Born Again, street intervention, Barcelona

Born Again

Born Again explores the relationship between people, heritage, and public space with a series of public interventions together with a gallery show. A guerrilla street art campaign was conceived as well, to extend the ideas of the work out onto the city streets. An online map of their locations encouraged viewers to seek them out, thereby recreating the kind of conversational, public site of engagement that the born market once provided.

Since the old Born Market closed in 1974, much has been said about its restoration and new possible uses. Today, the biggest covered public square in Europe is still closed, and facing an uncertain future. 

Very few traces of the original wholesale fruit and vegetable Market remain in the area, and most of the stores and warehouses that supported its activity have shut down or renovated their activities, like the gallery space where this project took place. Too obvious to ignore, the old Born Market and its story became the main inspirational theme for the artist’s project, specifically conceived for this space.

 Born Market when served as a fruits and vegetables market, Barcelona, date and photographer unknown

 

 Born Market, technical drawings, 1974

After months of research on the Market, and feeling incapable of dealing with the void its absence has created in the neighbourhood, the artist decided to bring back the people who once lived and worked here. Inspired by anonymous characters from the photographic series ‘El Born’ made by photographer Joan Colom in 1963, Jorge smoothly shifted his focus of attention from the building to the people who used to trade in the ‘Born’ and its surroundings; the same people that from one day to another saw themselves and their fruit crates abandoned to their own fate.

The artist started to compulsively collect the fruit crates that local traders abandon in the streets every night, and that once filled the whole Born Market. Carefully disassembling and reassembling them again into wooden canvases, the artist reimagines the brise – soleil (light effect that is filtered through the slatted shutters of the old Market, the main architectural feature from the building), to create a new and unexpected artwork format that finally bring these characters into a full colour presence, questioning the possibility of watching again the same life that once filled the Neighbourhood.

Far from making a political criticism, Mañes claims the importance of people, who give significance to the space and the market itself, and it’s because of them why it becomes a “public space”.

Jorge Mañes, from his position on the thin line that begins to unify design and art, has started from his latest projects a strong statement, focusing on the importance of everyday experiences and transforming them into his own playground.

 

Born Again, exhibition view, Sala B Barcelona

 

Born Again, exhibition view, Sala B Barcelona

 

Born Again, exhibition view, Sala B Barcelona

 

Born Again, exhibition view, Sala B Barcelona

 

Born Again, exhibition view, Sala B Barcelona

 

Born Again, street intervention, Barcelona

 

Born Again, street intervention, Barcelona

 

Born Again, street intervention, Barcelona

 

Born Again, street intervention, Barcelona