Page 1





Hellena Cardus Publisher AICS President Winter 2015

Welcome to our Winter edition of CATALONIA, a quarterly publication by AICS (American Institute for Catalan Studies) which is based in the mega metropolis of Houston, Texas. This is the fourth edition of CATALONIA and over the past year AICS/ CATALONIA Staff has grown and expanded over 2 continents and consists of the following contributors. Hellena Cardus, AICS President, V.P. of North America FIEC (Federation of Catalan Entities), CATALONIA Publisher Roslyn Smith, AICS Cultural Arts Chairperson, Editor in Chief CATALONIA Jordi Guillem, AICS Vice President, Senior Writer, CATALONIA Mayte Duarte Seguer, AICS Cultural Liaison, Interviewer and Senior Writer CATALONIA Francesc Beltran, AICS Publicity, Senior Writer and Translator CATALONIA Esther Beltran, AICS Scientific Liaison, Senior Writer CATALONIA AICS has translated and published Catalan literary works including Uncertain Glory by Joan Sales, translated by David Rosenthal, The Catalan Nation and its People, by Josep Carner-Ribalta and Public Power in Catalunya, by Philip B. Taylor. We encourage you to become a member by visiting our website and receive a complimentary copy of CATALONIA. If you are interested in becoming a Sponsor for CATALONIA magazine, please contact: Jordi Guillem Share the Experience! Hellena Cardus


On the cover : View of Nativity Façade of Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family) (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Barcelona, Catalonia


VULL VOTER.CAT CATALONIA FACTS ° Population, 7·6 million people (like Switzerland) ° Surface area: 32,114 km2 (bigger than Belgium) ° GDP: €204,000 million (like Denmark) ° Over 10 million people speak Catalan in Spain, France and Italy (more than Swedish for example). ° Catalonia’s Government has had 129 Presidents to date. Its first Constitution dates back to the 13th century.


Catalans que viuen a l’estranger que VOLEN VOTAR al referendum per la independència de Catalunya Eleccions Catalanes 27 Setembre 2015





14 VALL DE BOÍ “Highest ski resort in the Pyrenees”

16 MUSEUM OF WORLD CULTURES “Our country is richly diverse..”

19 JOSEP MARIA CABAYOL, CATALAN PAINTER ―An artist, a humanist of the 21st century” BY MAYTE DUARTE

27 A TASTE OF CATALONIA “Mandonguilles amb Sípia”

28 CATALAN EXPORTS “Broke all records in 2014”



CATALONIA MAGAZINE is published quarterly by AICS- American Institute for Catalan Studies . Contact: Publisher Hellena Cardus Editor-in-Chief Roslyn Smith Senior Writer Jordi Guillem © 2013 CATALONIA MAGAZINE. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Printed in the U.S.

Officially known as El Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família and commonly known as La Sagrada Familia, is one of the best known examples of Catalan modernism and has become a symbol of Barcelona. Unfinished work of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, is the Sagrada Família, in the Eixample district of the city. In this temple, the architect conceive a detailed symbolism within a mystical poem with great daring constructive form, as in the way of conceiving the parabolic arch structure or overhead, also called funicular of forces, combining naturalistic sculptural abstraction of the towers.


Currently, the Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited monuments in Barcelona, attracting around 3 million visitors a year. It was dedicated to worship and declared Catholic minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on November 7, 2010. Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On 31 December 1881, Josep Maria Bocabella acquired land on the block, between the streets of Mallorca, Marina, Provence and Sardinia for 172,000 pesetas. He wanted to build a temple dedicated to the Sagrada Familia (Saint Joseph, the Virgin Mary and Jesus). The first hired architect was Francisco de Paula del Villar, who drew a project of a Gothic church with three naves. Francisco de Paula del Villar imagined a Gothic style, rejecting the idea of Bocabella who wanted to make a replica of the Sanctuary of Loreto, which is supposed to be the home of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth. Villar and Bocabella could not come to an agreement therefore the Advisor to Bocabella, architect Joan Martorell i Montells, made the decision in 1883 for Guadi to take charge of the project. The project plan presented by thirty-one year old Gaudí, was completely different from the old project of Villar. Gaudi accepted the job with great enthusiasm and dedicated the rest of his life to this work. The temple would be built with his own original naturalist-modernist trend, with a 170-meter high central tower dedicated to Jesus Christ, and increasing the overall size of the temple. Sagrada Familia has been built from donations for 133 years. Gaudí himself said, "The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is made by the people and is mirrored in them. It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people." The construction continues and could be finished around the year 2026. He would always say, ―My client is not in a hurry.‖



1. Neogothic project by Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano. 2.Plan of Sagrada Familia by Gaudi. 3.Military portrait in front of the Sagrada Familia (1896), photographer Paul Audouard. 4. 1915 5. 1928

2 4







1. La Sagrada Familia in 1905 Photograph by Baldomer Gili i Roig 2. Apse faรงade in 1893 3. Apse faรงade in construction Present 4. La Sagrada Familia at night 5.Plan of La Sagrada Familia




