During his research on the monastery of El Escorial, David Bestué found, in explaining to other people aspects that he was discovering, that few had visited it and that those who had visited it had confused records. Either it seems that there is nothing to say, or it falls into the patriotic exaltation and the recounting of its anecdotes and curiosities. At times, it is seen as a curse, the residue of something that has not just disappeared; at others, however, as a sort of a remnant of the living essence of Spain.
This text questions the invariable values that sustain the “the mass of the race”. It speaks of the bellicose and authoritarian government of Philip II, of the American support, of the debt, of the periods of glory and abandonment of the building, of its successive fires, sackings and reconstructions. As a wedge that fills or is filled or is filled according to the situation of Spain and the changing consideration towards religion, the army and the monarchy. More than a lyrical, eternal, mute and imperturbable stone, the monastery is the black box of the country, a mechanism that registers its own sacrifices, even if they try to be hidden; the symbol of something that is believed to be permanent, central, hegemonic; a physical and ideological structure.