ORWELL MONEGROS PROJECT

ORWELL MONEGROS PROJECT

A PROJECT BY BURNINGMAX

CDAN Huesca: The Wound Stays Open Until the End of Summer 2017

by | Jul 1, 2017

The site-specific intervention Homenaje a Aragón, an art installation designed for a month-long exhibition at the CDAN Museum in Huesca, has been invited to join the latest CDAN exhibition El borde de una herida” (#BordeHerida), and will remain prominently featured at the Huesca museum until the end of the summer, with new closing date on September 16th 2017.

I’m very happy that my work keeps getting exposure for the entire summer, also because Homenaje a Aragón is an ephemeral project that, once the exhibition will closes, will disappear to merge with the main installation at George Orwell’s Spanish Civil War trenches in the Monegros, Homenaje a Los Monegros. The land art installation dedicated to George Orwell will be then finally completed, thanks to the add-on of the final 2 tons of red gravel now used for the CDAN installation. The industrially painted red gravel will help secure a bit more longevity to the installation in the trenches, which is now “live” with a temporary red painting that will fade off before the end of the year.

The invitation to leave the installation at the Huesca museum for 3 more months came from Juan Guardiola, the Director of CDAN / Fundacion Beulas, when the previous one-month exhibition was over. It turned out that Homenaje a Aragón is very popular within the public, and many visitors very often use the installation as “selfie spot” at the museum.

Homenaje a Aragón was conceptually matching the previous CDAN exhibition topic (Index Natura), as an extension of the land art piece in the Orwell trenches. The violence of war – men against men, and against nature – was expressed as a stream of blood flowing across the museum spaces, virtually surging from the wound created on the territory, in men and in society by the Spanish Civil War. Now, with CDAN’s summer exhibition topic El Borde de una Herida (#BordeHerida), the installation is even more spot-on.

Besides the obvious visual interpretation of a blood red wound in the museum, also placed in a prominent position across the museum hall – dominating the entire space and yet at a border created by the terrace and the stairway of the CDAN structure – the conceptual “adaptation” of the red gravel installation now matches even more the exhibition topic.

El Borde de una Herida refers to the current ongoing human, social, political and ethical crisis of migrations and refugees, specially those who cross the Gibraltar channel to enter the EU through Spain. #BordeHerida explores the migration scenario from the point of view of citizenship rights versus immigration laws, and the impact on topics such as internal colonialism and sovereignty, as well as social, political and civil rights.

While the artists participating to #BordeHerida focus on the political and geographical border of the Gibraltar Channel, Homenaje a Aragón moved the border up north, where the debate has been created, and invites to reflect again on the human, social, political and geographic internal frontiers that the Spanish War created 80 years ago, whose wounds are still open today, specially in places that have been exposed to the atrocities of the civil war such as Aragón.

The invitation not to forget the horror of war – all of the wars, including those that are happening around the world right now – is subliminal, so not everybody gets it, specially those too concentrated in getting the perfect selfie out of the red gravel installation. But this is Ok, it’s part of the “pop” approach to today’s contemporary art. Unwanted from the artist (in most cases), but built upon the original intentions by the public. It has happened to me before, with a previous land art installation, always in The Monegros, that I created on the flank of a hill for the Nowhere festival in 2008. The name of the installation was “Magnetic Dream Field”, but everybody called it “Alien Transceiver Station” or “Alien Rocks” – you can see some picture of it at the Nowhere Art Archives.

I must admit that I took a few selfies at CDAN too – both with my installation and with Mar Negro, an impressive installation work by the Spanish artist Carlos Aire that occupies the exhibition room next to the hall with hundreds of colourful pieces of wood gathered on a beach near Cadiz call “the cemetery of immigrants boats”, as it’s the place where the sea currents bring all the remains of immigrants’ shipwrecks. Will it be considered “dark” the fact that I took a selfie while walking on the actual remains of a human tragedy? I hope not…

The installation Homenaje a Aragón will be featured at the CDAN museum in Huesca until September 16th 2017, so you have the entire summer to visit the museum and take a selfie or two! =)

The CDAN Museum / Fundación Beulas, a museum dedicated to land art, is also a very nice place to visit if you are traveling across the north of Spain, check out some of the pictures of the museum’s architecture from a previous blog post. The exhibition El Borde de una Herida is a very interesting, well curated – and shocking. An exhibition that really deserves a visit, and a few more selfies! Don’t miss it! Find more info on #BordeHerida and the exhibitions featured this summer at CDAN, including Homenaje a Aragón here.

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