ETC / Boarded-Up Spaces
Urban tour with five artistic projects and a publication
26th November 2022
ETC Boarded-Up Spaces is the result of a collaboration between IDENSITAT and the IMARTE Art Science Technology research group (Universitat de Barcelona) jointly with the Public Arts Garage (promoted by Bauhaus-University Weimar, as part of de CAPS “Creative Approaches to Public Space”). ETC wants to build up analysis and creative intervention within spaces in the process of transformation.
Five artistic initiatives are the driver for mapping, research, and creative processes, reimagining determinate spaces within the urban context, identifying symbolic, socio-cultural, and environmental markers. The projects, which were designed in a first collaborative phase through online work between two people from two cities, are now presented in physical spaces throughout the city of Barcelona. The format of the urban tour and publication is open to anyone who wishes to participate in this performative activity.
ETC aims to activate artistic research projects based on analysing various types of spaces suffering the consequences of deterioration, abandonment, disconnection, or which are also in a transition phase. ETC deals with issues related to the accelerated transformation of urban usage and spaces, such as the validity of urban settings, temporarily disused locations and their reactivation, liminal spaces, or the ephemeral occupation of places. Exploring these issues allows us to enrich our view of urban space, and contributes to a deeper understanding of the city's ecosystemic complexity.
The ETC project is being deployed in two phases. The first, carried out between February and April 2022, has focused on research, training and project workshops within the international framework which has been offered by Public Arts Garage.
The second phase, open to public participation, consists of a dynamic tour through various urban locations in Barcelona, displaying the results of the formalisation of five projects generated in this context of international collaboration.
PROJECTS AND TOUR
The projects presented in the tour are 'Clouds on the cloud' by Marc Anglès and Runze Feng, 'Leeway' by Natalia Morales and Miriam Hamel, 'Projecte H' by Laia Moretó Alvarado and Gabriel Gómez, 'Walking the Danse Macabre' by Paolo Gruni and Margarita Certeza Garcia, 'Waterscapes' by Mercedes Pimiento and Martin Dagois
«Clouds on the cloud» by Marc Anglès and Runze Feng aims to use the flag as a symbol to examine our relationship as users of the digital cloud; the generic name for services that store images, viral videos and working documents uploaded to the web. Using a photographic archive of clouds, the two artists create patterns for printing a series of flags which will play with the impossibility of pinning down this meteorological phenomenon, in constant motion, while also flirting with the ambiguity of the technological metaphor. The location, and the act of raising the flag, will form two essential elements, allowing the artwork to be activated or completed outwith our control, as happened in many spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic, and which formed the basis of reflection upon which the ETC project was founded. However, this time, it will be the wind, another meteorological phenomenon related to clouds, which has the power to unfurl the flag, and to grant us access to this virtual space which is often considered intangible.
«Leeway » by Miriam Hamel and Natalia Morales is a transnational laboratory for a ludic appropriation of public space. Today's cities are high density complex systems, subjected to tensions at various levels. Due to the increasing complexity of cities, it is necessary to rethink the shared living space, and to ask to what extent it is necessary to reinvent strategies for its development. 'Leeway' aims to experiment with sustainable forms of collaboratively reinterpreting urban space in real-time. Both artists explore ideas for an experimental appropriation and reinterpretation of community-orientated space. Their objective is to make urban transformation imaginable, using a social practice of involuntary play, creating new spaces which outline alternative visions of the future. Thus, 'Leeway' is understood as a game which, based upon simple geometric shapes, allows an infinite variety of formats that stimulate social interaction and ludic activity in (public) space, liberating memories and new associations. With an orientation towards location, dialogue and process, the game, as a counter-model to the capitalist logic of producing space, has the potential to open up experiential spaces which interrupt everyday life, and expand the horizon of established expectations.
«Projecte H» (Helios Gómez) by Laia Moretó Alvarado and Gabriel Gómez, is an ephemeral installation with red windmills which form the letter H (for Helios Gómez) in a space in Montjuic. The modular element refers to the object represented in the painting of the Model Prison chapel, painted by Helios Gómez, currently hidden, because it was covered in white paint, and is pending restoration.
