A happening is a performance, event, or situation meant to be considered art as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related event or multiple events. Happenings occur anywhere and are multi-disciplinary, with a nonlinear narrative and the active participation of the audience. Key elements of happenings are planned but artists sometimes retain room for improvisation; this new media art aspect to happenings eliminates the boundary between its viewer. In the late 1960s due to the depiction in films of hippie culture, the term was used much less to mean any gathering of interest from a pool hall meetup or a jamming of a few young people to a beer blast or fancy formal party. Allan Kaprow first coined the term "happening" in the spring of 1959 at an art picnic at George Segal's farm to describe the art pieces that were going on; the first appearance in print was in Kaprow's famous "Legacy of Jackson Pollock" essay, published in 1958 but written in 1956.
"Happening" appeared in print in one issue of the Rutgers University undergraduate literary magazine, Anthologist. The form was imitated and the term was adopted by artists across the U. S. Germany, Japan. Jack Kerouac referred to Kaprow as "The Happenings man", an ad showing a woman floating in outer space declared, "I dreamt I was in a happening in my Maidenform brassiere". Happenings are difficult to describe, in part because each one is unique and different from one another. One definition comes from Wardrip-Fruin and Montfort in The New Media Reader, "The term'Happening' has been used to describe many performances and events, organized by Allan Kaprow and others during the 1950s and 1960s, including a number of theatrical productions that were traditionally scripted and invited only limited audience interaction." Another definition is, "a purposefully composed form of theatre in which diverse alogical elements, including nonmatrixed performing, are organized in a compartmented structure".
However, Canadian theatre critic and playwright Gary Botting, who himself had "constructed" several happenings, wrote in 1972: "Happenings abandoned the matrix of story and plot for the complex matrix of incident and event."Kaprow was a student of John Cage, who had experimented with "musical happenings" at Black Mountain College as early as 1952. Kaprow combined the visual arts with discordant music. "His happenings incorporated the use of huge constructions or sculptures similar to those suggested by Artaud," wrote Botting, who compared them to the "impermanent art" of Dada. "A happening explores negative space in the same way. It is a form of symbolism: actions concerned with'now' or fantasies derived from life, or organized structures of events appealing to archetypal symbolic associations." A "Happening" of the same performance will have different outcomes because each performance depends on the action of the audience. In New York City "Happenings" became quite popular though many had neither seen nor experienced them.
Happenings can be a form of participatory new media art, emphasizing an interaction between the performer and the audience. In his Water, Robert Whitman had the performers drench each other with coloured water. "One girl squirmed between wet inner tubes struggling through a large silver vulva." Claes Oldenburg, best known for his innovative sculptures, used a vacant house, his own store, the parking lot of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Los Angeles for Injun, World's Fair II and AUT OBO DYS. The idea was to break down the fourth wall between spectator. For some happenings, everyone present is included in the making of the art and the form of the art depends on audience engagement, for they are a key factor in where the performers' spontaneity leads. Happenings had no set rules, only vague guidelines that the performers follow based on surrounding props. Unlike other forms of art, Happenings that allow chance to enter are ever-changing; when chance determines the path the performance will follow, there is no room for failure.
As Kaprow wrote in his essay, "'Happenings' in the New York Scene", "Visitors to a Happening are now and not sure what has taken place, when it has ended when things have gone'wrong'. For when something goes'wrong', something far more'right,' more revelatory, has many times emerged". Kaprow's piece 18 Happenings in 6 Parts is cited as the first happening, although that distinction is sometimes given to a 1952 performance of Theater Piece No. 1 at Black Mountain College by John Cage, one of Kaprow's teachers in the mid-1950s. Cage stood reading from a ladder, Charles Olson read from another ladder, Robert Rauschenberg showed some of his paintings and played wax cylinders of Édith Piaf on an Edison horn recorder, David Tudor performed on a prepared piano and Merce Cunningham danced. All these things took place among the audience rather than on a stage. Happenings flourished in New York City in early 1960s. Key contributors to the form included Carolee Schneemann, Red Grooms, Robert Whitman, Jim Dine Car Crash, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Delford Brown, Lucas Samaras, Robert Rauschenberg.
