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Mercedes Guerric and Carmen Fidalgo

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Competition Guidelines


Cantera came to public attention several years ago by self-managing its renewal, and made all of us more aware of our social responsibility. There are many things to be learned from this community: the value of unity, the power to dream, the importance of setting collective goals.

About the Area
Public art, because of its monument-building capacity, may establish a questionable and excluding, one-way relationship between the artist and his or her audience. The community workshop is a means of creating works of art for sites where daily living challenges the vitality of artistic creation, and questions the very relevance of art. More than an artistic object, these places demand affirmative artistic statements from the community, expressing itself with the assistance of the artist as intermediary. Such collaboration should occur in an atmosphere of authentic respect, free from paternalistic attitudes or a false sense of generosity. This category is for artists who see in art a social commitment that, far from endangering their subjectivity, renews it in a fertile and productive exchange. Proposals in this category must provide details about the structure of community participation to be used and the exact site of the intervention. The workshops should leave a lasting public mark in works coauthored by the community, and worthy of their appreciation.  

The community of the Cantera Peninsula is made-up of people who share, not only the place where they live, but also in a very significant way, a common history.   The significance of this history lies in the fact that it is the narrative of life experiences driven by hard struggles, at the individual and the collective levels, in daily living as well as in the face of specific exceptional events. These struggles, hard and constant as they have been, have also been crowned by well-deserved successes. For the artists, the residents of Cantera are examples of the meaning of community, and of how people working together can make a difference.

The community workshop endeavored to engage the residents in the process of conceiving and producing a work of public art driven by the values, experiences, and spirit of the community. The participation and incorporation of residents in the creative process means more than a previously developed program to promote interaction. Such collaboration was crucial for planning the future work. The resulting processes justify the form and content of this proposal. This statement, based on dialogue and shared labor, seeks to show that art builds capacity, and that it adds a significant value to the meaning of life in society.
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