Details on the Nativity faรงade

Hyperbolic vaults inside La Sagrada Familia 12 | CATALONIA | AICSUSA.ORG

Why a referendum? Catalonia has always had a distinct culture and language and a strong desire for selfgovernment. Though Catalonia lost its independence in 1714, there was a political and cultural renaissance in the 19th century which eventually led to the proclamation of the Catalan Republic in 1931. Subsequent negotiations with the Spanish Republic led to a widereaching autonomy. However, General Franco’s fascist victory in 1939 led to the suspension of Catalonia’s autonomy, a ban on the Catalan language, and a fierce repression forcing 200,000 Catalans to go into exile. Franco also ordered the execution of Catalonia’s President at that time, Lluís Companys. After Franco’s death, 1977 saw the return of the Catalan President, Josep Tarradellas who had been elected in exile. This allowed for the reestablishment of the autonomous government. Subsequently, the Spanish Constitution of 1978 and the 1979 Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia set the limits of its autonomy. Spain has become economically and socially modernized since then but it has not fully accommodated its internal diversity into its political setup. A new statute of autonomy, agreed by referendum in Catalonia and passed by the Spanish parliament in 2006, was drastically altered by a controversial court ruling in 2010. Catalonia’s proposal for greater fiscal autonomy was then rejected out of hand. Attacks against Catalonia’s education system and linguistic rights have also increased and more and more recentralization measures are being taken. A referendum on self-determination is necessary to reset the relationship between Catalonia and Spain. It is the popular demand of more than 80% of Catalans in opinion polls, and of a clear majority of members of the Catalan parliament. AICSUSA.ORG | CATALONIA | 13



Vall de Boí Where the Pyrenees touch the sky

The Vall de Boí is a narrow, steep-sided valley and a small municipality in the province of Lleida, in the autonomous community of Catalonia. It lies in the northeastern corner region of Alta Ribagorça, on the edges of the Pyrenees. It is the largest municipality of the region, with its main town being Barruera. The valley is best known for its nine Early Romanesque churches, making it the site of the densest concentration of Romanesque architecture in Europe. It was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO November 30, 2000. The valley also includes the highest ski resort in the Pyrenees, at Boí-Taüll, and borders the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park which lies to the northeast. Vall de Boí is home to Guiness World Book record holder, La Balneari de Caldes de Boí (The Baths of Caldes de Boí). They have the widest range of hot springs in the state. There are 37 mineral and medicinal springs of various compositions and temperatures, used for different therapeutic purposes.

Clockwise, from far left: Aigüestortes; Cavellers National Park; Balneari Caldes de Boí; Balneari Cal-

des de Boí; interior of Sant Climent de Taüll church; Boi Taüll ski resort.

Walking, cycling, riding, climbing, skiing ... Vall de Boi is full of adventures



President Mas accompanied by his wife and the Mayor of Barcelona

During the month of February this year, President Artur Mas inaugurated the Museum of World Cultures in the Born district of Barcelona accompanied by the Catalan Minister of Culture, Ferran Mascarell; the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias; Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor of Innovation and Creativity, Jaume Ciurana; and the Heritage Director of Barcelona’s Institute of Culture (ICUB), Josep Lluís Alay. The museum, which offers a rich and diverse collection of art from African, Asian, American and Oceanic origins, is intended to show cultural variety ―through the artistic experience of peoples from a multidisciplinary perspective‖. Aside from the educational interest it would generate, the museum is also intended as a dissemination and social projection platform which would bring together heritage and knowledge of other world cultures. As a public body, it would serve as a ―space of knowledge, dialogue and debate‖ by displaying a wide arrange of collections open to the public.


During the inaugural event, the President of the Catalan Government spoke of the importance of having an understanding of the global context and defended his intention to place Catalonia on the world map, asserting ―the need, the responsibility, the demand and the determination to continue our international projection which is so deeply necessary in the 21st century‖. For this reason the Chief Executive attributed the Central Government’s repeal against the Generalitat’s Foreign Action policy to a ―closed and antiquated mentality‖ which does not correspond ―to the current setting nor to the requirements of contemporary societies‖. The President dedicated part of his speech to thank the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, and the Barcelona City Council, for this new addition to the city and affirmed that the museum was ―yet another indication of Catalonia’s will have a global perspective and to project itself abroad‖. ―If there was ever a place to have a Museum of World Cultures, it would be in a global city like Barcelona‖ affirmed the President, as he referred to it as a ―great capital‖, ―a symbol of pride for all Catalans‖ and the ―best territorial representation of Southern Europe‖. The President also asserted that it ―makes sense‖ that Catalonia and Barcelona should host a Museum of such characteristics, because ―our country is richly diverse and is made up of people from all sorts of backgrounds‖, celebrated Artur Mas.







JOSEP MARIA CABAYOL (Vilanova I la Geltrú, 1948) is the expressive poet of the senses, in addition to the lights and shadows, textures, smells, feelings... All his work is like a synesthetic ordeal that unleashes emotions, it is a work that breathes... a personality that captivates. A humanist of the 21st century.

Josep Maria Cabayol has said more than once that he paints with what he falls in love. What makes love arise between the artist and the work subject? Any small detail, any light, shape or spontaneous situation can generate this feeling, this convenience. The infatuation by approaching an object that can be common, old, ancient, modern or a wall that’s acquired texture through the years... When between the object and I emerges a spark, be it because of the ambient light or perhaps the state mind. The item has to catch you in the moment. It arises then from what’s habitual? Everyday life allows me to live in an automatic mode, somehow, without offering me great challenges, but when I catch that special light, that object that has been there for days, which can be a can, a spinning top or an automaton, doesn’t matter. That is the moment when a special light enters and it catches my eye, from there a need arises to find a suitable flat surface to capture the spirit or soul. The feelings which that causes me, catch it and develop it with a rigid support, whether it’s a canvas, wood plank or a white support, which I can start dyeing, which I can manipulate, "enriching" it, contextualizing things, until the spirit of that object emerges, be it a wall, door or just the color of that shade.


