Wednesday, 20 July 2011

there is beauty in the city:bilbao - draws to a close

After an exhausting 6 months, the trans-national exercise in urban beauty intervention has come to an end. Ph'a'ke's Igor Calvo and Susana Martínez Ximénez have ensured that the Anna Francis' project which started here in Stoke-on-Trent as a small but beautiful part of the city's 2008 Axis Festival, will live long in the memories of the hundreds of Bilbaoans who contributed to or viewed the project or even stumbled across a placed magnet as the project took the city by storm this spring and summer.

Here, in Igor's words, is a summation of the project.

There is Beauty in the City:Bilbao has been a wonderful project, born of the collaboration between the on line art gallery PhotoArte Komite in Bilbao and There is Beauty in the City in the United Kingdom (thank you so much Glen and Anna); a project which has managed that nearly 200 people (including participants, collaborators and organizers) had been involved in this non to profit project to perform a relational experience, a journey through the beauty of the city that has led to the creation of a choral art work  and, above all, of a very special map of the beauty of Bilbao, made up of 141 photographs of many other interventions, and 21 interviews collected in video.

More than 150 points of Bilbao which have been intervened by its citizens, reassessed to show the immense beauty the city hoarded; all this, only armed with a magnet and a camera. Thus, we have had the chance to discover many other faces of Bilbao, some less well known, others, sadly, in the process of disappearing and which, thanks to the citizens of Bilbao, will no longer be forgotten.
An art work of incalculable value, as the contributions of the participants in the project are priceless.

And also a big effort, the one made by the organization to carry out an exhibition that not only would reward the efforts of everyone participating in the project, but could be enjoyed by all the citizens of Bilbao and all the people who would come to Sala Rekalde, a great art gallery committed to contemporary art in the heart of the city. Thank you very much Alicia (managing director of Sala Rekalde).

The visits to the exhibition did nothing but increase the success of the project and its impact among the citizens of Bilbao. A huge success also due to the work of communication made by the department of culture of the city council of Bilbao, who contributed so much to disseminate the project.

But the trip of There is beauty in the city: Bilbao did not end after the exhibition at Sala Rekalde. Such was the interest generated by the project that the organization decided to extend the journey of There is Beauty in the City: Bilbao.

In this new adventure, we had the invaluable help of Ziortza Etxabe, from Eutokia, who involved in this project to ZAWP's Oihane Korres and Manu Gómez from hAcería. What is more, as a wonderful finale to the project, There is Beauty in the City: Bilbao will be exhibited at the Bilbao Museum of Art Reproductions until the next 17th of july, in which it will share space with the Aphrodite of Milo amongst many other distinguished residents of so much beauty, thanks to the invaluable collaboration of Saioa Barrenetxea and Itziar Markija (the ones in charge of the Bilbao Museum of Artistic Reproductions).

The intention of those collaborations was to involve as many people and take the beauty map of Bilbao to many areas of the city as possible.
There is Beauty in the City: Bilbao has collected 140 interventions, in addition to 21 interviews, in which so many citizens of Bilbao have shown us those parts of the city where they have found beauty. There are many different views and notions of what is beautiful in the city, many areas of our city re-evaluated and re-valued thanks to Bilbao citizens. It was natural then, that the exhibition of the project will not remain just at a certain point of Bilbao and would leave the city center to take and spread the beauty to other areas away from the city centre, unfortunately, less favored by the urban development of Bilbao in recent decades.

Some of which have also been intervened by the citizens of Bilbao, who have wanted to show the beauty that is often found in those places that keep unnoticed or are less recognized by the human tide that floods along the city of Bilbao.

Therefore, There is Beauty in the City: Bilbao departed from Sala Rekalde, at the heart of the city, to reach Bolueta, Zorrozaurre and Bilbao la Vieja.

"After speaking several times with Photoarte Komite about the project of THERE IS BEAUTY IN THE CITY: BILBAO, and after taking part in the initiative in one of the interviews with the creative industries in our environment with the urban garden that we are doing in EUTOKIA as image, we decided to go further and made a proposal.
Being aware of the interest of the project: enhancement of our people, our environment, as well as another way of setting up, understanding, viewing and/or enjoying our citizen cartography, we decided to contact Joxean Sáez de Ocariz (EUTOKIA Project Coordinator) and assign the EUTOKIA headquarters in Boluetabarri to show the Map of the Beauty of Bilbao

Ziortza Etxabe

"ZAWP Bilbao is a project located in La Ribera de Deusto-Zorrotzaurre within the context of urban transformation that will occur in the coming years in the area. ZAWP Bilbao claims to be the artistic look, innovative and creative of this process of urban transformation and, in turn, make this area a new standard of creativity and innovation. In this sense, it is interesting to bring to our environment the exhibition There is Beauty in the City: Bilbao, where the citizens of Bilbao themselves have photographed their special areas of the city. Among them, La Ribera de Deusto-Zorrozaurre has not gone unnoticed, as this post-industrial area, unknown to many citizens of Bilbao, has a surprising charm that never fails to impress any passerby to walk along the banks of the river "

Ohiana Korres.

Finally, There is Beauty in the City: Bilbao arrived to Bilbao la Vieja. Thanks to Saioa and Itziar the project has not only had the possibility of be exhibited at the Bilbao Museum of Art Reproductions, but also they have made it more accessible to all people by canceling the entrance fee to the museum during the exhibition of There is Beauty in the City.

Born at the beginnings of the last century, the Bilbao Museum of Art Reproductions is one of those "hidden treasures" among the museums of Bilbao and of which all the citizens of Bilbao should be proud. One of the few European museums (and it is not chauvinism) that can show off of having sculptures cast directly from the original works from the Vatican Museums, the Academy of Florence, the Berlin Museum, the Louvre, the British Museum ... The 28th June, at the Bilbao Museum of Artistic Reproductions, the Map of Beauty of Bilbao will be the guest of such a famous hosts as the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Aphrodite of Milo....and this time it is a bilbainada.

In this new set up, the exhibition adds two new creations related to the museum and two beauty icons of all time: The Aphrodite of Milos and the Apollo Belvedere.
Visitors will be able to admire the sculpture of Aphrodite of Milos, also known as Venus de Milo, one of the statues representing the Hellenistic period and whose original is in the Louvre in Paris. Besides, the Museum contributes with two photographs: one of Apollo Belvedere and another of one of the angels located next to the windows of the apse. In both cases, like the other photographs of the project, with a magnet that read "There is beauty in the city."

From the 17th July onwards, There is Beauty in the City: Bilbao will leave the city, the three photographs produced to show the process of transformation in which the city is immersed will be delivered to its only possible owners: Elena, Rodrigo, and Erika, who intervened these urban areas and showed us the beauty they contained; and all the graphics, maps, pictures and other items that have been part of the exhibition will be removed.

However, this will not be the last journey of There is Beauty in the City: Bilbao. The video made up with all the submitted photographs of the 140 interventions will continue surfing the Internet to the more distant places we could imagine. And most importantly, we sincerely hope that There is Beauty in the City: Bilbao had contributed to add many people from Bilbao to the list of collaborators in the overall project of There Beauty in the City, so that they continue finding, intervening, showing and spreading the beauty armed with a camera and a magnet.


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