Touching the Village

A collaboration between Ariadna Guiteras and Lena Heubusch.
Curated by Gema Darbo. Commissioned by Pueblos en Arte.

    This exhibition presents the result of a collaboration between Ariadna Guiteras and Lena Heubusch within the framework of project Ruta 234. Through a series of collective intra-actions, the project attempts to overcome dichotomies between village-city - between the rural and the industrial - proposing a transversal body of work that disrupts traditional narrativizations of the relation between nature and culture. How can we understand one of the least populous areas of Europe as a body that exists as the sum of its realities and particularities – an organism reactive to the politics, desires and needs of all its inhabiting entities.

    Sound installation Voz piedra attempts to break with a static and binary logic through the story of a situated voice; one that speaks through multiple subjectivities and narrativizes the experience of a journey that runs through a body that is the sum of a multitude of other voices. What we find narrated is a fragmented, de-territorialized and amplified history that invites us to look again at the environment of rural Spain as a site of political signification.

    Tocar el pueblo gives a title both to the exhibition and to a series of video-actions that hybridize the gestural, the sensual and the affective. When the village is touched, how close are we to it? The German term Taktgefühl reminds us that the sense of touch not only allows organisms to perceive the qualities of objects but also to approach their material-affective dimension from the dynamics of mutual care. The supporting, circluding and caressing of stone or of lichen are practices that at the same time underline a need to strengthen the transmission of non-traditional forms of knowledge.

    Thinking a territory from a material perspective means understanding that its political geology is made up of diverse temporalities, displacements and multiple knowledges. Formulated as a sculptural image, the installation Noventa y dos adobas de una casa que se cae, allows us to observe processes of destruction, material condensation and collective transformation from the remains of an adobe ruin. Here we find residues of a human and non-human architecture, which becomes a modern topography laminated by technology. Projecting a space for possible future realities, each adoba contains an imprint of the bodies of those who passed through other villages before.

Text by Gema Darbo