Some of their work is documented in Michael Kirby's book Happenings. Kaprow claimed that "some of us will become famous, we will have proven once again that the only success occurred when there was a lack of it". In 1963 Wolf Vostell made the Happening TV-Burying at the Yam Festival in coproduction with the Smolin Gallery and in 1964 the Happening Y
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus is known for experimental contributions to different artistic media and disciplines and for generating new art forms; these art forms include a term coined by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins. Dutch gallerist and art critic Harry Ruhé describes Fluxus as "the most radical and experimental art movement of the sixties."Fluxus participants included "artists, composers and architects, as well as economists, ballet dancers, a would-be theologian. Significant, they represented nations across many continents, predominantly Asia and North America, they produced performance "events," which included enactments of scores, "Neo-Dada" noise music, time-based works, as well as concrete poetry, visual art, urban planning, design and publishing. Many Fluxus artists share anti-art sensibilities.
Fluxus is sometimes described as "intermedia". The ideas and practices of composer John Cage influenced Fluxus, his notions that one should embark on an artwork without a conception of its end, his understanding of the work as a site of interaction between artist and audience. The process of creating was privileged over the finished product. Another notable influence were the readymades of Marcel Duchamp, a French artist, active in Dada. George Maciunas considered to be the founder of this fluid movement, coined the name Fluxus in 1961 to title a proposed magazine. Many artists of the 1960s took part in Fluxus activities, including Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Robert Filliou, Al Hansen, Dick Higgins, Bengt af Klintberg, Alison Knowles, Addi Køpcke, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Ben Patterson, Daniel Spoerri, Wolf Vostell. Not only were they a diverse community of collaborators who influenced each other, they were largely, friends, they collectively had what were, at the time, radical ideas about art and the role of art in society.
The intersecting communities within Fluxus and the way that Fluxus developed in overlapping stages meant that participants each had different ideas about what Fluxus was. Fluxus founder George Maciunas proposed a well known manifesto, but few considered Fluxus to be a true movement, therefore the manifesto was not adopted. Instead, a series of festivals in Wiesbaden, Stockholm, Amsterdam and New York, gave rise to a loose but robust community with many similar beliefs. In keeping with the reputation Fluxus earned as a forum of experimentation, some Fluxus artists came to describe Fluxus as a laboratory. Fluxus played an important role in the broadening of; the origins of Fluxus lie in many of the concepts explored by composer John Cage in his experimental music of the 1930s through the 1960s. After attending courses on Zen Buddhism taught by D. T. Suzuki, Cage taught a series of classes in experimental composition from 1957 to 1959 at the New School for Social Research in New York City; these classes explored the notions of chance and indeterminacy in art, using music scores as a basis for compositions that could be performed in infinite ways.
Some of the artists and musicians who became involved in Fluxus, including Jackson Mac Low, La Monte Young, George Brecht, Al Hansen, Dick Higgins attended Cage's classes. A major influence is found in the work of Marcel Duchamp. Of importance was Dada Poets and Painters, edited by Robert Motherwell, a book of translations of Dada texts, read by members of Fluxus; the term anti-art, a precursor to Dada, was coined by Duchamp around 1913, when he created his first readymades from found objects. Indifferently chosen and altered readymades challenged the notion of art as an inherently optical experience, dependent on academic art skills; the most famous example is Duchamp's infamous altered readymade Fountain, a work which he signed "R. Mutt." While taking refuge from WWI in New York, in 1915 Duchamp formed a Dada group with Francis Picabia and American artist Man Ray. Other key members included Arthur Craven, Florine Stettheimer, the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, credited by some with proposing the idea for Fountain to Duchamp.