It’s like an act of love. It is love, but a passionate love, because if a person wants to do any activity within the visual arts, such as the case, if there isn’t love nor passion, nor has that madness, something to which others haven’t paid attention to from the beginning, then there is no artwork. There is no future, nor pleasure, there isn’t even conflict, and there isn’t excitement, therefore there is nothing. However, there can be a trade, a job that can become with all its merits into a good quality product. I do not produce a product. I convey those impressions, passions, the infatuation that has touched me, perhaps a shadow on a rigid support, and there it is. I do not care what happens next. I want to capture it and make sure that it emerges from that flat surface as it’s caught me. It is not a matter of technique, it’s a creative process. The creative process once you're infatuated about some subject, whether it’s a coat button, a spoon that you found on the ground, when you start to magnetize it, to look at it, to love it, to value it, you start scratching on a surface with a pencil and take notes, it is then when we are starting passionate love with the object or light, colors or textures, and that is unstoppable until it reaches a point where you become ecstatic. And when it satisfies and fills you, there it remains. The piece of art rests, I do not care for it anymore, it's time to find another. And then everything starts all over again. What does Josep Maria Cabayol extract from stones, rust, windows, deconstructions or doors? I am passionate about these issues. Because when I see, in any city or town of the countries that have visited, a tortured wall, sometimes in Eastern Europe as a result of shelling and fighting with guns, walls wounded by burst of shots, it captivates and encourages me in such a way that I try to capture it by working, not copying it, I want to do it as a tribute to that wall. ... To fix a memory. ... Yes, because that one wall is a page of history, any day it may be torn down and they’ll build a hotel, a warehouse or a block of apartments. That wall will disappear and, with it, the history. For some time I have had the concept that if I were an architect, these walls with so much texture –here in Barcelona it has been done in some areas, such is in the Gothic district—I’m not talking about medieval walls, but of more modern walls… ... Such is Sant Felip Neri? ... Right, those walls, to build attached offices, shops, restaurants, homes, whatever it may be but isolating it with a layer of glass. This way, this wall that has been lived so much remains intact in its place. It’s not a question of placing insulation to neutralize it. To me that wall is a piece of art. These walls make me think of births that may have happened there, deaths, there has been love, passion, and when you see an inner blue wall, another that’s orange or white, with recesses where they passed the electricity cables, I think: this, which is here open to the sun and air now, here probably parents have made love, then their sons and daughters and even possibly their grandchildren, this house is 150 years old! And now here it is, in the open, waiting for a real estate developer to buy it and finally demolish it. These walls give me ideas and contents, the same as doors do, some doors in the villages in the Pyrenees, which have endured the test of time, wars, the Maquis, smugglers, these doors have endured…


... Thousands of stories... ‌ Snow storms, high winds and fires. For these doors there is one word that defines them very well - cataphract- which means it is like an armor. An armor that, although the houses have been renovated more than fifty times, that door is there. What's inside? I do not know. Many stories; it may have sheltered people, there might have been from humans to farm animals, warehouses, those aromas of dry grass and food. I mean, with all of this, it is not an aesthetic issue; it is a matter of strength. Scratching and making visible the content that has accumulated through the years. This moves me, this brings me to want to fight it, work it, somehow. Every time I paint a picture, the people that have seen me paint see that when I start painting there is a struggle, I dye with one colour and then with another. With my fingers, hands, any tool, whether it be a wooden or iron tool, except for brushes, there everything appears. When that work has been tortured, lived, matured, enriched and is full of energy then, if needed, I sweetened it, as if I were dressing the bride, but with a complicated youth beforehand. A look at the studio where you work suggests order in the chaos. The paint tubes, palette, brushes, even the way the painting easel is placed, do you consider yourself a free spirit? Of course, the artist must be, and must be considered a free spirit. It’s very clear to me that to realize my work lies within a realistic (hyper-realism) style, although the desk may be a mess, what goes to the canvas, what goes to the easel must be... must be like surgery, almost microsurgery. It is true that within the same subject or the same work, there are moments that I give myself the freedom to get it dirty, change it, torture it, almost ruining the work, but always before thinking of it more or less finished, I rebuild what I've undone. This can be perfectly understood with deconstructions where we find a hygienic cleanliness. True, deconstructing allows me to exercise freely this technique that says everything is in ruins but that it also has a balance simultaneously. With its depth, its wounds or marks and sometimes I make sure that on the walls emerges this feeling that life is still gushing, blood, color or energy. All of this I enrich it. It's like a Byzantine mosaic that I attempt to let it show all the chromatic possibilities. Other times I make it seem as if I’ve chipped in with a burin those walls. That the rage (texture) may ooze using my nails or an awl. To me it is a heritage that we are losing. These rural houses abandoned form part of our roots, are what our ancestors did, are part of our identity and nowadays are in ruins and no one is doing anything about it...


