The exhibition “Ruta Gráfica, Designs for the sound of Valencia” has recently arrived in the city and opened its doors at the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM). The exhibition is an appreciation of the graphic designs depicted in the posters and flyers of Valencia’s famous la ruta del bakalao– the rapid growing rave and clubbing scene of the eighties and nineties.
The graphic production developed around the intense clubbing scene of the time is available at the exhibit. It includes works by the Nueva Escuela Valenciana de cómic who were the ones who began to provide images, and ultimately help form a visual identity for the movement.
Along with the work of countless prestigious designers, the exhibition includes pieces by other artists who at some point contributed with their designs for the creation of these posters and flyers. However, oftentimes graphic contributions would come in from anonymous contributors who would sign their works by pseudonym or at times with no signature at all. The number of anonymous contributions, whose original authorship would be almost impossible to decipher today, were numerous. From bartenders to disc-jockeys (DJs), to those who had any sort of connection to the life of la ruta del bakalao, these individuals would partake in creating graphic works perhaps without paying any mind to how meaningful their designs would end up becoming.
Similarly, those in charge of printing the finished design products also went ahead and contributed to the creation of posters in an artistic sense, far beyond the actual manufacturing process.
In the 1990s the artistic production behind the creation of graphic designs, made popular through la ruta del bakalao, was met with unexpected change. During this period, the need for differentiation through music, design, and decoration with the ultimate desire for modernity was meeting its end due to an intense demand that prioritized economic results above artistic expression. This new reality proved difficult, and the involvement of artists and creators began to decline.
The exhibition includes a total of 132 posters, 86 flyers, and 2 documentaries all of which are the result of an extensive research process that includes artists, printers, managers, and promoters who participated in the creation of such works. The aim of this whole process is to recover a part of Valencian design history, which was thought to have been simply left behind in oblivion.
Report by Jose Roberto Nogales
Article copyright 24/7 Valencia
Exhibition: ‘Ruta Gráfica – Designs for the Sound of Valencia.’
Address: Guillem de Castro, 118
Exhibition Opening & Closing Dates: March 3, 2022 – June 12, 2022.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Friday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Closed on Mondays.
For more information about the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM): https://www.ivam.es/en/exposiciones/ruta-grafica-designs-for-the-sound-of-valencia/