By 1916 these artists Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia, became the center for radical anti-art activities in New York City. Their artworks would inform Fluxus and conceptual art in general. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Fluxus and contemporaneous groups or movements, including Happenings, Nouveau réalisme, mail art, action art in Japan and other international locations were placed under the rubric of Neo-Dada". A number of other contemporary events are credited as either anticipating Fluxus or as constituting proto-Fluxus events; the most cited include the series of Chambers Street loft concerts, in New York, curated by Yoko Ono and La Monte Young in 1961, featuring pieces by Yoko Ono, Jackson MacLow, Joseph Byrd, Henry Flynt. It was at one of these events in 1960, during his Etude pour Piano, that Paik leapt into the audience and cut J
Allan Kaprow was an American painter, assemblagist and a pioneer in establishing the concepts of performance art. He helped to develop the "Environment" and "Happening" in the late 1950s and 1960s, as well as their theory, his Happenings — some 200 of them — evolved over the years. Kaprow shifted his practice into what he called "Activities", intimately scaled pieces for one or several players, devoted to the study of normal human activity in a way congruent to ordinary life. Fluxus, performance art, installation art were, in turn, influenced by his work. Kaprow began his early education in Arizona where he attended boarding school, he would attend the High School of Music and Art in New York where his fellow students were the artists Wolf Kahn, Rachel Rosenthal and the future New York gallerist Virginia Zabriskie. As an undergraduate at New York University, Kaprow was influenced by John Dewey's book Art as Experience, he studied in philosophy as a graduate student. He received his MA degree from Columbia University in art history.
He started in the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in 1947. It was here that he started with a style of action painting, which influenced his Happenings pieces in years to come, he went on to study composition with John Cage in his class at the New School for Social Research, painting with Hans Hofmann, art history with Meyer Schapiro. Kaprow started his studio career as a painter, co-founded the Hansa and Reuben Galleries in New York and became the director of the Judson Gallery. With John Cage's influence, he became less and less focused on the product of painting, instead on the action. Kaprow began teaching at Rutgers University in 1953. While there, he helped to create the Fluxus group, along with professors Robert Watts, Geoffrey Hendricks and Roy Lichtenstein, artists George Brecht and George Segal, undergraduates Lucas Samaras and Robert Whitman. Through a long teaching career, he taught at Rutgers until 1961, Pratt Institute from 1960 to 1961, the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1961 to 1966, the California Institute of the Arts from 1966 to 1974, before serving as a full-time faculty member at the University of California, San Diego, where he taught from 1974 to 1993.
In 1958, Kaprow published the essay "The Legacy of Jackson Pollock". In it he demands a "concrete art" made of everyday materials such as "paint, food and neon lights, water, old socks, a dog, movies." In this particular text, he uses the term "happening" for the first time stating that craftsmanship and permanence should be forgotten and perishable materials should be used in art. The "Happenings" first started as scripted events, in which the audience and performers followed cues to experience the art. To Kaprow, a Happening was "A game, an adventure, a number of activities engaged in by participants for the sake of playing." Furthermore, Kaprow says that the Happenings were "events that, put happen." There was no structured beginning, middle, or end, there was no distinction or hierarchy between artist and viewer. It was the viewer's reaction that decided the art piece, making each Happening a unique experience that cannot be replicated; these "Happenings" represent. It is participatory and interactive, with the goal of tearing down the wall a.k.a. "the fourth wall" between artist and observers, so observers are not just "reading" the piece, but interacting with it, becoming part of the art.
One such work, titled Eighteen Happenings in Six Parts, involved an audience moving together to experience elements such as a band playing toy instruments, a woman squeezing an orange, painters painting. His work evolved, became less scripted and incorporated more everyday activities. Another example of a Happening he created involved bringing people into a room containing a large abundance of ice cubes, which they had to touch, causing them to melt and bringing the piece full circle. Kaprow's most famous happenings began around 1961 to 1962, when he would take students or friends out to a specific site to perform a small action, he gained significant attention in September 1962 for his Words performance at the Smolin Gallery. However, the ritualistic nature of his happenings is nowhere better illustrated than in Eat, which took place in a cave with irregular floors criss-crossed with puddles and streams; as Canadian playwright Gary Botting described it, "The'visitors' entered through an old door, walked down a dark, narrow corridor and up steps to a platform illuminated by an ordinary light bulb.
