Serie of exhibitions around the exploration of urban places far from social activity by
Barcelona, Spain (4ºstop)
The first location for the Box came to my head when I just arrived to Barcelona. I show this air vent, just near to the Congress Palace building and I thought that was the perfect place.
I got very obsess with this location, and I started to think about making an installation down there. An Installation that you could see from the top of the air vent only at night…In my head everything was so easy, I just had to open the air vent, go down, put there my pieces and go out again. Easy!
A few hours, before the Exhibition opening started, I went to this place with all my equipment, ready to arrange everything. Problems started!
My head didn’t count with some facts. In first place, there was a Politic meeting at the Congress Palace, and the area was full of people.
Even so, I try to open the air vent, but the second problem came out!… It was too heavy for one person that I couldn’t make it.
At this time, I thought about calling off the opening, but I decided to go on with my plan and call for help. Two friends of mine came to help me, it was 7:00 pm and we only had two hours left before the opening started. When everybody was distracted, we took advantage of a moment and my two friends open the air vent. Quickly, I came down using some stairs that were stocked to the wall. Down there, everything was full of leaves. I move them in case there was something alive a part of me. Luckily I was alone, so I started to work.
I couldn’t see at all but In spite of everything I finally finished.
I called my friends so the could help me to get out of there. Impossible!
At that moment, the place was so crowded. I had to wait there till the street was clear.
I use that time to document my work, and after, I hide in a hole near to a passage where you could only fit in if you where seated. From there I could heard the sound of cars. That place had to be a vent from the Congress Palace.
After a while the phone rang and my friends came to take me out of there. I came out with an enormous relief before the astonished gaze of a tourist. It was like if I did it everyday!
I had to take out the Box with me. For this time, it wasn’t going to be part of the exhibition but it was going to participate as a witness.
At 9:00 pm, we finally came back to see the exhibition. The installation was designed to work at night with the help of flashlights and laser light.
The scene was like this: A group of people looking down an air vent with attention, lighting it and examining the inside at night-light.
We understood that it could be suspicious, so in order to avoid misunderstandings, every time a car went by, we had to dissimulate. It happened a lot of times!
The meeting wasn’t crowded, we were only four people, but that night, despite continuous interruptions, we enjoy the exhibition.
We show how the pieces worked, we appreciated them and we discovered their effects. We even had serendipity when one of the assistants asked me about a piece… it was an object that generated multicoloured reflections if you illuminate it with a laser light. I didn’t know what it was, I couldn’t recognise it. At the end, we find out! It was one of these children toys that fly and has led lights, which are normally sold at touristic streets… It had to be there before I came down covered by leaves! …Everything came out right.
A month later, some people who didn’t come to the Opening and didn’t see the exhibition came to the place with a laser light following directions by phone.
Thanks to the inaccessibility of the place, everything remained the same except for the leaves that had continued falling, modifying the result.
Gijón, Spain (3ºstop)
Arriving at my great grandfather’s house by the way of the cemetery, there’s a hedge that has a door-opening. I decided to enter and I only saw wood on the ground and some buckets of water, I couldn´t imagine what that could be. It´s the perfect space, you enter standing and the light that passes between the bushes is great. I start to work on the pieces, recovering glasses rolled by the sea from a beach near an old glass dump, I return to visit the place a day before and I met an old woman who tells me that it’s a protected shelter for cats, then I changed some pieces to adapt them to the space and can be useful for the inhabitants.
The day of placing the pieces in the place has arrived, while I go for the second batch of things, a friend is in charge of buying things for the opening (wine and cat food), on returning is a countryman flipping with What is mounted and tells him that it is necessary to remove it from there the next day in the morning.
Everything developed well, the opening was at dusk and the experience was lived with lanterns and lasers accompanied by some wines next to the cemetery. Several small groups enjoyed it. I recovered the box and the rest remained intact.
The next day when I got there to pick it up at 9am, there was nothing left but a camouflaged piece between the plants, I went around but found nothing, then, opening the container of the cemetery I found all the pieces there. The ephemeral of the exhibitions was a fact.
Phantom Train & Door to the Sea
Camarilla / Gijón, Spain (2ºstop)
Fate, for work and family reasons, brings me to Asturias. Once there, the first thing that I remind is a place that some friends talk to me about it: dead tracks with an abandoned train in the tunnel and a door near the historic center of Gijón that leads directly to the sea:
Without previously visiting the place, I invite only people who have heard about the place. I contacted with these friends and carrying the box and some materials begins the exploration, via inland highways we arrive at the phantom landing. Walking a few meters we found the train, walking through it as if from a MadMax scene we were checking the length of the train and decided to go outside, bumping into another tunnel we discovered that it leads to the same place, where the outside of the train waits.
Once there I improvise a tour of the darkness of the interior of the train that ends in a photoluminescence screen on which they could use the flashlights and laser that allow you to orient yourself to the screen. The experience is above any piece or artistic expression.
photo credit: Mirahaciaatras
Door to the Sea
There are places that even locals didn’t know, Mme ago walking with my grandmother on the breakwater of Gijón, told me about a door that leads to the sea, but we were never able to enter, aRer a few years walking around that area I found the Open door, which after a passage ends in the sea.
It is the perfect place to do something around the box, thinking about the proximity to the sea, I worked only with wood and glass, because when the “mareonas” arrive, the water enters forcefully in the passage and will take the pieces.
By setting the stage, I place the smallest pieces so that space does not lose prominence, glass and wood accompany the exit to the stairs that lead to a small cove of stones in the center of Gijón. The visitors are locals or they live in the surrounding area who mostly do not know the place. Ciders, laughter and the breaking of sea waves complement the evening. A padlock and a key hidden in the vicinity allow it to be maintained for a while and it could be visited again.
Holes in reality
7th June 2016 — Valencia, Spain (1ºstop)