Te Amo, Madrid 💗

I don’t know if anything will ever top seeing Guernica in person

I woke up, fully rested, around 9:30am. Which is very late for me, but not for Madrid, because everything was still closed. We ate breakfast at our hostel, and went on a walking tour of central Madrid. I was genuinely surprised that it wasn’t touristy, and was actually super cool. We walked through Plaza de Mayor, Plaza de la Villa, Almudena Catedral, Palacio Real, Plaza de Oriente, and ended in Puerta del Sol. It was incredible. I have the sunburn lines to prove it. After a short break to charge phones and sit down for a sec, we went to get lunch at the same place we did yesterday and I had a Bocadillo Tortilla, which we apparently pronounce differently, but I can’t tell a difference. I think we settled on: Latin American Spanish = tor-TEE-ya and Spanish Spanish = tort-ya. The guy at the stand remembered all of our orders from the day before and as we were leaving yelled to Ann “ciao chica tortilla!”

Then we were off the the Reina Sofia. On the 1st floor there was an insane exhibition about Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), a Yugoslavian art collective. Weird, wonderful, I love it — I have an application for an NSK passport. There were cool films that were exhibited in a triangular formation on three screens, vinyl records ranging from noise to The Beatles Let it Be covered in Slovenian, and assemblage pieces that featured asphalt with Lenin spray-painted over, and several crosses made out of legos. The last probably is a comment on commodified religion, but seeing as this isn’t for an art history class I’ll just leave with saying it was Kul (I hope that’s Slovenian for “cool”).

Prayer Machine
In the future, theatre realized as a tangible reality in outer space will replace the artwork.
The realization of theatre as a tangible reality in space calls for a universalistic view of life.
The realization of theatre in space calls for emancipation from nature.
Theatre must become an inhabited sculpture.
The life of a future body occurs within realized art.

Then we went to the second floor. Their Piedad y Terror en Picasso: El Camina en Guernica exhibit changed my life. I am not exaggerating. The exhibit went through his art leading up to Guernica. There were sculptures, and paintings — like several from his a bout de mer series — and drafts leading up to it. Then, in the middle of the next room, the light shown on my face, and the clouds opened up, and a chorus started singing, and there it was. In Real Life, as the youths say, IRL. Guernica. Picasso’s masterpiece. Painted after the bombing, and destruction of Basque. Guernica. The Guernica. I cried. In public, at the Reina Sofia, not even halfway through the 2nd floor. I’ve never been so overwhelmed, and so so happy to be able to experience art in my life. Guernica. I still can’t believe it. I’m still trying to process it. I’m so incredibly happy.

We walked back, and Ann went to mass. We waited a minute then met up with her to get Chocolate con Churros at Chocolatería San Ginés. It was so cute. It’s the oldest place to get churros in Spain (I think) and they’re open 24h/day! We walked back to the rooftop bar and I had Sangria, because “when in Spain…” and now I’m trying to sleep because we need to be up at 3:45am to get to the airport, but I’m so jazzed on Picasso that I don’t know if that’s going to happen.

Adíos Madrid! Vamos a París!


P.S. The playlist continues! I thought about the Velvets, or Talking Heads (because Madrid’s been playing some Bops) but another Devendra seemed fitting.