together with our partners: Univeristat de Barcelona and the Urban Forms Foundation, we have decided to postpone the AEC4 conference until spring 2021. Thus we meet the expectations of our conference participants.
We have no guarantee that the situation with Covid 19 will have become stable by autumn and we would like to preserve the specificity of the conference drawing from the experience of the city. We hope that it will be possible to organize a live conference next year.
Barranquilla, a city located in an intertropical geographical latitude on the left bank of the Magdalena’s River mouth, is constituted as a conglomerate of pieces due to its urbanization processes. Processes that began an accelerated urban development during the first decades of the 20th century, without an Urban Plan for the management of its vast territory. In the absence of this, bourgeois neighborhoods are drawn up to allocate European Immigrants by the time that other informal neighborhoods appear spontaneously to allocate local and regional immigrants. Among the bourgeois neighborhoods, El Prado neighborhood stands out, developed according to the urbanistic principles of the Modern Movement, following the Garden City model, it constitutes the main urban landmark of the city in the 20th century.
That is how El Prado is planned with a continuous urban layout and built in each of its properties, houses, and buildings of architectural styles like those built in the north American and British cities. Among these buildings, which are now patrimonial, stands out: the construction of fifty-four isolated houses for the Barranquilla elite, the El Prado Hotel and the opening of the Country Club. The passing of time has generated functional transformations in the El Prado neighborhood that have modified its symbols and imaginaries. However, the declaration as an Asset of National Cultural Interest, through Resolution 0087 on February 2, 2005, has prevented the structural modification of its architectural heritage pieces, front gardens, courtyards, and most of the plant species, as well as the urban layout.
Nowadays there are a confluence of integrated and complementary manifestations that can be lived in the neighborhood and are conjugated with cultural activities developed in the urban space, activities that are linked with cultural and artistic scenarios which by the passing of the time have been set up in the neighborhood. This confluence has generated a synergy between the Garden City model, the typical daily residential life of the Caribbean that inhabits part of the architectural heritage, the culture hosted in heritage buildings and the wide open public spaces, reaffirming the living as a condition to be considered from the heritage understanding as a matter of future. An understanding that, also puts in value the human manifestations that are less recognized, since with it, the territory acquires other potentials. This is how the initiative of the Museo Vivo El Prado promotes this value as a process of urban regeneration.
The potential value of the living, structured under the concept of Museum, through the process of urban regeneration, includes the El Prado neighborhood as a territory of key opportunities in cultural management and innovation, through the startup of other economic models that exclude the possibility of gentrification. That is how this research is immersed to an in-depth study of urban regeneration, the understanding of the image of the city as a piece of art and the research on the significance of museums in different instances. Concretizing this way, the conception of the Living Museum as the meaning of urban space that firstly, does not take its collection out of context, but in opposition, is generated around itself, taking advantage of the dynamic, symbiotic, socially balanced spatial and cultural systems in which democratic and spontaneous dynamics that develop, grounds and support an economic, natural and cultural equilibrated system. It is not a matter of creating an untouchable inert environment, but to allowing actions and relationships between visitors and inhabitants that enhance those dynamics. This is how The Museo Vivo El Prado, proposed as a cultural and creative innovation district, will not only generate impact and economic retribution, but it will also make possible the transformation of collective imaginaries, founding their identities and consolidating their image. That will be favored by its initial urban planning energized by the ways of living that happens in this heritage environment, letting it being recognized as its “own brand”, from the territorial marketing, in terms of recognition and promotion within the city, by the incentive of the ‘Orange economy’ that is one of the Colombian National Government goals
In this way, the Museo Vivo El Prado is projected from the understanding of the heritage as a matter of future, standing apart from the traditional concept of a museum, this is, as a static, inert and inanimate concept that takes out the collection of its context and uses the buildings as a supports for other artwork. In Opposition the Museo vivo El Prado places the concept of the museum in the dimension of urban management and regeneration combined with creative economy processes, to be handed over to a democratic, public, open-air space. That is how the urban space is the museum itself, its limits are the territory on which the heritage is administratively placed and the sky as its upper border.
PUBLIC ART IN EL PRADO NEIGHBORHOOD (BARRANQUILLA) Exercise in style
This article aims to study the public art of the El Prado neighbourhood in Barranquilla. For this, the general urban context of the city is analysed, including samples of public art from other urban areas of this city.
The article is structured as an “exercise in style” that puts into dialogue “feeling” and “knowing”. A feeling derived from the experience on the territory obtained in three trips to this city, which is complemented by the analytical knowledge derived from the study of the different issues raised. That is why, from the point of view of reading, a differentiation has been made in typography and its colour. The Calibri light font in black describes the sensations of a gadabout, a Spanish term close to the Baudelairdian flâneur but without its elite charge, immersed in territory. The Courier typography in garnet, contrasts the information obtained sensory with the used analysis documentation.
The COVID19 pandemic has left thousands dead, hundreds of thousands of infected people, a health system on the brink of collapse; the discovery that an important part of the fundamental services are those that have little social consideration and less salary and have had Spaniards confined for 10 weeks – just now the confinement measures begin to flex.
