Gangs of the 80s: Cinema, Press and the Street
This exhibition revisits the genre known as quinqui ("hoodlum") cinema that had its heyday between 1978 and 1985, focusing on its symbiotic relationship with the press of the day. The show also faithfully reflects the urban planning, social, political and economic changes that swept across Spain during that period. The codes of representation of juvenile delinquency portrayed in quinqui films have endured to this day, and the quinqui stereotype, having undergone an aesthetic makeover, still has the power to fascinate. Colourful characters like El Vaquilla and El Jaro became the heroes of the disenfranchised on the street and made irresistible headlines for the press.
Additionally, this exhibition analyses arcades as the primary source of entertainment for teens, the stars of this show, a territory where that generation of 1970s adolescents was exposed to the industry of youth culture in its international context and its forms of capitalist consumption.
Quinqui films fed off of events reported in the press, but they in turn provided plenty of fodder for newspaper headlines. Behind the myth, which this show analyses and assesses in depth, lies the fact, for which explanations and motivations must also be sought, especially if we hope to prevent a recurrence of the personal tragedies that befell those "hoodlums" or "gangs" of the 80s—tragedies that were ultimately the manifestation of a collective failure.