Vacacional

A project by Olmo Cuña

24
Jun
2022
5
Nov
2022
Vacacional

Image: courtesy of the artist

Vacacional is a video installation that takes, as its starting point, the residential town of Perlora, built between 1954 and 1967 on the initiative of the organization Educación y Descanso (Education and Recreation). Conceived as a vacation spot for certain public company workers, the residential city was part of a broader strategy employed by the Franco regime to build, through tourism, an image of openness while the dictatorship remained unchanged. The project also had certain utopian overtones linked to modern movements and their promise of improving society through architecture and progress. Since 2006, the Residential City of Perlora has been closed and in a state of abandonment; however, it continues to be an important place for social gatherings of all kinds.

In this context, Vacacional seeks to generate associations between the architecture of the place, linked to leisure and rest, and Svetlana Boym's notion of "reflective nostalgia". Researcher Paula Leu already pointed out in her academic article Habitar la ruina. Rethinking the industrial past from the post-industrial present (2020) the relationship between this space and the concept of Boym.

This type of nostalgia uses critical distance to reflect on history, reconsider the passage of time and recover the links between utopia and memory. Vacacional proposes a series of gestures that seek to alter the way we perceive the context in which they occur, highlighting an encounter between manual and digital production processes as a way of stretching and contracting time.

Using as a reference the actions of the people who take ownership of the Residential City of Perlora through their informal use of its facilities, this project explores these questions: Can we actively relate to the symbols of the past, without turning them into ruins or relics? What are our possibilities of inhabiting a place in a state of intentional abandonment? Aside from nostalgically contemplating the buildings from the outside, what changes in perception occur if we go inside?

Vacacional is the winning project of the LABjoven_Experimenta 2022 Production Grant and was produced through a residency at LABoral Centro de Arte.

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  • 33203 Gijón (Asturias)
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