Hágase Madrid Vd. Mismo // Isidoro Valcárcel
(Communiqué regarding the interventions carried out on the urban fabric of Madrid). United by the elementality of their aims and the facility of their execution, these projects generally testify to personal yearnings, without detracting from the common good — rather, they aim to support a more agreeable ambient and a more responsible man-city imbrication. The spirit of these works entailed that, given the perennial disillusionment allocated us by public powers, they be executable by one person alone, or by very few, and with simple facilities.
Do it yourself Madrid
The above notwithstanding, and apart from the matter of supplies, and above all due to transport and machinery needs, we had on occasion to resort to the help of various professionals. This was done only for simple reasons of greater force, and in order to avoid impoverishing the purpose of the work by reducing it to a mere sketch of what was its authentic physical expression: i. e., its meaning. At all times, insofar as possible, provisions were procured from a zone near to the realization of the work, this being for evident reasons of economy in time and money. These works were made as examples of what can be done when one’s mind uses its own natural dosage of expression. There are hundreds of cases in which some of them could be replicated… and hundreds of others which, in different cases, might be generated from this point.
Objective: Rectify the impediments imposed on the use of public benches. Location: The fountains of the Puerta del Sol. Work Realized: Construction of two hundred stools that remain in the area at the disposition of possible users. Each one of these stools complies with the requirement of perfectly adapting itself to the width, height and curvature of the two rows of iron "adornments" placed on the previous granite bench, so that once the stool is encased over any point on the circumference, one may sit on it without any inconvenience other than the height represented by that supplement. This inconvenience can be overcome, either by using another stool for a foot support, or by sitting towards the inside, with one's feet over the "adornment" of flowers that covers the previous hole. Supplies: The wooden pieces which make up the stools were made by Garoz, on the street Ronda de Atocha – Sebastián Elcano. Nuts and bolts were bought at the Atocha hardware store, on the street of the same name.
Objective: Support the vegetation of an urban zone. Location: Mejía Lequerica street, on the corner of Beneficencia. Work Realized: A pair of containers that had remained at the base of a long paralyzed work were emptied of most of their debris. Later, good soil for vegetation was placed inside, and we proceeded to plant in them a series of well-developed trees and shrubs. Supplies: The removal of debris was done by one of those trucks along Barceló street, Gómez doorway. Soil, fertilizer and plants, as well as the planting itself, was ordered to Bourguignon, of Almagro street.
Objective: Communication of automatic messages about the state of city traffic. Location: The points chosen correspond to the frames of the fixed cameras that transmit data to the Traffic Control Center. They are: plaza de la República Argentina, beginning of Joaquín Costa street, on the transversal balustrade of the pedestrian underpass of the sidewalk, above the handrail. Plaza de Legazpi, on the curve of the sidewalk curb that forms the beginning of the Vado de Santa Catalina, on the left side. Plaza del Puente de Segovia, on the curve of the sidewalk curb that forms the beginning of the paseo de Extremadura, on the right side. Glorieta de San Vicente: a) on the curve of the sidewalk curb that forms the beginning of the Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto, on the right side; b) the initial edge of the curb of the median, heading towards the Casa de Campo. The M-30 overpass raised over Ciudad de Barcelona avenue,in the cavity where the guardrails separate, and above them, towards the north. Francisco Silvelastreet, on the median of Avenida de América, a bit above the first pedestrian bridge. Work Realized: Placement in those points of a placard of the traffic sign sort, but dissimulating its format somewhat in order not to lead to error and in order to make it stand out. On the placard one reads, in large letters, "LOOK". Supplies: The placards were made up by Ayllón, on Esparteros street.
Objective: Reservation for foreigners without shelter. Location: Gardens of the plaza de España, leaving free the axial pass ways Bailén-Ferraz and Bailén-Reyes, as well as access to the monument to Cervantes, for the use of tourists. Work Realized: Enclosing the area selected with a plastic net, mounted on profile sections sunk into the ground. In three different points in the interior of the limited area, but all near the wall, three signs were placed, each reading: "AREA RESERVED FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS". Supplies: The plastic net and the support sections were acquired from Díez, on Ferraz street. The signs and lettering were realized by Servirrot, in the plaza of España.
Objective: To compete with the large-scale market. Location: Galdo street, at its confluence with Preciados street, in line with the facade of the pairs on the latter. Work Realized: Installation of a show-window-trailer with its main front towards Preciados street. In the interior we realized a plastic assembly based on sandals, as a symbolization of the hot season, and creche-figures (horse and oxen) in unfired clay, as a reference to the winter season, and, lastly, sexual prosthetic devices, a product to be used at any time. The space of the trailer was designed with tapestries of various pastel tones, united by long zippers. Sometimes the zippers were open, sometimes closed, and they covered both the floor and the roof, as well as the opaque walls, as well as conforming the necessary interior compartimentalization. Supplies: The trailer was rented from a merchant who had it for his own use. The sandals were ceded by La Inesperada, on de la Cruz street, at the corner with Núñez de Arce. The sexual prostheses were acquired at La Discreta, located on Jardines street. The zippers, as well as their sewn installation into the tapestries, were obtained from La Veloz, on Martínez de la Riva street. The tapestries themselves were sold by Boby and Pequeño, on Atocha street. Lastly, the stucco figures were on loan, ceded by the workshop on Puerto de Balbarrón, under Garcia Llamas.
