many possibilities in a given context, with its different sensibilities and ways of doing things, where the idea of the local is built jointly by those who inhabit it and those who are passing through. A kind of limbo or plateau, suspended between north and south, which is defined by openly embracing what is outside with more enthusiasm than what is to be found inside. Accepting this contradiction, we will also flee from the city in order to find it: we will climb down through the various works as if they were a tower of mirrors, echoes and responses, and we will gradually weave together an ambiguous, fragmented weft, hopefully now transformed, that will incorporate the idea of a scene into our everyday ghosts.

We will rethink whether it is possible to understand artistic production in the city from chiaroscuro: on a hot dry summer’s evening, when the glaring sun filters through, indoors are sunk in a desire for night-time with net curtains or blinds. In the midst of this blinding daytime terror, behind the shadow of a thick curtain, the ruins emerge of an old kingdom, the mirage of a labyrinth or the vision of a monster with a soft brain and a warm heart, more like a dream than a real thing.

Almost one year ago we accepted the commission to explore the entrails of an underground Madrid invented by ourselves. Travelling through its damp tunnels, up and down its corridors and into its nooks and crannies, we have loved it and stopped loving it one and a thousand times. In the confusion of this awkward yet brilliant and dark making, we open up a gap so that, like an open-air night party, we can all come together, friends and strangers. We will try for families to mix, at least for a while, for the works to rub up against one another, for enemies to meet on common ground and to scratch beneath the surface of the city’s forms. A tossing daydreaming, a shiver down the spine, a clenching of the stomach or the hissing of a snake. A place where any resemblance to fiction is, besides being very real, the most valuable asset we have.

The exhibition is included within the programme to celebrate the tenth anniversary of CA2M and brings together works by 58 artists, of which 21 are produced for the occasion, with a substantial majority from the local scene.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a book featuring participations by 19 authors, due for publication in late November 2018.


Throughout the duration of the exhibition there will be a total of six public activations tied in with different works, two of which will be adaptations of stage performances.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a monthly working group will be formed to expand on various issues affecting the contemporary scene in Madrid with the purpose of establishing a dialogue between artists, other agents in the city and the art centre.