Sometimes indifference is worse than destruction on purpose. We live very special moments in Catalonia. How would you describe for those who do not know what Catalonia is, who the Catalan people are, and that sense of identity so deeply rooted some of us have that we want to say “we are”. I think that Catalans, for over 300 years have been thrown through hoops for having lost some battles, some wars, for not having been clever enough to get away and then we have become an identity based on resistance, we have preserved our language, parts of our culture distinct from other cultures, all of this, in this moment for five or ten years, it seems that there is a resurgence especially in the lower classes, it is the people who have come on mass on the street whenever they were rallied by civil institutions, not political parties, and now, I'm very sorry to have to say that, although I think that Catalonia has to move forward to whatever it wants to become, perhaps now, and I hope to be wrong, those who are sleeping on the barn are those who should lead these popular movements from the people. Given that they are the representatives of the people of Catalonia, and although some have done it and that’s why we have reached that point, that place that many of us who had dreamed about it all our life always saw it as a faraway place, it is very dark and very unclear now. Now we reached that place and it would be a shame that with so many millions of people who have seen the threshold of what we’ve been hoping for 300 years, that now this may deflate because of partisan identities, assemblies for marketing. We all know that until there is a total understanding and unity among the political leaders who have brought us toward this goal we will not go anywhere, now is not the time to close doors in and try to hide. In the meantime the civil society is legally blaming themselves for the 9N vote and are showing their faces unashamed. We have reached a tipping point and we must be careful that instead of ending as the heroes of the story, these leaders and politicians do not go down as the complete opposite to what a hero would be. There are a few million heroes who went out on the street, showed their faces and it seems somehow that a spirit of pride encourages them. As a Catalan with an exceptional view, do you think Catalan culture accompanies this civil movement? Is there a new renaissance? Popular also? I would like to say yes. In some cases prominently, but I fear that if we are not completely dedicated to it and well led by political leaders, there will come a time when people may get tired of always being on the ball and always being mobilized, if the ones representing us all they do is do meetings together and reconvene on another meeting to do yet another meeting and so on. I think people of Catalan culture, or at least a part of it, are very involved. Perhaps, when there was a dictatorship, the Catalan intellectuals risked more than now and showed their faces more and had more trouble for doing it and yet they did. Now there are many that hide - for Sant Jordi they’ll be at Palau Sant Jordi, or they release a new CD or if not that, they’ll come up with something, I don’t know what - but I just don’t see them as dedicated as it was in the sixties and seventies when things were a lot tougher and insurgents were still executed.


They risked a lot more. Interestingly enough it seems that the establishment of being nice, what is politically correct, has meant that a lot of ideology has been lost on the road. Yes, I think there have been a number of people who already have a certain age, that have already given almost everything, and we are talking about all the arts, visual arts, musical arts or literary arts with careers very committed and now it seems that some of them, perhaps the most representative have deflated, or have become neutral and do not commit so much. Within the new generations there are some very good people and I like that they are the young and new blood. Maybe they are too few and have come to enjoy enough political maturity protected and educated, but there doesn’t seem to be enough care of these young blood. It has been accomplished even that the established institutions and authorities give an answer, because we cannot deny that, an answer was given. And this Catalan spirit of independence has become known worldwide. Everywhere there have been workshops, meetings, demonstrations, exteriorizing our internal plight. Virtually everyone knows what a ―Senyera‖ is and what is a ―Estelada‖. We know today what certain Catalan political actions are and who are the Catalan people... we're not living on the income of a football team, we are living a moment in which a country has expressed itself with millions of people and in a civilized manner and now expects leaders to continue this task of working together towards a common goal. Much sweat and tears, and much of the work done we owe to associations that are outside the country, outside of Catalonia. Such as is AICS Houston. Do we recognize enough the work that they do? I think that not enough, perhaps within Catalonia itself it should be known more who they are and the work they do, work they do for conviction and a willingness to promote the country (of being Catalans), I suppose with few resources given from any public institution. It should be announced and promote more, and there should be a communication network that’s wider, more globalized towards these institutions, centers and Catalan institutes which are scattered around the world and that represent a very valid side of Catalans. It is a part that has a lot of talent and that it has had to leave in order to find success... Many researchers, scientists and experts in many specialties and that are our most valuable assets. All this strength, all this energy and talent, which should invested at home, where they truly believe they belong. Yes, and I think they do. These four or five huge public protests, one of the things that has surprised me the most and I that I have liked is seeing representatives of all generations. In any part of the world where they have achieved independence it has never been peacefully.



As the process is being developed here so peacefully, orderly, without any violence... it hasn’t been seen anywhere. It’s unique. This civility is a unique heritage, of desire, of willingness to participate with tens of thousands of volunteers who have been for months and months (with enthusiasm, lots of enthusiasm) working and working. Making sure that there was enough water, that there were signs, and, of course, this human heritage aside from of all the cultural, economic, scientific and technical stuff, it's a shame that because of political leaders that do not do the job they have to do, may be lost. We are talking about very important things in the history of Europe and in particular (of humanity if we continue like this). The politicians should get more involved, more committed; they should fight and continue striving forward, and should listen to these civilian leaders who have mobilized these millions of people. It is the seeding for future generations, is what we say, that there should be a replacement. A question, has anybody ever offered to buy your painting easel? No, but I would never sell it (laughs). You would not sell it ever? No, I guess it is since now everything is ephemeral, but as a writer before that might have had that Hispano Oliveti or a Remington typewriter, you wanted to buy them and they would tell you, ―not even crazy!‖ Nowadays you buy a computer and after two months they say, "and you work with that?" But me, the easel, never, it is not for sale, nor I would ever think of selling it. I would rather burn it before doing that. It has a lot of history, right? Let’s see, it has been a partner at least, I guess it's like someone doing the Route of Santiago de Compostela, and that footwear that has accompanied them, that shared all the sufferings, all the joys, all the passions as you reached Santiago someone approached you and said "listen, I’ll buy it," when that is what helped them get there. No. It is not to be sold. In some way it is an intimacy. Right, intimacies or the bag of a painter. What is clear is that, as one can see, we not only breathe his works, what is good is to breathe them with him. Thanks. Thanks to both of you. Text: Mayte Duarte & Josep Maria Cabayol – Photo on page 19 by Mercedes Martinez Bonnin. Translated from Catalan by Francesc Beltran, Dracmaycat 2014.



