Pandemic City / Ciudad Pandémica

Pandemic City / Ciudad Pandémica is a public and transmedia art exhibition presented online in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Curated by the artist Mau Monleón Pradas, this exhibition seeks to articulate a debate around the changes that have occurred in the public space of the city, highlighting those open spaces that draw links between them. These are urban areas that have often retained their public utility but whose uses have changed to re-signify their forms and interrelations.

Thus, we find the public bench, the open field, public transport and the park as main spaces in this exhibition, while other places such as the street, the square, the bike lane, the bridges, the sea, the school playground, the river or Internet, help us to map out the territory of a new city that, after events not so distant as “the Spanish flu”, has been once again touched with the sword of Damocles.

This persistent threat of a danger in the city focuses precisely on public health and is closely related to fundamental aspects such as social relations and the family, which have been clearly impacted, suffering the main thrust. The economy that fosters hyper-capitalist policy has also received this onslaught. But it happens that, at the same time that the global economy falters and the capitalist system shows its great gups, the concern for social justice and environmental responsibility emerges with more force; concern for one’s own life; planet earth and caring for people.

Pandemic City / Ciudad Pandémica is incardinated in this concern taking as a precedent the previous exhibition entitled Pandemic House, whose reflection started from the state of alarm and the first confinement of the people. Initially, in Spain we were locked up on March 14, 2020 while the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the pandemic that same week – the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was notified for the first time in Wuhan (China), on December 31, 2019 .

At that time we began the creation of a common house -Pandemic House- based on the personal experience of each artist. After that first confinement, the city is again practicable today in Spain and in other countries, and open spaces become the indispensable territory for the so-called “new normal”.

Pandemic City / Ciudad Pandémica brings together the work of 26 young artists, most of them women, from different European countries such as Spain, France and Germany. From this first world cultural perspective and taking the specificity of the city as an object of analysis and transformation, 116 works of artistic creation have been elaborated during a period of 4 months in which the city has been used both as a support as well as content of the action. Also, the exhibition had the participation of a team of professional women in graphic design and web programming, to configure the image and interface of our “pandemic city”.

Through the investigation of the different expressive languages ​​of art and especially of public and transmedia art, various interdisciplinary works of art have been generated that use different languages ​​and techniques such as animation; public art; artivism; the body art; embroidery; the photomontage; digital photography; installation; the performance; illustration; the net.art; the performance; the painting; the street-art; the subvertising; or video art, among others.

The glossary of terms that converges in this exhibition and provides critical content to our proposal is also relevant. From this glossary organized by the concepts of art; the concepts of the exhibition itself; and the concepts of the new pandemic city, you can navigate through the works and the exhibition proposal, knowing those words that invade and worry us, and learning the meanings that circulate in the new public sphere. “Aerosols”; the “isolation”; “Social anxiety”; “Antigens and asymptomatic”; these are just some of the new realities that have emerged in the popularly so-called “post-pandemic” city.

For us, the pandemic is experienced in this exhibition in the present time, and the city, that set of buildings and governed streets whose dense and numerous population is usually dedicated to non-agricultural activities, has become the pandemic city: a city that suffers the consequences and adjusts to COVID-19.

From the collectivity of a group of people who live in the same territory and share certain circumstances, we want to contribute this reflection and this space for debate on the new meaning of our cities, transformed as a result of the pandemic. Working from ecofeminism; southern methodologies; and in a transmedia way, we wanted to overcome “pandemic fatigue” by locating the weaknesses of this new besieged city and combating these weaknesses to put our strengths into practice.

That is why we associate and promote collective work beyond the inevitable individualism that was already imprinted in our digital genetics. Likewise, we are committed to counting on the participatory actions of all people, so that this new pandemic city born under the influence of capitalist individualism is not only capable of producing group immunity against COVID-19, but is also in a position to overcome social injustice and restore environmental health.

Mau Monleón Pradas


Creative director in web design

Web development

María Pérez Doménech