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Two weeks ago, we took part to a workshop leaded by Jan Vormann, artist and creator of Dispatchwork, a nice, colored urban “hacking” practice which consists in filling holes in stone or brick-made wall with hundreds of lego bricks. It was a nice afternoon and we had the chance to talk a bit with the artist about this practice. He came to know very well the pieces he handles and can easily fix whatever kind of hole he finds with a fine, superior technique. It is interesting to notice (or maybe to remember) how much craftsmanship these small bricks need to be wisely combined, but it is even more to learn how to interface them with reality.

Building worlds made entirely out of lego is a reminiscence of our childhood but using them to “fix” wall in a urban hacking practice sounds kind of more grown-up game, maybe closer to contemporary street art practices, but in a reversible way, since legos can in any moment be removed, dismantled and turn back to their original shape. That is why we believe it is an of course more ephemeral, but also somehow less arrogant technique, to color and play with the city.

Photos by The G. Canyon in a Crack

We thank Jan Vormann for the time he spent sharing with us his art and his technique.

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Can Felipa Civic Centre, in the very heart of Poblenou in Barcelona, the old factory workers’ district, nowadays renewed and transformed into an art and culture centre, is hosting till 19 of june an interesting exhibition of young artists titled Paradis Perdut, alg(unes) mirades al voltant del jardì. The works exposed are built around the theme of the garden and the contemporary loss of “paradise” in our city, where a green space is often like a hidden treasure (expecially in Barcelona); all the works together contribute to write a redemption song calling for the lost paradise. What is shown is a series of thoughts about the idea of garden and about its contemporary condition.

We would like to focus especially over two particular projects of the exhibition. The first one is “Degradado, Jardin Ambulante” by Cecilia Martin, an installation made from five bins painted in a degrading color scale from black to white; in each bin stands a cypress tree, growing in height toghether with the bin growing in brightness, as a symbol of the meeting between industry and nature. It is literally a moving garden through Poblenou’s district, trying to start  a dialogue about the green areas and the intense urban renewal of an industrial space, mirror of the change of an economic paradigm.

The route of the garden consists of eight stops, all of them located in strategic places where, years ago, there were factories or workers’ housing.

Following the garden we can walk the path of the transformation of the spaces in the context of a contemporary-faced city, where the industrial past is only a (romantic?) memory, with a critical eye in front of the lackness of green.

Another work by the same artist, Natura Viva, reminds us the Mobile Garden of Tatfoo Tan, which we already described in this post.

Images taken from jardinambulante.blogspot.com

The second project we would like to talk about is Julie Houle‘s Patch; based on the concept of “object trouvet”, manipulated and repaired. In  a series of postcards we can find maps of the streets of Poblenou with a mark in every place where the artist stopped to repair parts of “broken” natural elements, such as trees, leaves or stones, with different materials. Examples of this patchworks are shown in the exhibitions inside glass boxes. Putting one beside the other natural and man-made materials, the artist wants to give a ludic and ironic sense to her work, revealing at the same time the uniqueness of nature. The apparently useless repair tries to make us indulge in a reflection about our environment, underlining with these little interventions the need to focus on bigger topics.

This work reminds us the one of Nina Katchadourian for “Platform 21”, who carefully repaired dozens of spiderwebs. We believe that the “repairing nature” is more than a work of art and helps us facing realities we have always ignored or considered as independent and self-sufficient, but that nowadays really need all of our attention.

Images taken from juliehoule.com