Girls offered white wine to each visitor. Apples and bunches of bananas dangled from the ceiling and a girl fried banana fritters on a hotplate. In a small cave, entered only by climbing a ladder, a performer cut and distributed boiled potatoes. In a log hut and jam were served. Bread was stuffed between the logs; the visitors could drink at random for an hour. There was no dialogue other than that used in the interaction of the visitors with the performers." Botting noted that Eat appealed to all the senses and superadded to, the rhythmic, repeated ticking of metronomes set at the pace of a human heartbeat, simulating ritualistic drumming. Furthermore, "The'visitors' were involved physically and mystically (by the'mystery' of what is beyond the walls of the hut or in the inner cave." In short, Kaprow developed techniques to prompt a creative response from the audience, encouraging audience members to make their own connections between ideas and events. In his own w
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is Spain's national museum of 20th-century art. The museum was inaugurated on September 10, 1992, is named for Queen Sofía, it is located in Madrid, near the Atocha train and metro stations, at the southern end of the so-called Golden Triangle of Art. The museum is dedicated to Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain's two greatest 20th-century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí; the most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso's painting Guernica. Along with its extensive collection, the museum offers a mixture of national and international temporary exhibitions in its many galleries, making it one of the world's largest museums for modern and contemporary art, it hosts a free-access library specializing in art, with a collection of over 100,000 books, over 3,500 sound recordings, 1,000 videos. The museum is dedicated to Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain's two greatest 20th-century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.
The most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso's painting Guernica. The Reina Sofía collection has works by artists such as Joan Miró, Eduardo Chillida, Pablo Gargallo, Julio González, Luis Gordillo, Juan Gris, José Gutiérrez Solana, Lucio Muñoz, Jorge Oteiza, Julio Romero de Torres, Pablo Serrano, Antoni Tàpies. International art represented in the collection include works by Francis Bacon, Joseph Beuys, Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Robert Delaunay, Max Ernst, Lucio Fontana, Sarah Grilo, Damien Hirst, Donald Judd, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Yves Klein, Fernand Léger, Jacques Lipchitz, René Magritte, Henry Moore, Bruce Nauman, Gabriel Orozco, Nam June Paik, Man Ray, Diego Rivera, Mark Rothko, Julian Schnabel, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Clyfford Still, Yves Tanguy, Wolf Vostell; the building is on the site of the first General Hospital of Madrid. King Philip II centralised all the hospitals. In the eighteenth century, King Ferdinand VI decided to build a new hospital because the facilities at the time were insufficient for the city.
The building was designed by architect José de Hermosilla and his successor Francisco Sabatini who did the majority of the work. In 1805, after numerous work stoppages, the building was to assume its function that it had been built for, being a hospital, although only one-third of the proposed project by Sabatini was completed. Since it has undergone various modifications and additions until, in 1969, it was closed down as a hospital. Extensive modern renovations and additions to the old building were made starting in 1980; the central building of the museum was once an 18th-century hospital. The building functioned as the Centro del Arte from 1986 until established as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in 1988. In 1988, portions of the new museum were opened to the public in temporary configurations, its architectural identity was radically changed in 1989 by Ian Ritchie with the addition of three glass circulation towers. An 8000 m2 expansion costing €92 million designed by French architect Jean Nouvel opened in October 2005.