1 1/4 cup Ground Pork 1 1/4 cup Ground Beef 1 2/3 lb Sepia cut into strips 3/4 cup Boiled Peas 2 Onions, finely chopped 4 Tomatoes crushed 1 Egg Garlic Chopped parsley Garlic Chopped parsley Breadcrumbs Flour Oil Salt Pepper Water 1/4 cup Toasted Almonds Parsley Saffron

MANDONGUILLES AMB SĂ?PIA Meatballs with cuttlefish A Catalan classic with a Mar I Muntanya (sea and mountains)combination. Typically served during the Christmas season but can be enjoyed year round.

Make meatballs with the pork ,beef, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Flour and pan fry them. Cook onions and tomatoes down together, then blend. Add the squid, add 1/4 cup of water and let it cook for a few minutes. Add the meatballs, chopped parsley and peas. Add a pinch of salt and cook slowly until tender. Variations: Add a pinch of cinnamon to meatballs You can use fish broth instead of water.. It can accompany artichokes, potatoes, beans or rice.




Catalan exports broke all records in 2014 for the fourth consecutive year, breaking through the 60,000 million euro ceiling for the first time to reach 60,194 million euros. With a growth of 3.1%, this is the year in which Catalan companies have sold the most abroad. The 3.1% increase in Catalan exports exceeds the averages for the Eurozone (1.8%) and the EU (1.3%), as well as those of reference countries such as France (-0.2%), Italy (2.0%) and the United Kingdom (-11.1%). In terms of sectors, of particular note according to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness are Catalan exports of automobiles (6.8%), chemical products (3.5%) and capital goods (2.5%). The year 2014 also saw a record number of Catalan companies exporting regularly, now standing at 15,946, an increase of 8.6% over 2013. Regular exporters are those companies which have had sales abroad for at least the past four consecutive years. 12.3% growth in December The growth in Catalan exports in 2014 was strengthened by the record figure reached in December. In that month Catalan sales abroad grew by 12.3% to 4,761 million euros, the highest figure ever for any December.

Photo by Hugin




JOSEP MARIA CABAYOL (1948 Vilanova i la Geltrú) és el poeta plàstic dels sentits, a més de les llums i les ombres, les textures, les olors, sensacions... tota la seva obra és com una ordalia sinestèsica que desferma emocions, és una obra que es respira... una personalitat, que enamora. Un humanista del segle XXI


osep Maria Cabayol ha dit més d’un cop que pinta allò que l’enamora. Què fa que sorgeixi l’amor entre l’artista i l’objecte de l’obra?

Qualsevol petit detall, qualsevol llum, forma o situació espontània pot generar-me aquest feelling, aquesta conveniència. L'enamorament d'aproximació a un objecte que pot ser quotidià, vell, antic, modern o una paret texturada pel pas dels anys... quan entre l'objecte i jo sorgeix una espurna, potser per la llum o l'estat d’ànim. El tema t'ha d'atrapar en el moment.


Sorgeix doncs de la quotidianitat? La quotidianitat em permet viure d'una manera automàtica, en certa manera. Sense proposar-me grans reptes, però quan capto aquesta llum, aquell objecte que està allà fa dies pot ser una llauna, una baldufa o un autòmata, el que sigui. Aquell és el moment que hi entra una llum determinada i jo m’hi fixo, allà sorgeix una necessitat de buscar una superfície plana adequada per captar l’esperit o l’anima. Les sensacions que allò em provoca, captar-ho i desenvolupar-ho amb un suport rígid, ja sigui una tela, una fusta o un suport blanc, que puc anar tenyint, que puc anar manipulant “enriquint”, contexturant, fins que li vaig traient fent emergir l’esperit d’aquell objecte, paret, porta o bé el color d’aquella ombra.

