TRANSLOCATIONS. Temporary experience, artistic practices and local contexts | RAMON PARRAMON
Translocation is a term used in the field of genetics, defined as the displacement of segments between chromosomes, the phenomenon whereby a fragment of chromosome is transferred to another non-homologous chromosome and, therefore, modifies it. The consequences of such displacements can be mutations in affected organisms, as in some cases modified chromosomes may be defective and generate malformations, but in other cases may cause favourable evolutions. We are interested in this idea of fragility and risk which translocation involves in connection with contemporary forms of displacement among people, their interactions in local contexts and the various transfer mechanisms which occur. Translocation is the conjugation between subjects, experiences and the relationships of cause-and-effect which occur between locals and visitors, those who usually reside in a particular place, and those who are strangers, others, foreigners. The consequences of this conjugation have a great deal to do with the space over which this transcultural mobility is deployed, and within which it is configured, and explicitly affects this space.
Within contemporary societies, various forms of mobility are having an effect upon localities, both in terms of spatial organisation, and in terms of the experience of living in a particular place. These forms assume special significance in certain cities, or in specific urban areas, where a huge number of experiences resulting from displacements are emphasised. There are cities in which this phenomenon is especially concentrated, and there are zones within cities which agglutinate a higher translocal density, while other districts may keep such phenomena at a distance. These denser areas may be linked across the world to other contexts where mobility also becomes the trigger for changes in space, changes in the way people relate to each other and with space, and changes in extralocal projection of the place itself. Examples of such zones in Barcelona are the Gothic Quarter, the Raval and, tangentially, the Port, the latter being not only a major point of entry for freight and trade goods, but also increasingly for travellers, due to the increment in tourism on cruise liners. Other districts within the city are also suffering similar collateral effects, but we allude explicitly to the above zones because they provide the framework for an important part of the Translocations project’s analysis and activities.
“Translocations” has been devised as an art project which embraces a number of other projects, to be carried out in various phases, of which this exhibition forms a part. The word translocation, borrowed from another discipline, in this case refers to mechanisms of transference within the relationship between locals and visitors within a specific context, to the impact produced by the sum of multiple visitor-subjects in a given space (physical and social) for a specific time period, and to the consequences which may result in the configuration, use, perception or projection of the specific space. These processes of translocation applied to specific living spaces may produce effects of improvement and progress, as well as of deterioration and collapse, depending upon particular internal and external agencies which take part in this complex articulation. These processes are derived from the set of transferences, modifications and mutations produced through various forms of interaction within a determined context; in which visitors enjoy a temporal relationship, and occupy a space which may enjoy a high degree of identity or identification from the local point of view, unleashing stresses and strains which affect both parties in various ways. The potential for attraction and rejection within this local-translocal situation, are collective effects which occur simultaneously, and which become radicalised when ecosystems are endangered.
Artistic practices can make visible what is hidden behind the “dark transparency of the democratic order” (1), and in some cases these practices may impact upon reality and attempt to change it, while in others they form part of more complex processes, comprising an attempt to rethink certain structures, or to change the way these structures are understood. These different options and priorities are discovered within the projects and approaches involved throughout the various phases of Translocations. Translocations, taken as a whole and also as a project suggested by the logic of Idensitat, attempts to situate itself on the borderline, aiming to incorporate social criticism, but also to take a step beyond, making a solid commitment to imagining the future and to making an impact upon current processes of transformation. A task approached through transversality and active proposals for the refocus, involvement, and translocation, of both microinstitutional, or micropolitical structures.
At present we live under conditions which are likely to change, where residents of certain local contexts are becoming aware of their ability to organise and influence social and political processes. The right to the city, claimed first by Lefevre and then by Harvey, refers not only to the right to use the commons, but also, above all, the right to rethink and transform the city, an approach which turns the citizen into an active part of the whole process. In this moment of consciousness of change, the possibility of connecting to geographies of mobility arises, from the perspective of artistic practices which interact with, influence, indicate, represent, or give visibility to processes of transformation, along with the possibility of “translocating” the essence within this definition of the right to the city, and applying it to the right to culture, so that the citizen, or citizen action, can and should form part of the process of cultural construction and transformation.
The complexity of the city, its multiple layers, are, and have been, the subject of prolific artworks and artistic projects, of research, essays and surveys, brought together by a common interest in the phenomena which affect the construction of the city, the joining together of vivid experiences, and the configuration of future projects, approached from various disciplines.
TRANSLOCATIONS | PROJECT OBSERVATORY
This exhibition arises from the idea of creating a project observatory, a heterogeneous group of artworks which, taken together, confront contemporary mobility flows in interaction with specific sites in various cities. Phenomena such as global tourism, migration or displacement due to labour issues, are dealt with in contextualised projects, which promote a range of options and means of action. In some cases, these projects are analytical, others are reportage, and others propose alternatives on how these phenomena, which have a global geo-political impact, affect or intercede in the local context. Consequences of mobility in connection with citizenship, identity, territoriality, diversity, settlement, or the construction of public space, intersect and affect each other unevenly, depending upon circumstances, momentum, and placement.
Super-speed and super-connectivity are essential elements in the western world, where the capitalist system invests in, promotes and markets mobility, and all that follows from it, converting transit into business. But the same social, economic and technological structures which enable much of the population to move freely from one place to another, also establish mechanisms which exclude many people from the benefits. Precariousness, social dualisation, geo-spatial conflicts, dangers, fears and violence are phenomena which limit and condition not only transnational, but also local mobility.