Objective: Broadening of the movement to separate trash at the point of origin. Location: Crematorium of the Almudena cemetery, on the avenida de Daroca. Work Realized: Placement, at the exit from the incinerator, of a cube-container with the following inscription in metallic letters: "ASHES ONLY". Supplies: The container cube was acquired from Manuplan, on the Paseo de Santa María de la Cabeza. The letters were bought and attached in Letras-Pie, on Cipriano Sancho street, alongside the Avenida de Daroca.
Objective: To free up the view of the Plaza Mayor. Location: Opening of the automobile underpass on Toledo street. Work Realized: Covering of the 5.80 meter width of the access ramp, in two rows running 21 meters each, with boards supported on the brick parapet and on other vertical boards, used as props, located in the centre, underneath the coupling of the two rows, and that rest over some braces. Supplies: The boards were sold and cut to size by Maderas Hermosa, on the Ronda de Segovia, and the nails were bought from the Hoyos hardware store, on Toledo street.
Objective: Establish that the park remain open at all times. Location: Entry gates to the Retiro Park. Work Realized: Cordon of electrical welding around e ach and all of the hinges to the gates. This operation was done, logically, during hours when the park was open. Supplies: The welding itself, and everything necessary to carry it out, was ordered to the Del Valle workshops, located on the Camino Viejo de Coslada.
Objective: Eliminate the creaking noise of swings and other children's games. Location: The children's parks of Villaescusa and Marqués de Corbera, on the streets with the same names; the Barrio de la Concepción Park, in the neighbourhood of the same name, and Canal de Isabel II Park, on the streets Bravo Murillo and Cea Bermúdez. Work Realized: A process of lubricating noisy mechanisms with machine oil, and with the help of an olive oil can. Supplies: The oil can was bought from El As del Alumnio, on Tetuán street, and the oil used was for sewing machines, purchased from Gómez, on Juanelo street.
Objective: Improve the aspect of the omnipresent ground works in the city. Location: Open ditches at the meeting of Maldonado and General Díaz Porlier streets. Work Realized: The iron plates, which bridge the ditches and allow pedestrians to pass, were re-dressed with carpets made to size and outfitted with elastic fittings that kept them attached firmly to the plates and prevented slippage. The carpets represented a sky with clouds. Supplies: The carpets were woven by La Pastora, on Alcalá street.
Objective: To extend the field of action of security alarms. Location: The laurel tree, surrounded by a stone bench that stands along the Paseo del Prado, next to Cibeles. Work Realized: Between the branches andin a place hard to reach, an alarm was placed, of the sort that sound in commercial establishments. This apparatus, which went off even when the leaves along the trunk were lightly grazed, was powered by a battery that allowed it to sound its alarm for 15 minute periods. Supplies: The alarm itself, along with the diverse mechanisms described above were supplied and installed by Juan Lobato, a resident living along the Carretera de la Playa.
Objective: Emphasize and deepen the chaos and the over-burdenned traffic system. Location: Paseo de la Castellana, up where it is joined by José Abascal street; that is, at the Plaza del Doctor Marañón. More specifically, taking into account the width of the Castellana, the intervention was made along its left boulevard, as is by now well known. Work Realized: Consisted in the installation of four large deforming or irregular mirrors, of the sort often found at a circus. They were placed in the following format, taking as referent the descent of José Abascal street: one, on the left sidewalk, along the boulevard of the Castellana; another, in a like position, but on the right side; twoothers, along the central island that marks the bifurcation point for the vehicles. The mirrors, whose precise orientation proved laborious, had to allow one to see one’s own vehicle for the greatest possible time, as well as other cars that moved alongside and those that went behind, for which reason it was necessary that the exit ramp of José Abascal also enter into the field of vision. Supplies: The mirrors were obtained at Molducris, in Zarzaquemada, and the assembly was realized by the Monterde workshop on Málaga street.
Objective: Extension of available urban ground and communication between two roads. Location: A plot with exits on to the Plaza de Herradores and on to Bonetillo street. Work Realized: Demolition of the mud walls that surrounded the terrain, and the paving of the site. Supplies: All that was necessary for the demolition, the removal of rubbish and the paving of the site, including the appropriate material for a fixing base, were ordered to Fernando Molina, master mason of Leganés. The floor tiles were from Valcárcel, on Luis Vélez de Guevara street.
Objective: Demarcation of sleeping areas. Location: Underground pedestrian passage at the Plaza de Cibeles, crossing Alcalá street and the Paseo del Prado. Work Realized: Demarcation with 190 white lines, painted on the floor and the wall of the underpass. Each one of them measured 1.80 meters on the ground, and went 0.5 meters up the wall (both measurements logically taken from the point of juncture of the wall and floor). The lines were sequentially separated by 0.80 meters, and were made along the two longitudinal walls of both arms of the underpass, leaving free a passing area of 1.40 meters between the two lines. Also left free were the five access points to the surface above, the two accesses to the subway, and the newspaper kiosk. Supplies: Paint and brushes, as well as the materials for the stencilling of the lines, were acquired from the Orúe drugstore, on Postas street. The stencilling device itself was bought at the Redondo y Garcia hardware store, on the Paseo de las Delicias.