While a supportive citizenship applauds essential services every night at 8 p.m., and organizes solidarity networks to alleviate the “hunger queues” and the devastating effects the pandemic has and will have on popular classes, fleeing the war language used by the political class that has not yet understood that YES the virus understands borders, those of social class. Citizens have clearly understood that this is not a war, that this is not about heroes.
In this context two monuments have just been unveiled in Madrid. One responsibility of the Madrid City Council devoted to those who died during the pandemic – as if the pandemic had ended. The other monument is the sculpture “Heroes of COVID19”.
The City of Madrid monument is a cauldron designed by architect Carlos Rubio Carbajal, located on an island at the beginning of Calle Alcalá towards Sol square. The cauldron is a circular piece of black steel almost two meters in diameter, like a large plate, placed on a prism also of steel. At the foot of the prism a commemorative plaque. As a scenic background of the monument the Fountain of Cibeles and the Palacio de las Comunicaciones – it was the headquarters of the Spanish post office-, an example of the “Monterrey” style of the beginning of the twentieth century and today the seat of the Region of Madrid.
It is precisely in this palace that the regional president inaugurated on May 20th the unfortunate monument “Heroes of COVID19” by the sculptor Victor Ochoa. Formally the work is a real waste, mixture of bronze and resins. Bronze that looks like a cow manure, translucent resin that being kind we would identify with the cinematic “Casper”, but which is rather a bad Orphic representation of the classical moiras or parcas.
It is precisely in this palace that the regional president unveiled on May 20th the unfortunate monument “Heroes of COVID19” by the sculptor Victor Ochoa. Victor Ochoa acknowledges that this work had been in his studio for several years and, how cheaply demiurge, intends to convince us that this work was a premonition. As social networks point out, foreboding nothing, it’s a “botch-up”, a “shit”, an insult to the consciences of good people.
Commercial opportunism of a sculptor – sculpture is not a commission, it is a donation from the sculptor – which was formed in my Faculty, the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona. What a shame.
Very timely, the networks note that the work seems more “an allegory on management of the crisis by Diaz Ayuso ” the regional president who, with the arrogance that characterizes her, threatens the public by saying that this will not be the only tribute that the victims of the coronavirus will have in the region and announced a contest of ideas in which architects will be able to participate , sculptors and entities from the world of culture and architecture to build a memorial in memory “to the victims and heroes who have fought against Covid-19.
We repeat, it’s not about war, it’s not about heroes. It is logical that the symbolic thought of the reactionary right and the far right cannot comprehend it and use the empty rhetoric of the homeland and heroism and the expression of an outdated figuration.
Supportive citizenship doesn’t deserve this. Supportive citizenship does not deserve pain and suffering to be used at the present dramatic moment as a political tool of the most despicable populism.
For the reader who understands Spanish I would recommend following the video of the aesthetic teacher Félix Duque “Several Apostilles: a monument to the “heroes” of the covid that is scary” in this direction https://youtu.be/VGoRK98gyfA
At the end of 2019 at a meeting between the Association of Neighbors, the Pla de Barris and the CR POLIS of the University of Barcelona, it was agreed that the students of the Master in Urban Design of the UB, in the context of the subject Theory of Art Public, they would develop a job of assessing possibilities about the use program derived from the participatory processes realized in the neighborhood. Continue reading Bon Pastor (Barcelona) New public spaces in phase V of remodeling
Time has come to systematize knowledge about the role of images in the city. We believe that thinking about the city in the category of images – both ‘natural’ landscapes and visual screens – is highly desirable. Cities have always been filled with smaller or bigger forms of fundamentally traditional art (posters, wall decorations), as well as street art (more or less radical interventions). Some viewpoints, from which one can admire the city panorama, are top tourist attractions (instead of the most interesting places). Unfortunately, cities are often presented through a reduced number of images that are not very fortunate for them… We want to examine the mutual relations between the city and its images: those created for the city and those consolidating the city identity. Continue reading Urban Images, the 4rth Aestehtic Energy of the City International Conference
Lefebvre (Lefebvre, Henry, 1973) pointed out the contradictions inherent to the monument. He defends it insofar as it “projects on the ground a worldview and a transcendence, a beyond“; but he rejects it because when it “organizes a space, colonizes and oppresses its surroundings”, (… and) “full of symbols it offers them for contemplation (passive) and social conscience when they are out of date and have lost their meaning“. Continue reading What are the monuments for?
30 years ago, on January 26, 1939, the avant-gardes of the Navarre Army Corps and the Moroccan Corps arrived at Tibidabo. Barcelona, bombed multiple times, stretched at his feet, exhausted and without an army to defend it. The official organisms of the Republic and the Generalitat had been evacuated on the 22nd. The remains of the republican army tried unsuccessfully to defend the Llobregat river line. Continue reading [Camp de la Bota] Parapet of those executed (1939-1952) by F. Abad