Ciudad residencial, 2012

Photographic installation

Ciudad residencial, 2012

Image: Sergio Redruello. LABoral's Archive

Ciudad residencial is composed of a succession of boxes on the wall at different levels, containing historical and contemporary images. The installation is rounded off by a series of old plans and documentation in vintage frames on the ground. The focus of this work is Perlora, a residential complex for “producers”, a euphemism for workers during Franco’s dictatorship which, after a long and sordid process of decadence, is now suffering the consequences of the current economic and social situation.

Located in the district of Perlora, the story of this residential complex began in 1954 with the intention, as one can see in the leaflet from 1956, to give workers “access to the enjoyment of all the benefits of culture, happiness, militia, health and sports.” The complex was built with contributions from businessmen, unions and “producers”. The initial cost of the houses was 55,000 pesetas, and they were assigned by drawing lots among the workers of the company. At its height of splendour (1960s-1970s), it had a residency with 90 rooms plus 273 houses designed by renowned architects such as Somolinos, Negrete and Busto, and Muñiz and García. At one stage it was home to 1,500 people, attended by a staff of 220 workers.

If began to fall into decline at the end of the 1970s, when the installations still in use began to fail due to lack of proper maintenance. This prolonged agony (including an attempted fraud by the Universidad Americana de Perlora) continued until it finally closed in November 2006. Then the Principality of Asturias (its current owner) started a process of privatisation to leave the complex in the hands of a consortium of companies, with the vocal opposition and demonstrations of workers and the local community. This process broke down in 2010 when the planned deadlines were not met.

At the current moment, this unique complex of industrial archaeology continues in decline.

Juan José  Pulgar

Born in Gijón, 1971

Usos y formas
11
May
2012
27
Aug
2012

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