This video was made for the fourth edition of Portes Obertes, an event encompassing different performances, which takes place in Valencia every year since 1998. The initial drive behind this event was to protest against the town hall’s proposal to lengthen the city’s avenue Avenida Blasco Ibáñez, a decision which would entail the destruction of part of the centre of the coastal neighbourhood of Cabanyal and evicting the residents of the area, most of them elderly people. Every year, different artists produce and install their work in this neighbourhood and thereby reflect on the real estate speculation taking place in the area.
The main characters in Ortuño’s video are Lola and Antonia Martí, two sisters aged 81 and 90 respectively who narrate in front of the camera some of the moments lived in the house that is now in danger of demolition. The house is presented as the container of lived experiences, of emotions, of comings and goings. It is also one further element of a specific spatial and social scheme that is especially rich and dense.
The contemporary spectator might find it surprising that the same house in which these women were born is that which they have returned to at the end of their lives. It is a flexible and open house: if the children need to live at home once married, the space is reorganised accordingly in order to house everyone. Lola and Antonia both were born in the house, they married and had children, and now, as widows, they have gotten together again and returned to their place of origin, thereby linking their present and future to the house that their father built in 1908.