Real Madrid is an artist duo founded in Geneva in 2015. Real Madrid’s ethos embraces the spirit of bootlegs and knock-offs: the project brands itself as “a marketable counterfeit commodity.” The subversion of normative modes of authorship begins with their name, which is a playful appropriation of the highly lucrative Spanish football team. Within their practice, Real Madrid deftly employs various types of media to critique dominant culture with humor and irony.
For the 2019 group exhibition United by AIDS at the Migros Museum in Zurich, Real Madrid obliquely commemorated analog modes of sexual development and identification. The installation IT’S MY PARTY AND I’LL DIE IF I WANT TO (2019) abstracts the form of a sidewalk kiosk. The mise en scène unfolds through a series of sculptural allusions and clues, from Cadbury’s “Time Out” chocolate bars to an empty magazine stand; together, the elements invoke a palpable sense of loss. According to the artists: “which adolescent never stood in front of that corner where the erotic magazines are?” In a bifurcated world increasingly mediated by screens, memorializing these spaces speaks to more than nostalgia. Real Madrid creates a scenography of contemporary dispossession and the loss of innocence in the face of late-stage capitalism. By employing familiar aesthetics, the artists invite a sense of intimacy that foregrounds the collective experience.
While in residence at Callie’s, Real Madrid prepared the exhibition Postoristoro, which opened in May 2021 at the Centre Culturel Suisse (CCS) in Paris.