Goodbye Lisboa

Lisboa Café
Valladolid, Spain.
9-28 March, 2009

<span class="p-large">Upon a visit to her hometown in Spain, Bea Ortiz learned that one of her favorite cafes, a place she’d frequented since adolescence, was being forced to close its doors. When she arrived, she found the once-vibrant space empty and she was overtaken by an impulse to give expression to the process of its shuttering.</span>

She began painting a wall with black marker, her marks becoming a series of interconnected points and lines resembling constellations. She decided to return to the space daily to honor the existence of the space and the community it fostered, continuing to paint until it closed to the public. The mural grew each day, enticing patrons to engage in the process, until the walls, ceiling, bar and fixtures within the space were connected by painted points and lines. By the end, the once quiet bar had filled with patrons and the atmosphere became lively and communal. After 21 days of painting, the bar closed.

Today the space is still unoccupied but the painting remains, standing as a time capsule of the artist’s first exploration of a project that would drive her work for more than a decade—and a commemoration of a brief connection forged among those who inhabited the cafe.