Jean Laurent, audioguide

Left J. Laurent, 1877, right C. Nogueira, 2011

Images from the poster made after the intervention in Sinagoga del Tránsito.

Audioguide from the  Jean Laurent´s phtography:



The audio has been recorded in a vinyl disc, each audioguide one disc with a photographic poster.




 You can still see the red stoff in the basement, the altar superimposed to the wall... this picture from Jean Laurent shows us the complexity of the relation among the three cultures. If you look carefully at it you even can see the hebrew inscriptions and the influence of the islamic technic and decoration.


Jean Laurent established in Madrid in 1843 as a photographer and he dedicated himself to selling pictures of Spain and Portugal in Paris. His pictures acted as a window to the southern countries, like postcards to tell how this exotic countries looked like. And Toledo was one of the favourites destinations of the romantic travelers from the XIX century.


Shortly afther taking this picture, the Synagogue became a National Museum. This was the reason why they took out the altar, the red stoff and the rest of the signs that were given significance to this building for years.


Some time later another french, Jacques Derrida, came to this place to think about his past. A past that perhaps haven´t been taken place. He thought about the Jews which were called “Marranos”, which had said that they were now catholics, but they still practised judaism underground.


“Synagogues, church,  mosques -he said- one by one, with the violence of expropiation you imagine, removed, lend themselves and, accordingly, let themselves to be besieged by the memory of another religion,  of a worship that have stopped to be practice in this place, that remained impassive but that saw and heard how so many prayers in so many languages... always to the same God, the only one”


Funny way that of the Cristian Spain to call “marranos” to the conversed Jews, as they refuse to eat porc, the same way the called the moorish “sucios” because of their habit to use public baths and in the american continent the american Indian (natives, in sudamerica) where stigmatize as they offer a poor resistance to the colonization.


I remember the melancholic look of Derrida in Toledo, as many others who came to this place looking for their origins.

This synagogue is “marrana” in certain way, as it speaks about a secret, it resists transparency.