ORWELL MONEGROS PROJECT

ORWELL MONEGROS PROJECT

A PROJECT BY BURNINGMAX

News, Pictures and Video from the Art Installation Opening at the CDAN Museum in Huesca

by | May 27, 2017

The set-up of Homenaje a Aragón at the CDAN museum in Huesca was not so heavy as the work in the Orwell trenches. The installation work has been completed in just two days, also thanks to the full assistance and tools from CDAN, and for the help of a friend who lives in Huesca on the second day (gracias, Javier).

One main issue for the installation was the fact that CDAN doesn’t have an elevator, and the serpentine ramp that I was supposed to fill with red gravel as it was a trench is used as access for disables. The installation, as originally planned, couldn’t have allowed wheelchair access, so we had to re-think the placement inside the museum structure, and I ended up expanding into the entrance hall. The installation has been designed for being walked over, such as the one in the Ruta Orwell – and, as for the trenches, the possibility to walk on it while leaning over the terrace to look at the CDAN museum from above recalls the experience of leaning over the trenches to look at the surrounding environment.

Special attention has been payed to the protection of CDAN’s floor surface. Being its floor specially treated in a way that makes it almost smooth, I had to protect it from gravel attrition by using some thick plastic rolls, also provided by CDAN.

The opening went well, even if the conditions were not perfect – not only it rained all day, but also there were three other concurrent museums and galleries openings in town that day. Good anyway the attendance of visitors and media, including some friends who showed up to the opening, and the Círculo Republicano of Huesca, who joined also the following Saturday for the opening in the trenches of the Ruta Orwell. After a televised interview from Aragón TV, and another one over the phone with Agencia EFE in the morning, I kept my presentation short, and left the talking mostly to Juan Guardiola Román, CDAN Museum’s Director, and Alvaro Amador Lacambra, Mayor of Alcubierre, who participated to the opening with Alcubierre’s Cultural Councillor Alberto Lasheras.

I liked the introduction by Juan Guardiola, who tied the opening of the art installation to the International Museum Day 2017. IMD’s theme this year was “Saying the unspeakable in the museum” – a particularly good one, since the installation was about the Spanish Civil War. Juan Guardiola has also pushed the metaphor of violence of war into the territories of land art which is somehow violence on humanity against the environment. Again, a good match with the installation of the Orwell trenches, that look and feel like an open wound in the land of The Monegros, while being at the same time an open wound in the memory of local people and places. As an extension of the land art installation of the Ruta Orwell, Homenaje a Aragón’s virtual blood stream flowing down following the architecture of the museum, was actually meant to be the blood coming out from the trenches’ wound.

People loved the physical interaction with the artwork, as everybody is used not to touch anything when visiting a museum. Some people even took their shoes off, and other laid down on the gravel as dead bodies. Walking on the red gravel is indeed a nice experience, also because it is smaller than the one used at the Orwell trenches, and it feels “almost” as being on a grainy beach. But it’s also a bit messy when people walks on it, and I had to instruct the cleaning personnel of the museum on the right way to “recompose” the installation, since it will be certainly messed up every day. Warning: walking is allowed (and safe) only on the part of the installation that occupies the terrace. Stepping on the installation in the downward ramp can be a bit dangerous with risk for the visitor to fall down – besides of creating a big mess with the installation.

Here are a few pictures from the opening at CDAN Museum last week, when the art installation Homenaje a has been presented to public and media. Homenaje a Aragón will be open to the public at the CDAN Museum until June 11th, 2017, when it will be “reunited” with the installation in the Orwell trenches. Besides of the pictures in this post, you can follow the next link for a complete gallery of photos and video.

To close this article, here is a video created by CDAN the day of the opening at the Centro de Arte y naturaleza. Enjoy. Also check out the video produced by Aragon TV at this page.

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