This exhibition brings together a number of projects already realised in several cities by a selection of artists and creators, along with the various phases which were developed as part of TRANSLOCATIONS, and also various production projects developed within the context of Raval and the Barri Gòtic. Different microinterventions conducted within the districts’ public and social space are presented. The results of three workshops, in cartography, in design, and in the concept of “zombie spaces”, are incorporated. It includes a selection of projects, in the form of a “Project Archive” integrating artistic and social proposals realised within the district from the late eighties onwards, presenting a graphic display which highlights a number of these projects through interviews with their creators.
Overall, Translocations reveals the worldwide scope of the phenomenon of mobility, but also how it takes on specific nuances in each location, and how many related issues achieve form and relevance according to the ways in which this phenomenon is dealt with. The selected projects impact upon these contexts through mapping, by enabling critical action, or by deploying mechanisms of collaboration and co-participation within the urban context.
- GROYS, Boris. Volverse público. Las transformaciones del arte en el ágora contemporánea. Ed. Caja Negra, Buenos Aires, 2014
EXHIBITION – TRANSLOCATIONS | PROJECT OBSERVATORY
15 July-13 September 2015
Arts Santa Mònica
Rambla 7, 08002 Barcelona (Spain)
Translocations | Project Observatory is an exhibition comprising a group of heterogeneous artistic works which, taken as a whole, deal with contemporary mobility fluxes and their interactions with social and public spaces in specific sites within various cities. Global phenomena which have a geo-political global impact, such as tourism, migration or displacement due to job-seeking, are dealt with through contextualised projects, some of which analyse, and some of which report upon, the ways in which these phenomena affect or influence the local context, while still others propose alternatives . The consequences of mobility, in relation to citizenship, identity, territoriality, diversity, and the consolidation or the construction of public space, intersect and show disparate effects according to circumstance, time, and placement.
This exhibition brings together a number of projects already realised in several cities by a selection of artists and creators, along with the various phases, which were developed as part of TRANSLOCATIONS, and also various production projects developed within the context of Raval and the Barri Gòtic. Overall, Translocations reveals the worldwide scope of the phenomenon of mobility, but also how it takes on specific nuances in each location, and how many related issues achieve form and relevance according to the ways in which this phenomenon is dealt with. The selected projects impact upon these contexts through mapping, by enabling critical action, or by deploying mechanisms of collaboration and co-participation within the urban context.
Projects by: Rogelio López Cuenca / Amnistia Internacional / Atfal Ahdath / Marcos Ávila Forero / Isabel Banal – Jordi Canudas / Ángela Bonadíes / Luz Broto / Santiago Cirugeda / Pep Dardanyà / Raquel Friera / Daniel García Andújar / Bouchra Khalili / Matteo Ferroni / Núria Güell – Levi Orta / Ro Caminal / Irma Arribas – Queralt Guinard – Octavi Rofes – Pau Vilallonga / Iconoclasistas / ID Barrio Mex / Left hand Rotation / Josep-Maria Martín / Teresa Mulet / Arturo-Fito Rodríguez Bornaetxea/ Torolab.
Artistic interventions in public space with Brigitte Vasallo – Pol Galofre / Juan Pablo Ordúñez- MawaTres / Diásporas Críticas (Verónica Lahitte, Rebecca Close, Anyely Marín Cisneros) / Ro Caminal / Col·lectiu Fem Plaça / Giuliana Racco – Matteo Guidi.
Cartography (directed by Itzíar González – Consuelo Bautista). Participants: Oriol Ballesteros, Simona Cerri, Joaquín Jordán, Valentina Asinari di San Marzano, Lucia Vecchi, Ana Llorens, María Paz Montecinos, Mercè López Bravo, David Limaverde, Valerie Mathis, Federica Formeti, Edu Ruiz, Anna Irina Limia Russell, Irene Grego, Alejandra Crespo Amigo, Maria José Jimenez Sequeiros, Montserrat Moliner, Ruth Soria, Isabel Carrero, Leonardo Fernández, Helen Morgan, Ricard Escudero, Margot Mecco, Diana Padrón, Anna Recasens, Monica Roselló, Mireia Vidal, Tomas López, Núria Font, Llàtzer Planas, Anita Serrano, Carla Thoene, Danja Burchard.
Zombi Spaces (directed by Domènec – Idensitat). Participants: Aleix Porta, Blanca Machuca, Daniel A. Ramírez, Toni Sangrà, Chiara De Marco, Eva Marín Peinado, Imma Camps, Imma Vallmitjana, Joan Vitòria, Jordi Lafon, Marc Fernández, María Jiménez, Marisa Paituvi, Marta Morató, Mechu Lopez, Mireia Vidal, Rubén Oliva, Sergi Bermejo, Jordi Garet, Anna Recasens, Francesc Magrinyà, David Picó, Diana Padrón, Gaspar Maza.
Passejant pel Raval (directed by Andrew Lister – Daniel Cid, Elisava Escola Superior de Disseny i Enginyeria de Barcelona / Winchester School of Arts). Participants: Roman Daniel Esteba, Silvester Oliver, Laura Freixas, Clara Massó, Carlota Ruiz, Anderson Underwood, Claire Naïma, Ana Vazquez.
Selected projects within the context of the Raval, interviews with Isabel Banal – Jordi Canudas, Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio / Josep Bohigas / Manuel Delgado / Marcelo Expósito / Macarena González / Carles Guerra / Rosa Llop – Simona Marchesi / Rosa Pera / Jeffrey Swartz / Claudio Zulián. (Directed by Ramon Parramon – Diana Padrón).
TRANSLOCACIONES | OBSERVATORIO DE PROYECTOS
Project and curator: Ramon Parramon
TRANSLOCATIONS is a project by IDENSITAT and Arts Santa Mònica