És com un acte d’amor És amor, però un amor, apassionat, per què si una persona vol fer qualsevol activitat dintre de les arts visuals, com és el cas, si no hi té amor ni té passió, ni té aquell embogiment, alguna cosa que els altres d’entrada no s’hi ha fixat, no hi ha obra d’art. No hi ha cap futur, ni plaer ni tant sols hi ha lluita, ni hi ha emoció, aleshores no hi ha res. Això si, hi ha un ofici, que pot esdevenir amb tots els seus mèrits, en una bona qualitat, en un bon producte. Jo no faig producte. Jo transmeto aquelles impressions, la passió, l’enamorament que m’ha produït quelcom, potser una ombra en un suport rígid, i allà està. M’és igual el que li passi desprès. Jo vull captar-ho i que emergeixi d’aquella superfície plana com a mi m’ha atrapat. No és una qüestió de tècnica doncs, és el procés creatiu. El procés creatiu una vegada estàs embogit pel tema, sigui un botó d’abric, una cullera que has trobat pel terra, quan ho comences a magnetitzar, mirar, estimar, valorar, ja comences a gratar amb un llapis sobre una superfície i treure apunts, és llavors quan estem iniciant l’amor passional amb l’objecte o la llum, colors o textures, i això és imparable fins que arriba un punt que quedes extasiat. I quan et satisfà i t’omple, allà queda. L’obra ja resta, m’és igual, és el moment de buscar una altre. I torna tot a començar. Quina lectura extreu Josep Maria Cabayol de les pedres, el rovell, les finestres, les deconstruccions o les portes? Aquests temes m’apassionen. Per que quan veig a qualsevol ciutat o poble dels països que he anat una paret torturada, de vegades a Europa de l’Est, fruit de bombardejos i combats amb metralladores, parets ferides per ràfegues de trets, a mi em captiva i esperona de tal manera que intento captar-ho treballantho i no reproduint-ho, però vull fer com un homenatge en aquella paret. ... un fixar la memòria. ... Si, per què aquella paret, és una pàgina de la història, qualsevol dia anirà avall i faran un hotel, una nau industrial, o construiran un bloc d’habitatges. Aquella paret desapareixerà i amb ella la història. Fa temps que tinc el concepte que si jo fos arquitecte, aquestes parets tant texturades -aquí a Barcelona ja s’ha fet en alguns àmbits, potser pel gòtic- no parlo de parets medievals, si no parets de temps més cap aquí... ... com Sant Felip Neri? ... si, aquestes parets, edificar dintre despatxos, establiments, restaurants, habitatges, el que sigui però aïllant-ho amb una capa de vidre. Així aquesta paret tant viscuda queda allà intacte. No es tracta de posar aïllant i neutralitzar-ho. Per mi allò és una obra. Aquestes parets a mi em donen a pensar que allà hi ha hagut naixements, defuncions, hi ha hagut amor, passió, i quan veus que una paret que és blava, l’altre taronja o blanca amb regates per on passaven els cables, penso: això que està aquí, a sol i serena, aquí probablement s’han fet l’amor els pares, després els fills i fins i tot els nets, aquesta casa té 150 anys! I ara resta a la intempèrie, esperant que un promotor immobiliari ho compri per acabar de tirar-ho a terra. Aquestes m’omplen d’idees i de continguts el mateix que les portes, algunes d’elles dels poblets dels Pirineus que han aguantat el pas del temps, guerres, maquis, contrabandistes, han aguantat...


... milers d’històries... Nevades, ventades i incendis. Per aquestes portes hi ha una paraula que les defineix molt be – catafracta- que vol dir que és com una cuirassa. Una cuirassa que malgrat les cases hagin estat renovades més de cinquanta vegades, la porta és allà. Què hi ha dintre, no ho sé. Moltes històries, s’hi déu haver amagat gent, i déu haver hagut des de persones fins a bestiar, magatzems, els seus aromes d’herba seca i de menjar. Vull dir, amb tot això, que no és una qüestió estètica, és una qüestió de força. De gratar i de treure-li el contingut que té acumulat a base d’anys i anys. Això, m’emociona, això em dóna peu per lluitar-ho, treballar-ho, en certa manera. Cada vegada que pinto un quadre, la gent que m’ha vist pintar, véu que quan començo hi ha una lluita, tenyeixo d’un color i tot plegat d’un altre. Amb els dits, amb les mans, amb qualsevol eina, sigui un ferro o una fusta, menys els pinzells, allà hi apareix de tot. Quan allò està torturat, viscut, madurat, enriquit i carregat d’energia llavors, si convé, ho vaig endolcint, con si estigués vestint la núvia, però que abans ha hagut una joventut complicada.




