ABOUT SUBTRACTION AND BEING BETWEEN TWO ROADS by Ampparito
In December 2018 the artist Ampparito made an artistic residency in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat in order to create a mural on Carrilet Avenue. For which, he held workshops and work sessions with educational centers and neighborhood entities. Thus, he was able to learn about the history of the area and devise a representative mural.
In the artist’s words:
This last month I have been working on a very special project with Contorno Urbano at Hospitalet. This city near Barcelona has an interesting history. Its population, mostly workers from other places, have had to deal with various problems, poor urban planning, disorderly transformation or overpopulation, among others. My first week here was spent meeting with neighbors and associations, they explained the neighborhood problems as well as their characteristics. Some did not reciprocate but I was able to find one that everyone shared.
The place where he had to work was a concrete wall that served as the base for the railroad. In the past, this track was crossed perpendicularly by another, that of a train called Carrilet. Over time, this old train disappeared and a two-way road was built in its place to connect the two main areas of Hospitalet. It is poetic how this road and these roads separate the area into several parts, making communication between neighboring places difficult. It seems that to connect two distant places you have to hinder internal mobility, in fact, these infrastructures are like walls for the neighborhood and at the same time bridges with the outside. Because of these annoyances, it is understandable that the most common demand among the neighbors is to eliminate all these annoying barriers, burying them underground.
As on many other occasions I do not think that painting a mural will solve the problem, here a bulldozer would be needed. During the process a funny idea came after 5 days of workshop with the students of the neighborhood. I asked them to play with frames and canvas shapes, encouraging them to give more importance to everything that did not appear in the frame. It was a way of showing how important we avoid pointing out. These students (illustration, photography and design) use Photoshop daily. We do not imagine how important this task is in our lives, since most of the images we consume or create are treated with this program. Following this idea I decided to remove this barrier using Photoshop, trying to do a subtraction exercise. I did not want to sweeten this space, in fact, it is quite difficult to appreciate something in this non-place, since nobody stops and the cars pass at full speed. There is no way to spend time here.
To face this scenario I decided to create an anamorphosis. This tacky technique has something interesting because it can work as a bait. You can decide where you want the audience to be if they want to understand the piece. This is powerful, it goes beyond a simple mural, it takes a new dimension by modifying people’s behavior. I thought it would be interesting to locate this point in a significant place, in the middle of the road. The exact location where long ago the esteemed-hated carrilet used to pass. In this way, anyone who wants to see the wall disappear, they have to jump the fence, watch out for traffic, go in the middle of the road and, in this uncomfortable place between two lanes, while the cars pass quickly near you, everything will charge a little sense.