This year we are commemorating 11 September with two art installations within the archaeological complex. Through visual and sound art they reinterpret two defeats that interact across the ages and that represent two struggles at the same time: the last defence of Barcelona on 11 September, 1714 with the subsequent demolition of the houses in the Ribera neighborhood, and the defeat of democracy in Chile through the coup d’état of 11 September, 1973, 50 years ago.
In the installation by Josep Manuel Berenguer, the artist is inspired by the defeat of 1714 and the evictions of 1716, two key moments that shape the visible part of the remains of the archaeological complex of El Born. Habitar significa deixar empremtes (To dwell means to leave traces) is a visual and sound installation that try to rebuild the sounds of everyday life in the El Born neighbourhood in the 18th century. These are electro-acoustic musical pieces that develop the neighbourhood’s soundscape, both before and after the demolition of the houses. Thus, the visitor can hear the sounds inspired by the games of triquets or ball courts, of the activities of the butchers, of the gut-string makers, of carpentry, of the blacksmiths, of the metalworkers, of the water of the Rec Comtal, of the sewers, of the birds, of the footsteps of people on the paving stones and of the falling walls and the movement of furniture at the time of the demolition. The performance of the pieces is made using artificial intelligence, which transforms the level of intensity in such a way that they never sound the same.
In addition, the installation is populated with quotations from Walter Benjamin spoken in ten different languages. In the light of the philosopher’s thinking, Josep Manuel Berenguer is interested in his historical perspective on defeat, which contrasts with the dominant tendency to overvalue victories. From this point of view, it becomes important to locate the installation in an urban site full of overlapping traces and to reconstruct the sounds of an everyday life erased with a pick and shovel.
On September 20 from 6:30 p.m., Josep Manuel Berenguer will present a sound action from the same balcony: The traces are not the facts. Multifocal Acousmatic Performance.
This activity is part of the activities of the Catalonia’s Diada.