Nos camiños

Carme Nogueira. Nos camiños
Double Space 9 November - 9 December 2007
three videos: the river, the land, the factory
a model
and the piece "shot-reverse shot"
Installation view, picture by Mark Ritchie

Away from the places assigned by institutions for the production of art, close to the everyday order of things, yet in no way avoiding its classification as modern art, the Lavadores district in Vigo was home in March 2007 to the artistic action called Nos camiños, conceived by Carme Nogueira. Part of a wider-ranging project under the aegis of the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (CGAC), devoted to research and artistic experimentation revolving around the various directions in which social spaces are going in Galicia, under the generic title of A trama rururbana, Nos camiños occurred as an initial intervention by and for the museum, but off the museum’s premises. This was to be the first of a series of paradoxes which we were to encounter throughout the entire
staging of this intervention.
The first phase of the Nos camiños project was staged between the 6th and the 16th of March 2007. During this period a scale model (1:250) of the Lavadores district, made of compressed polystyrene mounted on sheets of cork and based on cartographic documentation taken from the Municipal Zoning and Development Plan promoted by Vigo City Council, was put on display to the public. The model, which had been designed and produced over a three-month period by a group of women that included the artist herself, the architect Iria Sobrino and staff from PXC (Producción e Xestión Cultural, S.A.), the company hired to produce the exhibit, was composed of four separate modules, each approximately 2 metres square, which when combined gave a final product measuring 4 x 2 metres.
As has already been mentioned, the reconstruction, both of the buildings located within the factory perimeter (Santa Clara, Vanosa1,etc.) and of some of the symbols most readily identified with GEA (Grupo de Empresas Álvarez, the holding company that originally owned the site), such as the factory chimney or the sports ground, imply a reconstruction, a representation of the surroundings which, through these very elements, positions itself with regard to these same surroundings. Thus, the reconstruction of the factory itself, the fact of installing of the model firstly in the building site oppose the factory’s main entrance, formerly the works car park, and then in the garden belonging to the neighbourhood association, took the form of an actino that displayed a representation of its own. The staging of this intervention led to the staging of different narratives revolving around
what was being represented.
Although initially there was considerable curiosity to see how the district was to be developed, other references started to appear whilst the model was on display in the building site. There was a certain amount of nostalgia for the factory, evident in the insistence on its financial viability and poor management, and made apparent in samples of the products it manufactured, as well as offers to organise a visit to the factory premises for the purpose of adapting the model to the current reality, but also evocations of the conflictive situations that the area had experienced in the past. The staging of a representation led in turn to the construction and reconstruction of other different representations. Discourse after discourse, symbolic representations after symbolic representations: the staging of a meeting point set itself up as a point for meetings, for different visions revolving around a symbolic reference.
The paradoxes and the different narratives relating to the structuring of the district around the factory, and the impact this produced, became apparent in a context of delocalisation of localisation. The heterogeneity of the discourse lines superimposed on two readily identifiable symbols, the river and the factory, made a single representation totally imposible and underlined the value of the intervention as a generator of different collective imageries that opened up around a closed representation. The model became a means.
The means, the end, efficacy... art and the meaning of everyday things.

María Lois

1 Vidrios Automáticos del Noroeste, S.A. Only a few days after the staging of this intervention had come to a close, the land on which VANOSA stood was sold in a public auction.