Una mirada a l’estudi on treballeu ens fa pensar l’ordre dins del caos. Els tubs, la paleta, els pinzells, fins i tot com està posat el cavallet, us considereu un esperit lliure? Per descomptat, l’artista ha d’estar, ha de ser i s’ha de considerar un esperit lliure. Tinc molt clar que per realitzar una obra com la meva que està dintre d’un realisme (hiperrealisme), malgrat que la taula de treball sigui un caos, el que va a parar a la tela, el que acaba al suport ha d’estar... ha de ser cirurgia gairebé microcirurgia. És veritat que dintre d’un mateix tema o d’una mateixa obra, hi ha moments que em dono la llibertat de embrutar-ho, de canviar-ho, de torturar-ho, de quasi desgavellar la obra, però sempre abans de donar-la per més o menys acabada, torno a reconstruir el que he desfet. Això ho podem copsar perfectament amb les deconstruccions on trobem una pulcritud higiènica. Cert, la deconstrucció em dóna la facilitat per exercir aquesta tècnica que diu que està tot enrunat però té un equilibri alhora. Amb les seves profunditats, ferides o empremtes, i de vegades procuro que a les parets hi hagi la sensació de que encara brolla allà vida, sang, color o energia. Tot això ho vaig enriquint. És com un mosaic bizantí que vaig procurant que tregui totes les possibilitats cromàtiques en questa línia. D’altres vegades també ho treballo de manera que sembli que he picagravat amb un buril aquelles parets. Que traspuï la ràbia aquella (de la textura) mitjançant les ungles o amb un punxó. Per mi és un patrimoni que estem perdent. Aquestes cases pairals abandonades son les nostres arrels, son lo que van fer els nostres avantpassats, part de la nostra identitat i això avui en dia s’està enrunant i tothom es queda tant tranquil... De vegades és pitjor la indiferència que no pas la destrucció directe. Estem vivint moments molt especials a Catalunya. Com descriuríeu per tots aquells que no coneixen el que és Catalunya, el poble català, aquell sentiment identitari tant arrelat que tenim alguns de voler dir “som”. Crec que els catalans, fa més de 300 anys que ens estan passant per un adreçador per haver perdut unes batalles, certes guerres, per no haver estat prou hàbils en sortir-se’n i llavors hem esdevingut una identitat a força de resistència, hem conservat la llengua, parts de la nostra cultura diferenciada d’altres cultures, tot això, ara en aquest moment des de fa cinc o deu anys, sembla que hi hagi un ressorgiment sobre tot en les classes populars, en la gent del poble que és els que han sortit en massa cada vegada que se’ls ha convocat per institucions civils, no pas polítiques, i en aquest moment, em sap molt de greu haver de dir, que tot i que considero que Catalunya ha d’avançar cap a ser el que vulgui ser, potser en aquest moment, i espero equivocar-me, els que estan dormint a la palla son els que haurien de dirigir tots aquests moviments ciutadans, civils i del poble. Donat que són els representants del poble de Catalunya, i si be alguns ho han fet i per això hem arribat al punt, el qual els que tota la vida havíem somiat arribar-hi ho veiem molt lluny (molt negre) molt fosc i molt difús.


Ara hem arribat i fora una pena que, tants milions de persones que ens hem vist a les portes de lo que hem estat desitjant fa 300 anys que ara això es vagi desinflant o per identitats partidàries, per assemblees, per mercadeig. Tots sabem per què fins que no hi hagi una entesa i una unió total entre els dirigents polítics que ens han portat de certa manera cap aquestes portes, no anirem enlloc, ara no correspon que es tanquin a dintre i se n’amaguin. Mentre la societat civil s’autoinculpa i dóna la cara. Hem arribat a un punt molt avançat i s’ha de tenir cura que en lloc de ser els herois de la història, no passin com a tot el contrari al que seria un heroi. Hi ha uns quants milions d’herois que van sortir al carrer, van donar la cara i sembla que d’alguna manera els hi esperona un esperit d’orgull. Com català de mirada excepcional, la cultura catalana acompanya aquest moviment civil? Hi ha una nova renaixença? Popular a més a més? A mi m’agradaria dir que si. En alguns casos de manera destacada, però a mi em fa por que si no som totalment decidits i ben conduïts pels líders polítics arribarà un moment que la gent se’n cansarà d’estar sempre al peu del canó i estar sempre mobilitzant-se, si els que els representen doncs l’únic que fan és reunions per tornar-se a reunir i tornar a convocar una altre reunió per una altre reunió. Crec que la gent de la cultura catalana, o si mes no una part, si que està molt implicada. Potser quan aquí teníem un estat dictatorial els intel·lectuals catalans se la jugaven més que ara i donaven més la cara i realment també tenien més problemes per fer-ho i ho feien. Ara hi ha molts que s’amaguen, per Sant Jordi sortiran al Palau Sant Jordi, o trauran un nou CD o si no trauran una nova no sé què, però tampoc no els veig a molts d’ells tant compromesos com podrien haver-ho estat als anys seixanta i setanta quan la cosa estava molt més negre i encara s’executaven als insurgents. S’arriscaven molt més. Curiosament sembla que la instauració d’aquests anys en el bonisme, amb el políticament correcte, ha fet perdre molta ideologia pel camí. Si, crec que hi ha hagut una sèrie de gent que ja tenen una certa edat, que ja ho han donat gairebé tot, i estem parlant de totes les arts, visuals, musicals o literàries amb carreres molt compromeses i ara sembla que alguns d’ells, potser els més representatius, s’han desinflat, o s’han neutralitzat i no es comprometen tant. A les noves generacions hi han alguns de molt bons i a mi m’entusiasmen per ser la saba nova i jove. Potser son massa pocs i han d’arribar a poder gaudir de prou maduresa política protegits i educats però no es té prou cura del planter.




