Anatomy of a turned landscape

Jordi Mas Balado

Anatomy of a turned landscape, 2022

Weather choreography is inserted into an area of maximum ambient pressure, where the body faces an inert environment of overwhelming dimensions. 
The large salt deposit, known as El runam salí del Cogulló, has been central to the work in generating artistic experience and conceptual content and involved a research plan to work in the area where it is located. The mountain debris in Sallent have unavoidable local effects which are carried to the Llobregat river basin, modifying other habitats further along creating a knock-on effect.

To complement the research laboratory, the project has been helped with the knowledge of people and entities from the area near the salt deposit. In this sense, the main focus in the debris area has been found from the perspective of the anatomy of a flipped landscape, along with trans-disciplinary dialogues around this roofless mountain. The information from the collective and collaborative space of the ‘Llobregat taula’ – described on its website as bringing together different organisations, people and actors from the territory (environmental entities, associations, trade unions, citizens’ platforms, research centres, municipalities) that share visions, actions and struggles in the Llobregat river basin – was my main reference to the project.

In addition to this collective space, the project has also been accompanied by geologist and essayist Daniel Barbé and Farré, the scientist Annelies Broekman, members of the group promoting the Taula de Llobregat, XNCA and CREAF equip; and activist Jep Ribera, member of the XNCA, promoter of the taula de conca (river basin table) and spokesman for Prou Sal.

The research laboratory project takes the creative development of the body’s meteorology and links it to cultural agents and activists in the Cogulló area, to reflect collectively and to deepen a trans-disciplinary approach to the same object of study. On 17 December 2022, this study was presented at the Centre d’Art Contemporani i Sostenibility (CACiS). 

An anatomy of a vaulted landscape refers to a look at the different parts that make up the phenomenon of the ‘debris mountain’. This vision aims to reflect the factors that have produced reaching this situation and assessing the present state. The creation of the dance video filmed by visual artist Marina Tsartsara represents the artistic approach that attempts to assimilate the enormous mass of inert material deposited in what was a natural valley.

This was the starting point during the presentation of the work process at the CACiS, as well as deploying the map of influences in the runam salí area. Geographer Rosa Cerarols contributed her interest in the artistic processes located and her attachment to the creative space Konvent puntzero – a late 19th-century nunnery converted into a multidisciplinary artistic centre. The site therefore points to the debris’ sphere of influence further up the Llobregat river basin. In this vein, members of the Taula de Llobregat offered their work along the Llobregat river basin with debris as the main factor of environmental risk; and to complete the work, Daniel Barbé offered an essayistic synthesis in the salt book, with texts and images around the roofless mountain.

In this way, a map generating cultural influences and counterparts throughout this area of the Llobregat river basin insists on addressing the environmental problems generated by the mountain of debris from the Cogulló, giving the possibility that the artistic immersion of the body’s meteorology at the base of this meaningless salt volume, allows a portrait and claim to a solution for the ecological health of this territory.

The project falls within the parameters laid down in the Council of Europe on landscape, and in the evolution of the same term, which has become a model to be followed. It stresses that the landscape is the collective whole of people and is the product of the action of societies; it is also referred to as a specific physical, local and experiential place.

Climate dance: the laboratory of global change
In the care of the ambient choreographer Jordi Mas Balado

This project has been possible thanks to the research and innovation grant from the Catalan Government Generality Support Office (2022).


IMAGES (all)

Anatomy of a turned landscape. (2022)


Link to video Sal i Cel

Jordi Mas Balado