Although the streets did not always allow play, exemplary models have existed throughout history, such as Aldo van Eyck’s playful spaces, integrated into the streets and squares, dissolving into the urban landscape. Currently these places for the game are projected based on strict safety standards, away from improvisation and a broader dimension of the urban issue.

YEAR 2019
CLIENT Junta de Andalucía
STATUS Competition
PROGRAM Art Installation
(Javier Martínez, Marta Morera, Pablo Sendra, Elisa Monge, Antonio Figueroa, Tamara Fernández, Beatriz Pavón)

The street is a good synthesis of the world. What the child who has grown up in his tumultuous environment intuitively learns will take a long time to learn by the children who are waiting to be older in the desolation of the recent slums or in the depths of the old solitary parks. Children born on these streets make little mistake, they soon acquire a fairly accurate concept of the world, they value things well, they are cautious and bold. They will not fail.
Manuel Chaves Nogales: “Juan Belmonte, matador de toros”, 1934 

Chaves Nogales, and his “Espectáculo del Mundo” (Show of the world), presented Juan Belmonte as a stunned child who, through play, would dominate the Calle Feria (and the world any day). In “Juan Belmonte, matador de toros”, Chaves Nogales presents playing as an act of freedom and a mode of socialization, which has its place in the streets and squares for improvisation. Beyond the anthropological connotations of the relationship between public space and play, it has been restricted in various ways, both through norms that forbid playing on the streets, such as insecurity, consumption patterns or new forms of use of free time.

In this society of control, the game in the contemporary city is a fiction designed with maximum security codes. It has been precisely security, the argument with which politicians and urban planners have managed to degrade the right to play in public spaces, and the right to the city. It is also the same argument with which PROHIBIDO JUGAR A LA PELOTA (Forbidden to play ball) proposes the game as an operation capable of deactivating the devices of power and restoring to common use the spaces that power has confiscated (Giorgio Agamben).

The main objective of this artistic installation is, therefore, to turn its visitors into informed players, who, according to the Cedric Prize, know the rules and, within them, have the ability to decide how to play, and even not to do so, and take the game to its maximum consequences.