Accepted paper:

Genealogies of domestic décor processes in late modern Madrid (1986-1999)


Romina Magdalena Colombo (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED))

Paper short abstract:

The paper aims to carry out a genealogy of some features of domestic décor processes in late modern Madrid (1986-1999), so to draw the traits and ambivalences of the private imaginaries and symbolic economies emerged from making-home cultures in a recently democratic and incipiently globalized city.

Paper long abstract:

When facing the last three decades, certain milestones seem to have taken centre stage in the historiographical narratives on social and cultural transformations in Madrid: the political transition to democracy, the countercultural movement of the Movida Madrileña and the socioeconomic globalization. All of them have been profusely analyzed and refracted through their crystallizations in the public sphere, overshadowing not just the deep, albeit uneven changes occurred in the private sphere, but even more the heuristic consistency of domestic culture(s). Indeed, a diachronic analysis of the evolution of domestic décor from the eighties onwards, kaleidoscopically carried out on furnishing consumption, aménager practices and décor discourses - the poietics of appropriations, uses and tales (De Certeau, 1980) -, reveals these dimensions of home-making as an unexpected, yet extremely sensitive indicator of social and cultural changes in late modern Madrid. This paper will focus on an inaugural period (1986-1999), combining interviews with the analysis of decoration magazines, domestic scenes from selected filmography and the archives of important furniture retailers. The processes of home-decoration (Garvey, 2001) should help us to decipher the emergence of private imaginaries and symbolic economies of furnishing (Potts, 2006), as well as their ambivalent relationships with the known and the new: the reinscription of familiar legacies and other elements related to moral investitures of home as such, according to traditional politics of belonging; and the incorporation of lifestyles and objects from abroad, fancied from a possibly new-born domestic cosmopolitanism (Nava, 2006).

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