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Creación de la Playa de Ponce
(Creation of Ponce Beach)
Antonio Martorell

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  Espacio Tangente
Competition Guidelines

Ponce Beach: Enrique González Cotto Park

Stately, urban Ponce has received more publicity than the Ponce of the plena and working-class neighborhoods. The area surrounding Enrique González Cotto Park has the sea and the port facilities as a backdrop. It is a lively and colorful community. The park provides open spaces for an intervention that should be compatible with the special events and ordinary activities that take place in it.

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.

Technical description: Cement and mosaic
Creación de la Playa de Ponce ( Creation of Ponce Beach )

"The most noble of all beaches, Ponce Beach, is a centenary community. The building that is my workshop was constructed in 1815. It faces the sea and the square that are the object of this proposal, or rather the means by which this besieged and embattled community will provide to its young a learning process in the arts. The community workshop that I am proposing requires research before workshops are held on the site. However, the community will be active in both phases, because this project would not make sense without their involvement before, during, and after the project. The young will learn the trades of mosaic and typography in the context of a public art project whose process and product will be multidisciplinary and interactive.

Just in front of the steps that descend to the sea level, there is a spot that encourages meditation. But in addition to offering the residents of the area a place based on pure quietness, a more active participation is sought. The purpose here is to situate the materiality of past events, the common links, the small and master narratives of each person -of everyone and no one in particular- in a meeting space designed for happy encounters. Just in front of the steps that descend to the sea, is the spot where collective magic occurs; where citizens of all ages -blessed by the history that is the exclusive knowledge of the elders- will be able to sit and read the history of the Beach, which they themselves will have written in letters and images. There, the founders of the community will meet with the character of its people: their trades, professions and customs, as well as their sagas, events, heroic acts and catastrophic events; the achievements and failures of those who have lived in the sector. The steps, the chairs and the surrounding areas will be living witnesses of that past, present, and future history to be rewritten by each gaze, in each reading."
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