The Artist and the Stone is concerned with the ways people can bypass restrictions and limitations in their daily life, managing to move through systems imposed on them, creating their own paths, languages and forms of expression driven by desire. Directed by Giuliana Racco and Matteo Guidi, this a process based work which literally negotiates the twofold movement of a subject (a performance artist-refugee) and an object (a 22-tonne block of stone) from Palestine to Spain.
The 22-tonne block was cut into 12 pieces which were then sent to two sites: half were exhibited in the Fundació Suñol and the other half were nstalled in Pla de Palau, a public space that was once the entrance gate for goods and people arriving in medieval Barcelona by sea. The cut stone embodies the spatial and logistical limits and obstacles that had to be overcome to move the mass to both places. And the two locations –one inside, one outside– reflect the duality at the heart of the project: open/closed, movement/stagnation, acceptance/rejection, object/subject. 4 of the 6 blocks stood upright in the Suñol courtyard evoking a barrier across which it was nonetheless possible to negotiate one’s movements; within, two blocks became benches upon which to rest and view the video Leish la’a? (Why not?). Meanwhile, a semi-circular/half-moon-like structure occupied Pla de Palau, providing a space for resting, contemplation and meeting.
Leish La’a? [Why Not?] is a video tracing the movement of the 22-tonne block of stone from its carving out of the quarry near Hebron (Palestine), its transport through Arroub refugee camp to the factory where it was prepared for exportation, across checkpoints to Ashdod Port (Israel) and finally Barcelona (Spain). Interspersed with moments of everyday life across the south West Bank, including scenes presenting the ubiquitousness of stones in the landscape and ludic activities. Leish la’a? (Why not?) plays on the absurdity of the initial proposal of attempting to contemporaneously move a subject and a massive object from the same territory of conflict, with the notable absence of the subject.
Installation (video) and public installation