ENCERCLAMENT (Encirclement) a social construct for intercultural dialogue Víctor Mata i... Read More
a social construct for intercultural dialogue
Víctor Mata i Ventura
Barcelona, 23rd july 2020
1. Proposal for the Costeta Metropolitan Park
Through a request from the city council of Begues and according to the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona I submitted a proposal to erect Encerclament (Encirclement), a labyrinthine construction of dry stone destined to the Costeta Park of Begues Municipality. (Baix Llobregat, Barcelona). The installation is closely related to the land art movement. Built with the natural resources of the Garraf massif and expresses its geology and history. It is designed and conceptualized in accordance with its location, the natural environment and the indigenous cultural tradition that links with the identity and culture of the Mediterranean peoples.
2. Integration into the landscape
Encerclament is formed with the three types of rock that express the geological diversity of the Garraf massif, popularly known as White Garraf, Black Garraf and Red Garraf. It is built with the dry stone technique used ancestrally to erect all kinds of agricultural and pre-industrial constructions. The use of indigenous materials facilitates the integration of Encerclament into the contemporary landscape that make up the old vineyards, today occupied by a pine forest with undergrowth, within the Metropolitan Park of the Costeta. Making it possible has led to the integration of stone walls into the morphology of the terrain and condition the vegetation of the environment.
3. Dry stone: instrument of cultural exchange
The techniques and constructive skills inherent in the heritage of dry stone, valid by some non-industrialized populations, and still close in time and in the tradition of mechanized societies, can be realized in different qualities and concepts –skill, work, knowledge, tradition, culture, identity– that act and intervene on the natural elements –stone, earth, water, plants– without processes or artificial applications. In this sense, the dry stone heritage joins the peoples, people and territories that have secularly used it at the agricultural, livestock and artisanal work. The landscapes that make up the dry stone constructions have slowly evolved over time, thus containing cultural and natural elements that establish the similar and distinctive features of the territories where they are located. This cultural transversality values them in a heritage of humanity, which goes beyond considering them architectural, landscape, historical heritage..., makes them a social, communication and exchange tool.
4. Historical justification and contextualization
The installation is called Encerclament(Encirclement) because of the functionality that the constructions that close and give shelter to livestock. Its origin comes from the beginning of the domestication of animals that occurred eleven thousand years ago in the region of Syria and known in the Garraf massif since the Neolithic Western ancient seven millennia ago.
I project Encerclament as a work of Memory and Culture, this type of facilities are based on symbolic components of historical, memorial or cultural character. I conceive of them through concrete concepts, realities and aspirations. Encerclament refers to the natural and cultural environment that welcomes it and connects it with a universal symbolism related to the cultural traditions of the Mediterranean basin. We are witnessing the creation of a place of destination that claims the origin of common civilization of the populations that inhabit the Mediterranean region.
From the Old Neolithic to a few years ago, the municipalities that occupy the Garraf massif have been dedicated to goats and sheep. In this area, the fruit of centuries of continuous exploitation there are numerous architectural structures that are silent witness to the pastoral culture that lived extensively until the sixties of the twentieth century.
5. Concept and symbology
- Encerclament is inspired by the functionality of closing, surrounding and sheltering livestock from dry stone and/or traditional constructions representing the corrals and livestock fences that go back to the origin of the domestication of the animals.
- Each wall expresses one of the majority cultural traditions of the Mediterranean area: Judaic, Islamic and Christian. The inner passage spaces represent the secularism that exists within the three traditions, while the entrance doors are connectors for dialogue and interdependence. The labyrinthine form shows the human complexity of geographical demarcation.
- The massif is characterized by the three types of rock that make it up: White Garraf (limestones and dolomites), Black Garraf (slates and shale) and Red Garraf (silicic stoneware and conglomerates). Each wall is built with a different type of rock according to this distinction.
- The three walls that make up Encerclament recall the geography and union of the three continents that converge in the Mediterranean basin: Europe, Africa and Asia.
The Happening 2019 celebrates the inauguration of Encerclament. The shared performance Pau i Treva claims understanding and complicity among the peoples of the Mediterranean region. Eighty people, participants to the happening, holding hands roll in opposite directions around the three stone circles while the Persian Market melody sounds. The action provides the reunion of the actions with the cultural tradition and history, and the balance between human action and the natural process. The rest of the happening include artists from various disciplines: poetry, performance, dramaturgy, music, goldsmithing. A sample of land art, landscape, dry stone and public space books is installed as a parallel activity.
Disposition and dimension: The walls are configured concentrically with three entrance doors of 0.70 m and intermediate spaces of 1.10 m wide, except the small circle of 1.50 m. The walls are 0.90 m wide and 0'80 m of average height. The total diameter of the structure is 11.30 m.
Reason: commission of the city council of Begues according to the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona.
Chronology: November 2018 - August 2019
Location: Parc de la Costeta (Begues, Baix Llobregat, Barcelona).
 The Peace and Truce of God was a social movement driven in the 11th century as a response of the Church and the peasantry to the violence perpetrated by the feudal nobles. The origin of the Catalan Courts can be considered.