Lugares Intangibles is a map about the intangible side of Riba Roja d’ Ebre, a small rural village in Catalonia. It is part of the project Riu d’art.
This sculpture, built facing the Ebro, seeks to embody an essential aspect of the village that lies only in the thoughts of its inhabitants. This immaterial layer is constituted by thoughts related to those places that evoke memories every day, or where you may lose eye on the horizon to disconnect from routine, or perhaps a place where, simply, you can spend a good time with friends.
These subtle treasures, which are omitted from official maps, are what feeds into this sculpture, developed with the direct participation of the people, which are brought into the physical world. This is done through symbols associated with personal and special places, which are preserved in glass jars and, plus the stones, constitute a treasure wall structured by untouchable places.
The shape and materials of the sculpture responds to the architecture of the village. It could be a house, maybe the rests of an old kitchen where the food (for the soul) is preserved, it could also be the continuity of the borders of the gardens facing the water…
The work invites the public to observe what is behind these objects and they are encouraged to find the places they symbolise with the help of maps associated with each treasure, which are kept in the public library of the village.
All participants who attended the workshops
La Brigada Municipal for carrying all heavy materials needed for the sculpture
Sarah Misselbrook for sharing with me building techniques and for helping me to build the sculpture
Chris Thornton for all the technical support and for helping me to build the sculpture
About the participatory process:
“Construyamos juntos el muro de los tesoros de Riba Roja”
The Artisan Market was the context where this workshop happened. Along the day, dwellers were invited to select one special place of Riba-roja d’Ebre, but not necessarily a traditional landmark of the village. The intention in this task was to dig into the emotional side of the people, so along the conversation, memories from stages of life, beloved persons or secret viewpoints, start to emerge.
The participants were invited to create a Treasure Map. On them, people wrote stories, drew memories to depict the feelings connected to the location, and also gave a few indications to actually get to the place (or not).
At the end of the process they selected an object they could relate that special place. These objects, which since then symbolise treasures in the memory of the participants, were preserved into glass jars and became the essential element in the creation of the sculpture “Lugares Intangibles”.