Fins i tot s’ha aconseguit que les institucions i els poders establerts donessin una resposta, per què això no ho podem negar, resposta hi ha hagut. I aquest esperit d’independentista ha transcendit a tot el món. Arreu s’han fet jornades, trobades, manifestacions, exterioritzacions. Tothom sap pràcticament el que és una Senyera i lo que és una estelada. Se sap avui en dia que són certes actuacions de polítics catalans i el que és la societat civil catalana... no estem vivint de la renta d’un equip de futbol, estem vivint un moment en el qual tot un país s’ha manifestat de forma milionària i cívicament i toca esperar que els prohoms capdavanters continuïn aquesta tasca d’anar aglutinant. Molta de la pedra picada i de la feina feta li devem a les associacions que hi ha fora del país, de Catalunya. Com per exemple lo que son AICS de Houston. Reconeixem prou la feina que fan. Crec que no se la reconeix prou, potser a dintre de la pròpia Catalunya s’hauria de donar a conèixer més qui són i la tasca que fan, amb convicció i per una voluntat de fer país, (de ser) suposo amb pocs recursos provinents de cap institució pública. S’hauria de difondre més, promoure més i hauria d’haver una xarxa de comunicació més amplia, més globalitzada envers totes aquestes entitats, casals i instituts catalans que estan escampats pel món i que representen una part molt vàlida dels catalans. És una part talentosa què aquí no han tingut sortida i han hagut anar a fora... Molts investigadors, científics o tècnics en moltes especialitats i que són el nostre patrimoni més valuós. Tota aquesta força, tota aquesta energia i aquest talent, convindria que es revertís a casa, d’on realment ells consideren que pertanyen. Si, i crec que ho fan. Aquestes quatre o cinc manifestacions multitudinàries, una de les coses que m’ha sorprès més i m’ha agradat és que en totes he vist representants de totes les generacions. A qualsevol indret del món que han aconseguit una independència no ha estat mai pacíficament. Com s’està desenvolupant aquí el procés de manera pacífica, ordenadament, sense cap mena de violència... no s’ha vist enlloc. És únic. És únic aquest patrimoni de civisme, de ganes, de voluntat de participació amb desenes de milers de voluntaris que han estat mesos i mesos (d’il·lusió, molta il·lusió) treballant i treballant. Que no faltes aigua, les senyalitzacions, i, es clar, aquest patrimoni humà a part de tot lo cultural, econòmic, tècnic i científic, és una pena que per els líders polítics no facin la feina que han de fer, es perdi. Estem parlant de coses molt importants a la història d’Europa i en concret (de la humanitat si seguin a aquest pas). Que es mullin més, que lluitin que continuïn avançant, que escoltin en aquests líders civils que han mobilitzat els milions de persones.


És el planter, és el que diem, hi ha d’haver relleus. Una pregunta mestre, algú us ha ofert mai comprar-vos el cavallet? No, però tampoc el vendria No el vendríeu pas? No, això suposo que és com, ara tot és més efímer, però és com un escriptor d’abans que tenia aquella Hispano Oliveti o la Remington, li vols comprar i et diu, ni boig! avui dia compres un ordinador i al cap de dos mesos et diuen, “i amb això vas?” Però jo, el cavallet mai, ni està en venta, ni pensaria vendre’l ni res, abans el cremaria. Té història, oi? A veure, si més no ha estat un company, m’imagino que és com el que fa el Camí de Santiago, i aquell calçat que l’ha acompanyat, que ha compartit tots els patiments, totes les alegries, totes les passions quan arribés a Santiago digués “oye, que te lo compro”, si això és lo que m’ha ajudat a arribar aquí, no. No es ven. D’alguna manera son les intimitats. Si, les intimitats o el necesser del pintor. El que és evident és que, com es pot veure, no tant sols respirem les seves obres, lo bo és respirar-lo amb ell. Gràcies. Gràcies a vosaltres. Text Mayte Duarte & Josep Maria Cabayol - Imatge Mercè Martínez Bonnin


Mayte Duarte Seguer Barcelona 07/05/1962 Llicenciada en Humanitats en l’àmbit dels Estudis Culturals i l’antropologia religiosa amb una tesina sobre la significació simbòlica de l’arquetip del Drac “El Drac a Catalunya: Presència i evolució del Drac en el Bestiari català”. Ha cursat “Arqueologia experimental, didàctica de la prehistòria y evolució humana” a la Fundación Atapuerca y Sierractiva y actualment el Màster de Ciutadania i Drets Humans a la UB amb el seu treball sobre “L’homo tecnològicus: què és lo humà?” Es dedica a la creació, gestió, promoció i difusió de cultura catalana arreu del món vinculada al territori, mitjançant programació i desenvolupament d'activitats destinades al consum cultural. Implicant dites accions culturals amb les xarxes socials mitjançat l'ús de les TIC'S 4.0. Formació de formadors: capacitació digital i creació de materials per a la didàctica presencial i a distància o E-learning. Aprofitant els coneixements acadèmics, administra diversos grups a Facebook aportant-los-hi aplicacions pràctiques socials, polítiques i científiques. La seva experiència inclou treball com a Community Manager, investigació i recerca antropològica de la civilització catalana, documentant i estudiant la imatge del Drac en la cultura catalana com a significatiu tret identitari. També és: - Creadora de diversos blogs (Project Scheherezade, Dracmaycat, Drako Teksilo, Reflexions des de Tràntor, Mayte Duarte o Lo Drac dixit entre d’altres). - Articulista de la revista CATALONIA de l’AICS (American Institut Catalan Studies) de Huston, Texas. - Editora de la revista digital d’humanitats SÀRASUATI - Membre del Grup Internacional de Recerca Cultura, Història ì Estat (GIRCHE) de la Universitat de Barcelona (UB). - Secretaria del Liceu Maragall de Filosofia amb seu a l'Ateneu Barcelonès. - Fundadora i presidenta de Dracmaycat XXI, SL. - Col·laboradora com experta en els treballs d’Adequació de qualificacions professionals del Catàleg de Qualificacions Professionals de Catalunya de l'Institut de Qualificacions Professionals de la Generalitat de Catalunya. - Fundadora i presidenta de l'entitat sense ànim de lucre Project Scheherezade pel rescabalament del coneixement femení que per tradició ha estat de transmissió oral. http://





Catalonia Winter 2015  


Catalonia Winter 2015