Ací fem Atovons is a design research project about the brick industry within Valencia's Horta Nord. The first exhibition introduces the transformation processes of clay through both tangible and visual pieces, offering insight into the intricate journey of extraction, manufacturing, and construction with ceramic in this particular territory. The former public schools of Foios, with its ceramic façade, serve as a white box for this body of work.
Upon entering the initial section, visitors are greeted by a heap of fractured bricks. This scene juxtaposes four photographs portraying precisely aligned bricks, offering a contrast between the organic chaos of afterlife construction remnants and the meticulous order of manufactured ceramics. This installation combines the opposite poles of transformation within the factory's realm, where the earth transforms into structured ceramic forms destined to shape landscapes of construction.
Moving to the second section, melted ceramic fragments take center stage on white plinths. Rescued from a depleted mining pit, these heavy pieces were triggered by stuck gas pipes, elevating kiln temperatures beyond intention and resulting in ceramic turning glass-like. Brickmakers faced the challenge of removing misshapen pieces from the kiln, often at the cost of tools and factory losses. These fragments bear the tangible marks of brickmakers' tireless work, a testament to the challenges they overcome daily. This collection manifests their craft, grounding it in physical effort.
The third section focuses on the bricks' afterlife, as artists and designers intervene to explore alternative constructive and visual possibilities with the material. Through visual assemblages showcased in photographs, this section illustrates the potential of broken bricks, demonstrating their versatility beyond their conventional use in architecture.
Guided by the curation of Neus Carceller and Pablo Bolumar, the exhibition blends a tapestry of artistic contributions. Francesc Planes captures the industry's essence through analog photography, while Vicent Orts explores the potential of discarded bricks. Fes Bondat's techno creations infuse factory rhythms into the room, and Pablo Bolumar's public installation brings the exhibition into the public landscape. The graphic identity by Shuang Xu works as a unifying visual thread throughout the exhibition. The project was sponsored by Ajuntament de Foios.
Project: Ací fem atovons