Of Mortgages and Marriages is a storyboard for a movie that was never made. It consists of a series of drawings, traced from sources such as maps, real estate brochures, mortgage advertisements, wedding pictures and family snapshots; research material from an investigation that the artists IratxeJaio and Klaas van Gorkum made into the large-scale urban expansion of a mid- sized city in the north of Spain. It is accompanied by two videos, Showroom and Helicopter, each using a different cinematographic technique to traverse the city and its symbolical spaces.
Central to the narrative in Of Mortgages and Marriages is the notion of “home”: the basic element of our built environment, and the stage where human relationships are given form. Its value is determined by more than utilitarian or material considerations, and includes fantasies of what it may represent in the future, and concepts of life, family and reproduction. But when urban planning takes its ideological component to be self-evident, and leaves the production of homes to the impulses of an overstrung market, this comes at a price: the rise of a socio-economic class that is defined and controlled by the going rate of its mortgages.
Of Mortgages and Marriages was realized in 2006, when the Spanish housing bubble was at its peak. Its premonition of impending crisis has since turned from science fiction into a historical reality.