Complementary to this activity is a presentation by Gabriel Gómez, son of Helios Gómez, aiming to spread information on themes such as the life and work of his father, Barcelona’s social and urban policies, changes in the area of Montjuïc, or the contribution of Romani culture in art. This presentation combines recorded audio and an in-person talk.
The action aims to point out the current lack of visibility of a major work by Helios Gómez, to refloat an historical treasure to be reclaimed for the city, to promote active listening to the Romani artistic voice, to demand the recovery of this cultural heritage, and to display a family genealogy of people who have been unjustly imprisoned.
Podcast. Gabriel Gómez. Notes about some Montjuïc places.
«Walking the Danse Macabre» by Paolo Gruni and Margarita Certeza García. The idea of the Danse Macabre has long permeated popular culture. Rituals in which an embodied ‘Death’ dances with the living have been documented for centuries in literature, painting, music and film. Fundamentally a form of memento mori, this reminder of mortality is an acknowledgement of the fragility and transience of nature. The eponymous composition by Saint-Saëns in 1874 was originally based on the poem Égalité, Fraternité by Henri Cazalis, where he noted that death has its own pace and cadence.
From this notion, we are in the process of refining an artistic methodology that interrogates historical spaces where colonial oppression and occupation have led to human and more-than-human suffering and death; via a walking performative format. Can we connect the present to the past despite colonial and racial traumas - how did this leave scars and traces on the lands we are living in? What does this process evoke about history, both in our countries of origin and our countries of residence, and how can we use this dual vision to connect with each other and the public? How can we respond to the site of the Montjuïc, with its layers of oppressions and the entwining of colonial identities and multiple sites of repressions and imprisonment?
«WATERSCAPES. Transmedia walks around restricted sites» by Mercedes Pimiento and Martin Dagois, starts from an investigation into hydraulic infrastructures and their presence in various world cities, based upon both artists’ interest in the political and urban rôles of these constructions, essential for the city as well as for the lives of citizens, but which are usually hidden or restricted from everyday life. Together, they decided to examine the Canal de la Infanta, an irrigation canal in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona), and the Ménilmontant water reservoir in Paris; to find connections between the two places, discussing concepts such as visibility/invisibility, their respective urban and political rôles, and how they tend to be presented and represented.
After researching the two structures, for the second phase of the project, they propose to produce a number of field notebooks based on two 'walks', half digital and half physical, through the area of the Parisian reservoir, and across the remains of the canal in its passage through Montjuïc and the Zona Franca of Barcelona.
Risograph edition of 6 sheets printed on both sides in A3 format, folded and collected in 22 X 16.5 cm format.
URBAN TOUR WITH PUBLICATION
Walking rute with activation of projects arround Montjuïc in Barcelona.
Work team of the ETC Barcelona Temporarily Closed Spaces project. Eugènia Agustí, Irati Irulegi, Jo Milne, Ramon Parramon, Eloi Puig. Marc Anglès, Natalia Morales, Laia Morató, Mercedes Pimiento.
First phase activators: IMARTE e IDENSITAT, as part of the Public Arts Garage project.
Printed in risography by: Raquel Muñoz.
Second phase activators: IDENSITAT and IMARTE. This activity is part of Portes Obertes Xarxaprod
Collaborating: Generalitat de Catalunya Departament de Cultura, Castell de Montjuïc
- The 'Public Arts Garage' is a joint international virtual seminar across six international partner universities who form part of a larger consortium called 'Creative Approaches to Public Space' (CAPS). Partners in the Public Arts Garage are; Bauhaus-University Weimar, Concordia University Montréal, Rennes2 University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Barcelona, and University College Cork. ETC forms part of this teaching collaboration, and promotes the activation of several projects. In this first part, participants from a number of universities have carried out research and pre-projects on spaces in various cities, always working in pairs from two different locations. The training and workshop phase with ETC, was directed by Eugènia Agustí, Jo Milne, Ramon Parramon and Eloi Puig.