13 de enero de 2009

The Festival Lilliput as a little utopia

When public space is less and less partaken by all, when art forms are all the more show-business filtered by the market, while space tends to be extremely functional so as to thwart strangers from getting together, an art exhibition should be a little utopia. A place where real life is unwelcome while individual or collective imagination is furthered. An exhibition may reveal some secret, represent the unknown or invent new forms of showing the well-known.

Besides from fostering poetic spaces destined for contemplation and participation, we wish to promote a place where symbolism structures our community; a parallel reality that would make us want to conquer the last free recesses of our determinist society, so as to allow for casual encounters relying on chance.

I ask the following question: How do we occupy space? And how does space take a hold of us, how does it mould us by forcing us to interact with it. How a given space, albeit imposed, codified and privatized, can be appropriated individually and collectively.

Hypothesis: Space is not an existing fact; it rather develops and takes form as we penetrate it whether mentally, physically, plastically or choreographically.

At this point it might be necessary to discard Paul Virilio’s theory of the virtual vestibule which predicted the end of movement in a life dominated by virtual spaces and relations. Our concern is here to build up a real tangible space as support for artistic and everyday experiences.


A case study: Barcelona. The city still exudes its private life to the outside world. It hasn’t yet locked up its intimate features in closed boxes as is the case with Paris or London.

The numerous “staircase-kiosks” one finds around town are architectural witnesses of this reality. Those cosy ground-floor spaces mix private and public, interior and exterior spaces. The soon-to-be-extinct Barcelona kiosks represent one hundred cases of an interesting mix of people and functions.

Shops or former entrance lodges, these kiosks –not to be confused with the free-standing newspaper stands seen at the Ramblas and elsewhere- stands as relics of former days when eating sleeping or making love were linked to commerce, neighbourly conversation, urban strolls and meeting strangers. Strangers and intruders were then integrated into the private area. A street implant into a private organism.

A kiosk constitutes a minimum unit of life and activity. The purpose of the Festival Lilliput is to bridge the gap between art and life, between poetry and daily routine, so they all keep on contaminating each other.

Thus the Festival Lilliput organizes an organic system of kiosks spreading around Barcelona Madrid and other cities perhaps around the world, working as multiple micro-ventures within a global village. Our display features the global kiosk, with prevailing private deeds that oppose and contradict public space.

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