The partying of Girlfriend is part of an attempt to escape this repression. But it’s one that is doomed to failure because the only result will be what Zucker calls the “public erasure of our generation.”
“I remember listening to the radio and this woman said nobody should worry about people under 30 not having jobs,” says Zucker. “The reason being that in a few years’ time they won’t be under 30 anymore.” And with that the partying will stop, and the lost generation swallowed back into the all-embracing body that is “deep Spain”; the Spain that is patriarchal, reactionary and conservative.
Zucker’s vision of this lost generation is hedonistic; the lost generation are shown dancing, kissing and getting wasted beneath the symbols of Spanish authority. It’s Weimar Berlin in Madrilèna form complete with Cabaret, transvestites and disco. There are black and white portraits showing women dressed to party. There are performers and a man wearing a blond wig standing with his hand on his hips and his a penis wrapped in bandages so it looks like a oversized chrysalis. Another picture shows a man spreading a tasselled shawl across the frame. He’s wearing a black skirt, is bare-chested and has what is either a fencing mask or an oval-shaped sieve over his face.
Girlfriends is also about the mysticism and power of Spanish women — the energy that keeps the country going, what Zucker believes is somehow. more ‘freeing’ in Spain than in New York, where she was formerly based. “Spanish women are the driving force behind the country even though it’s so male dominated. They have this incredible mysticism and power.”
First published in the November 2013 issue. You can buy the issue here.