A 5-village mural program will be surely eclectic, to say the least. The first Osona Artimur Festival produced 19 of them, murals that is, and each speaks to the sensitivities of the modern era, an awareness of local history, and the unarticulated sensibilities of a multi-headed program here in the countryside just to the north of Barcelona. Curated by members and organizers at a pioneering urban art center called B-Murals, the quality of work and diversity of styles represent a fair survey of the international scene at the moment, with a decidedly local sabor.
With B-Murals bringing the community and educational roots to the project, the complex execution during this autumn was coordinated with the Department of Tourism of Osona and the Catalan company Transit Projects. Working closely with the five villages, they served as intermediaries between locals and the international artists who came to paint there from France, Germany, Argentina, Ireland, Italy, Chile,… and closer to home.
The towns of Prats de Lluçanès, Manlleu, Sant Julià de Vilatorta, Sant Bartomeu del Grau, and Alpens welcomed the artists. All participants were supported by an extensive production team, including assistants, runners, photographers, and film archivists. Here is our first of two postings from this part of Spain that features rivers, mountains, and beautiful landscapes.
Enjoy Osona Artimur Festival.
Our special thanks to Fer Acala for sharing his images and observations about the event with us and BSA readers.
Invited artists: Zoer, Ana Barriga, Satone, Nano4814, Luogo Comune, Isaac Cordal, Rosh, Alberto Montes, Jan Vallverdú, Marta Lapeña, Eloise Gillow Artists selected by open call: Twee Muizen, Sergi Bastida, Wedo Goas Artists working on participatory processes: Daniel Muñoz, Chu Doma, Alessia Innocenti, Mateu Targa, Zosen
Fresh from his residency at a nun’s convent called Creença (Belief), Alberto Montes takes on the “Politics of Lucidity” in this new mural in Barcelona here on October 1st one year after Catalan voted to secede from Spain in a vote Madrid deemed illegal.
A moody monocrome scene of people placing votes, Montes says he is paying tribute to peaceful democratic change in an era where democratic structures are under stress in much of the developed and developing world. In contrast, protesters have thrown at police a kaleidoscope of colored paints during the last couple of days in Barcelona, covering officers and the ground with aesthetically celebratory cheer.
“This mural reflects on the human condition and its ideals in moments of great tension and political decision,” says the Sevillian Montes, who achieves a depth of field in this scene by building up the layers and strategically masking.
It is times like these that we reexamine the fundamentals of democracies to see if they are healthy. Freedom of speech and artistic expression are often the first to go in oppressive police states so the existing of this work is a good sign. Meanwhile you can be continually reassured and hopeful because of the populist program he’s painting for, the heralded 12+1 Project in Sant Feliu del Llobregat outside Barcelona.