Materials and Stone

Construction materials, concepts of speculation and value, in relation to the contemporary urban landscape.

Rock and material reflects on issues related to extractivist practices, landscape transformation, construction materials, and the concepts of speculation and value —the value of a landscape, a raw material, a construction element, or its potential use. The exhibition puts all these concepts in relation to urban and civil infrastructures that define the contemporary landscape. It brings together the pieces El capítulo de los áridos (CaCO³) by Bárbara Fluxá, El ladrillo que no está and Restos de Metamorfosis IV by Clara Montoya and Construcción de ausentes by Rafa Munárriz.

El capítulo de los áridos (CaCO³) points to the technical capacity of contemporary human beings to make the geological map disappear. Hundreds of mountains exploited for the extraction of raw materials such as limestone, today make up the morphology of our contemporary landscape at a global level. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, there has been a huge demand for arid resources generated by industry and civil engineering, since it is an essential raw material for the construction of roads, buildings, dams, etc. As a paradigmatic example of this complex panorama, the work has as its protagonist a small quarry in Concejo de Salas, Asturias. A familiar landscape for the artist, where she herself has experienced the arrival of the modern development project: the exploitation of the quarry, the construction of highways and highway radials.
The video El ladrillo que no está, by Clara Montoya, tells us about the conversion and urbanization of rustic land once it has been declared developable. The sale and speculation on the price of urbanized plots is the basis of the latest real estate bubble. At nightfall, the camera captures these empty lots waiting to be built where more than a hundred storks will sleep on the lampposts. The piece intertwines these two realities, the human and the animal, seeking perspective. On the other hand, the sculptures Restos de Metamorfosis IV are the result of the erosion, by water, of a set of unfired bricks. The dry and porous brick material accumulated water and eroded until it practically disappeared and became clay again.
Construcción de ausentes by Rafa Munárriz consists of a series of stacked concrete modules that dialogue within the term of real estate speculation. The construction proposes a series of non-existent brick columns, a kind of transparent vision of the speculative situation that we faced in the years prior to the real estate crisis and from which we have not yet disassociated ourselves.