AGUAS's inaugural exhibition in Barcelona, Spain
The city I grew up in was made of stone but they built it on mud (1). Today is a Saturday. Laurel branches on the floor (2) and birch walls. Articles 2.13 and 8.5 of EU regulation number 399/2016 of the European Parliament and of the Council of March 9, 2016 (3). Deserted corridors through which many people pass. Meters of copper pipes and insulating rubber (4). In the background, a column capital corroded by a donkey's urine (5). The water in the puddles is black (6) and I have a weird metallic taste in my mouth (7). I listen more carefully to the crickets. (1) JAVIER PEÑALOSA M. (Mexico, 1981) - 'Los que regresan', Ed. Antílope, 2016. I don't remember who said that if you are willing to look (but really look) you can make things that have disappeared appear. That they come back. A few years ago I realized that I had gone a decade without seeing a single cricket. A series of questions (which I don't write down) were swirling around in my head. Just a few days later I saw a cricket. And then I saw another. It was as if they had returned from I don't know what place, as if I had called them. Because it wasn't the crickets that had disappeared but the willingness to see them. That's what I mean, that to have the willingness to look is to make things appear (500 crickets released sporadically in the exhibition space, Agua del día, 2018). (2) JORGE SATORRE (Mexico, 1975) — Ricardo Mediavilla is a blacksmith from Legazpi, a historically blacksmith town located in the center of the three Basque provinces in Spain. Ricardo has the last forge in operation in this city and, in parallel, he has worked most of his life in the Bellota tool factory, perhaps the most important company in this field in Spain. As an effect of a regulation plan, at the beginning of the 80's, Bellota discarded part of its machinery and one of the crossbow hammers for forging was acquired by Ricardo at scrap price and since then it is the one he uses in his workshop. I asked his permission to take measurements of his hammer and replicate its profiles and details using bent laurel branches. The laurel tree is easily found in the wild along the rural roads of the Basque Country. Its shoots grow very straight from the roots, are very flexible, resistant and, when dried, often acquire a very dark tone close to the color of iron. (3) MANAUARA CLANDESTINA (Brazil, 1992) & LUIZ FELIPE LUCAS (Brazil, 1993) — 0:13 am, a few minutes ago it was February 20, 2021. I had been in Barcelona for exactly one month. Many things happened. This season is full of intensity, from my arrival itself. In my email exchange with Edgar, I told him what happened at the airport. I was taken to a police immigration post, and interrogated while being thirsty under ridiculous pressure. I stayed for endless moments there, and had to collect my luggage accompanied by two police guards, who treated me with rudeness and the sarcasm of classic racists. Until an "amapoa" (female) guard assisted me, I got a translator, entered a booth and explained while "amapoa" translated. After a long time I was released. Luiz Felipe was waiting for me, he gave me a big hug, a kiss, and from there he took out a bottle of white wine, took me aside and we lit a joint. We laughed a lot. Then we took a car and went to his apartment in the Gothic where there was a dinner with people, and that's where I met Amanda. (4) NATALIA DOMÍNGUEZ (Spain, 1990) — The K-FLEX FC0-10 series is based on a set of black rubber shells used as insulation for pipes that transport liquid and gaseous elements in buildings. These ordinary forms and presences in cities are like notes with which to wonder about those elusive, ungraspable and liquid physicalities, whose corporealities are defined according to other bodies, other gestures, other forms and other names. (5) MERCEDES PIMIENTO (Spain, 1990) — Hello Fernando, I am working on a series of sculptural pieces based on one of the capitals in the atrium of the Andalusian Center of Contemporary Art. From a mold of the original capital, I am making a series of pieces. I chose the one that was more deteriorated, because I wanted it to have that worn shape. The question is if you know where that capital comes from and on the other hand, if you know why it could be that it is so deteriorated. — Hello Mercedes, the two capitals are Italian of the XVI century. My interpretation is that they come from the old configuration of the area of the outside chapel and refectory of the poor in the 16th century, until all of it suffered with the earthquake of Lisbon (1755) and was demolished to build the new neoclassical and vaulted complex of the whole area, which we now know. I do not know to what this degradation may be due, whether to chemical degradation by the soil or acid spills right in the area where it was located, such as urine from animals, since that area was used by the horse stables and later for mules in the earthenware factory. (6) SERGI RUGRAND (Spain, 1990) — There is a corner of the Peruvian Amazon where the environmental liabilities generated by the oil industry have left irreversible consequences. After forty years of hydrocarbon exploitation, the consequences are alarming both for the land and for the indigenous communities living there. An estimated 45,000 people of different indigenous peoples currently live in the area, including the Kokama, Urarinas, Achuar, Quichua, Shawi, Wampis and Awajún, most of them communities dependent on the tributaries of the Amazon, such as the Marañón, Chambira, Corrientes, Pastaza and Tigre rivers. The Kokama Komilla, "men and women of the river", are one of the ethnic groups most affected by oil. As their name suggests, their life revolves around the river, on which they also depend for their survival. But as a consequence of the oil industry, their rivers and wetlands are polluted, as well as the game and fish they eat. (7) ATOQ WALLPA SUA (Peru, 1991) — Understanding the history of the police institution and understanding how it works, listening to life experiences. In Peru, police brutality has a geography and reflects racist values. This is now very evident, one only needs to review the data and watch the videos circulating on social networks of police attacks in areas such as Puno, Ayacucho and Apurimac. Within Lima this is also visible, the police do not act in the same way in all neighborhoods, nor against all groups of people. For example, the police are very condescending towards ultra-right or ultra-conservative groups, but not towards those who are critical of the established order. The police act according to their indoctrination, that is, as if they were facing an enemy they must destroy. - After five surgeries I still have a 2mm lead projectile behind the eyeball of my left eye, and there is still the risk of losing the little vision I have left in that eye.
Rodrigue Mouchez Armendariz