The extension includes spaces for temporary exhibitions, an auditorium of 500 seats, a 200-seat auditorium, a bookshop and administration offices. Ducks scéno was consultant for scenographic equipment of auditoriums and Arau Acustica for acoustic studies. Guernica by Pablo Picasso The Great Masturbator by Salvador Dalí Equal-Parallel/Guernica-Bengasi by Richard Serra The museum features, as a major protagonist, in Jim Jarmusch's The Limits of Control. In the 2003 Spanish film Noviembre, the school entrance scenes and some performance scenes were shot in the square in front of the museum. List of most visited art museums Museo de Escultura al Aire Libre de Alcalá de Henares Official website
Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. The term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are called public art, land art or intervention art. Installation art can be either permanent. Installation artworks have been constructed in exhibition spaces such as museums and galleries, as well as public and private spaces; the genre incorporates a broad range of everyday and natural materials, which are chosen for their "evocative" qualities, as well as new media such as video, performance, immersive virtual reality and the internet. Many installations are site-specific in that they are designed to exist only in the space for which they were created, appealing to qualities evident in a three-dimensional immersive medium. Artistic collectives such as the Exhibition Lab at New York's American Museum of Natural History created environments to showcase the natural world in as realistic a medium as possible.
Walt Disney Imagineering employed a similar philosophy when designing the multiple immersive spaces for Disneyland in 1955. Since its acceptance as a separate discipline, a number of institutions focusing on Installation art were created; these included the Mattress Factory, the Museum of Installation in London, the Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor, MI, among others. Installation art came to prominence in the 1970s but its roots can be identified in earlier artists such as Marcel Duchamp and his use of the readymade and Kurt Schwitters' Merz art objects, rather than more traditional craft based sculpture; the "intention" of the artist is paramount in much installation art whose roots lie in the conceptual art of the 1960s. This again is a departure from traditional sculpture. Early non-Western installation art includes events staged by the Gutai group in Japan starting in 1954, which influenced American installation pioneers like Allan Kaprow. Wolf Vostell shows his installation 6 TV Dé-coll/age in 1963 at the Smolin Gallery in New York.
Installation as nomenclature for a specific form of art came into use recently. It was coined in this context, in reference to a form of art that had arguably existed since prehistory but was not regarded as a discrete category until the mid-twentieth century. Allan Kaprow used the term "Environment" in 1958 to describe his transformed indoor spaces. Installation/environmental art takes into account a broader sensory experience, rather than floating framed points of focus on a "neutral" wall or displaying isolated objects on a pedestal; this may leave space and time as its only dimensional constants, implying dissolution of the line between "art" and "life". The conscious act of artistically addressing all the senses with regard to a total experience made a resounding debut in 1849 when Richard Wagner conceived of a Gesamtkunstwerk, or an operatic work for the stage that drew inspiration from ancient Greek theater in its inclusion of all the major art forms: painting, music, etc.. In devising operatic works to commandeer the audience's senses, Wagner left nothing unobserved: architecture and the audience itself were considered and manipulated in order to achieve a state of total artistic immersion.
In the book "Themes in Contemporary Art", it is suggested that "installations in the 1980s and 1990s were characterized by networks of operations involving the interaction among complex architectural settings, environmental sites and extensive use of everyday objects in ordinary contexts. With the advent of video in 1965, a concurrent strand of installation evolved through the use of new and ever-changing technologies, what had been simple video installations expanded to include complex interactive and virtual reality environments". In "Art and Objecthood", Michael Fried derisively labels art that acknowledges the viewer as "theatrical". There is a strong parallel between installation and theater: both play to a viewer, expected to be at once immersed in the sensory/narrative experience that surrounds him and maintain a degree of self-identity as a viewer; the traditional theater-goer does not forget that he has come in from outside to sit and take in a created experience. The artist and critic Ilya Kabakov mentions this essential phenomenon in the introduction to his lectures "On the "Total" Installation": " is both a'victim' and a viewer, who on the one hand surveys and evaluates the installation, on the other, follows those associations, recollections which arise in him he is overcome by the intense atmosphere of the total illusion".
