ESPIERA (Peephole) installation for the cultural landscape of Santa Lucía de Ocón Víctor Mata i Ventura DESCRIPTIVE MEMORYLaguna Prize Barcelona, 23rd July 2020 1. PresentationOn... Read More
installation for the cultural landscape of Santa Lucía de Ocón
Víctor Mata i Ventura
Barcelona, 23rd July 2020
On the occasion of the celebration of the XVII edition of Arte en la Tierra (Art on Earth) I present an installation designed for the cultural, landscape and natural heritage of Santa Lucía de Ocón (La Rioja, Spain). The aim is to create an emblematic work that interacts with landscape, heritage, history and nature. Its conceptualization refers to the theme of the XVII Arte en la Tierra, about seeking solutions to stop rural depopulation that affects among many other localities the municipality and valley of Ocon. It values the architectural and historical heritage of Santa Lucía de Ocón through its parish church (16th century).
2. Justification and concept
Through Espiera (Peephole in english) I propose a dialogical relationship between nature and anthropic action in order to achieve a new perspective of the landscape. I create a cultural and artistic space for the enjoyment of people, as opposed to the concept of ground zero before the intervention. The intention to achieve the symbiosis between human intervention and natural becoming, enables the idealization of structures with the elements, images and energies of nature. The natural system and the cultural landscape become a canvas, motif, material and tool for the arrangement of the work.
Espiera is part of the interventions that I integrate in the Architecture and Landscape work program that includes symbolic components of historical and cultural roots in respectful interaction with nature. It aspires to be a tribute to the contemporary landscape and the architectural, historical and natural heritage of the municipality of Ocón, and in particular that of Saint Lucía de Ocón and its formidable parish church (16th century), a place of light and power. It is conceived as an intervention fully integrated in its location, on top of a soft slope from which the population and its church are dominated.
The name of the work is in accordance with the empty space formed between the walls of the structure. Its orientation towards the bell tower of the church and the village suggests contemplation, fascination and balance. The approach of the space created between the two walls –two opposite triangles that form an empty space as a peephole– recalls the past, celebrates the present and vindicates the landscape, cultural and human continuity of the Ocon Valley, along with its symbolic and identity expressions. On the west side of the facility, among the stones, two small mirrors reflect the sun of the west towards the population and make a nod to St. Lucia. The saint is known for being patron of the view and the popular saying: "May Saint Lucía keep your eyes on you", "St. Lucía, the shortest of days", "Saint Lucía, which all the festivities send"...
The cultural values of Espiera, as well as the functional and conceptual characteristics that it carries implicit claim the use of traditional building techniques, in this case dry stone, as social construction, cultural resource and constituent element of the contemporary landscape. The cultural transversality constituting dry stone constructions stands them in a world heritage site, which goes beyond considering them architectural, landscape, historical, archaeological, ethnological heritage..., makes them a social tool, communication and exchange.
3. Data sheet
Denomination: ESPIERA (PEEPHOLE)
Typology: Architecture and Landscape
Material: 14 tons of native limestone.
Author: Víctor Mata i Ventura.
Disposition: structure of two facing modules that create an empty space as a peephole.
Dimension: total length 10.80 m, maximum height 1.70 m, wall width 0'94 m, empty space width 0.40 m.
Reason: participation in the XVII edition of Arte en la Tierra (Art on Earth).
Chronology: August 2019.
Location: top of a hill facing Santa Lucía de Ocón (La Rioja, Spain).
 In November 2018, UNESCO, following the request of several Mediterranean countries, including Italy, Greece and Spain, included dry stone constructions in the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.