And the Earth will be Paradise


Wood, Photo series.

Y la tierra será el paraíso (And the earth will be paradise), the title of this piece, is a verse from the most popular version in Spanish of the L’Internationale, the anthem of the working class par excellence, adopted by most of the socialist parties , communists and anarchists of the world. This verse perfectly sums up the utopian character of modernity, a time in which the idea that everything good was about to arrive was spread.

The project I “And the earth will be paradise” (2018) consists of a photographic series and wooden models that, stacked on top of each other, form a sculptural tower. These models represent the gigantic blocks of Social Housing Estate in La Mina, a neighborhood located on the outskirts of Barcelona that was built in the early seventies to rehouse the population from different shantytowns, and where the worst vices of impunity and political incompetence. Two archival photographs are shown next to these models; one, from 1970, shows the dictator Franco and the mayor of Barcelona posing next to the model of the La Mina neighborhood project, the other shows a group of women, relocated to this same neighborhood, holding the model of the their hut in Camp de la Bota, built by themselves with cardboard.

Again we see the image of power presenting itself in an overbearing manner as the benefactors of the population through large building campaigns, in front of the image of the victims of this power, the lowest classes of society, who appropriate the urban space making use of the few resources at their disposal.

The project is completed with a photographic series showing estates of large social housing buildings. Domènec, who has taken these snapshots in cities as diverse as Barcelona, Warsaw, Bratislava, Marseille, Nantes or Mexico City, does not indicate these origins. In this way, evidence of how the presence and aesthetics of this type of large housing projects, present on the outskirts of all major cities in the world, are a global sign of imposition from political and economic power.

Photos: Roberto Ruiz, courtesy of ADN Gallery, Barcelona