Here installation art bestows an unprecedented importance on the observer's inclusion in that which he observes. The expectations and social habits that the viewer takes with him into the space of the installation will remain with him as he enters, to be either applied or negated once he has taken in the new environment. What is common to nearly all installation art is a consideration of the experience in toto and the problems it may present, namely the constant conflict between disinterested criticism
Madrid is the capital of Spain and the largest municipality in both the Community of Madrid and Spain as a whole. The city has 3.3 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union, smaller than only London and Berlin, its monocentric metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU, smaller only than those of London and Paris; the municipality covers 604.3 km2. Madrid lies on the River Manzanares in the Community of Madrid; as the capital city of Spain, seat of government, residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is the political and cultural centre of the country. The current mayor is Manuela Carmena from the party Ahora Madrid; the Madrid urban agglomeration has the third-largest GDP in the European Union and its influence in politics, entertainment, media, science and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. Madrid is home to Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. Due to its economic output, high standard of living, market size, Madrid is considered the leading economic hub of the Iberian Peninsula and of Southern Europe.
It hosts the head offices of the vast majority of major Spanish companies, such as Telefónica, IAG or Repsol. Madrid is the 10th most liveable city in the world according to Monocle magazine, in its 2017 index. Madrid houses the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization, belonging to the United Nations Organization, the Ibero-American General Secretariat, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Public Interest Oversight Board, it hosts major international regulators and promoters of the Spanish language: the Standing Committee of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, headquarters of the Royal Spanish Academy, the Cervantes Institute and the Foundation of Urgent Spanish. Madrid organises fairs such as ARCO, SIMO TCI and the Madrid Fashion Week. While Madrid possesses modern infrastructure, it has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets, its landmarks include the Royal Palace of Madrid. Cibeles Palace and Fountain have become one of the monument symbols of the city.
مجريط Majrīṭ is the first documented reference to the city. It is recorded in Andalusi Arabic during the al-Andalus period; the name Magerit was retained in Medieval Spanish. The most ancient recorded name of the city "Magerit" comes from the name of a fortress built on the Manzanares River in the 9th century AD, means "Place of abundant water" in Arabic. A wider number of theories have been formulated on possible earlier origins. According to legend, Madrid was founded by Ocno Bianor and was named "Metragirta" or "Mantua Carpetana". Others contend that the original name of the city was "Ursaria", because of the many bears that were to be found in the nearby forests, together with the strawberry tree, have been the emblem of the city since the Middle Ages, it is speculated that the origin of the current name of the city comes from the 2nd century BC. The Roman Empire established a settlement on the banks of the Manzanares river; the name of this first village was "Matrice". Following the invasions carried out by the Germanic Sueves and Vandals, as well as the Sarmatic Alans during the 5th century AD, the Roman Empire no longer had the military presence required to defend its territories on the Iberian Peninsula, as a consequence, these territories were soon occupied by the Vandals, who were in turn dispelled by the Visigoths, who ruled Hispania in the name of the Roman emperor taking control of "Matrice".
In the 8th century, the Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula saw the name changed to "Mayrit", from the Arabic term ميرا Mayra and the Ibero-Roman suffix it that means'place'. The modern "Madrid" evolved from the Mozarabic "Matrit", still in the Madrilenian gentilic. Although the site of modern-day Madrid has been occupied since prehistoric times, there are archaeological remains of Carpetani settlement, Roman villas, a Visigoth basilica near the church of Santa María de la Almudena and three Visigoth necropoleis near Casa de Campo, Tetúan and Vicálvaro, the first historical document about the existence of an established settlement in Madrid dates from the Muslim age. At the second half of the 9th century, Emir Muhammad I of Córdoba built a fortress on a headland near the river Manzanares, as one of the many fortresses he ordered to be built on the border between Al-Andalus and the kingdoms of León and Castile, with the objective of protecting Toledo from the Christian invasions and as a starting point for Muslim offensives.
After the disintegration of t