To walk from Castrop-Rauxel in Germany to Cervera del maestre it takes about 50 days of walking (if you walk 30 km per day). In a human life, with everyday life and life that keeps coming in between, it can sometimes take 14 years. In 2009, a friend offered to use a shop temporarily to initiate a small art show there. At that time, a few artists from the EL-DRAC network accepted and so the exhibition was set up in one day. Temporary use was and is always an option for art in the industrial region in constant upheaval. The shop was empty. The large shop window did not convey the colorful experience that the landlords wanted. Again and again the art goes to off-spaces. This often sets in motion a dialogue that goes far beyond the actual location. When contemporary art dives into the living environment of a changing society, leaving the apparently safe place of the studio, there are always exciting moments. That was also the case in Castrop-Rauxel. The title of the show was defined as “Silent running”, the homage to an SCI-FI classic on the one hand, and the reference to the art’s quiet incursion into the former Roman camp on two strategic connecting routes. A few years later, a few kilometers further south-west in Europe, two artists occupied an empty space. Between the exhibitions and other social events, the gallery in the Haus des Drachen was available for a “Flashlight”, a snapshot from the archive of two freelance artists. Again with no public funding and no advertising support, again quietly… and again there’s a chance that the universe will do something…unexpected, nice.
The exhibition is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free entry. There is something to discover from 14 years of contemporary art in Europe. The people who often stand in the background and who are nevertheless so important for the success of such spontaneous actions should also be reminded here. Thanks go to Annette. She made that possible back then. And now, a few years and a few kilometers further… let’s not forget that. The journey continues: Silent Running 2.
This is the continuation of the story of the social sculpture “Gallinas de Amor” (part 1). It is the story of the continuation of a construction, the story of the people involved and the story of a community that pursues sustainable goals in times of uncertainty and strife. It is also a story of life without a lot of money but with a lot of contentment and happiness.
It’s all, once again, a matter of logistics and access to resources. Who would think that building sand is in demand these days and is a scarce commodity. The sand grains of the deserts of this earth are not suitable because they do not tilt well in the mortar, they are ground round by nature and wind. We can use a local producer and get the sand from nearby.
First, a barrier layer of bitumen mats was laid and bricked on top. This barrier layer later prevents moisture from penetrating from the floor into the walls. If this barrier layer is omitted, the moisture can later loosen the plaster and promote mold growth.
Inserting the front door with building dies before laying the actual wall is a typical improvisation, but it facilitates the use of recycled building materials like those on this door. The welded anchors can be connected directly to the wall to be erected.
The concrete blocks are easy to brick up and little mortar is required for the joints. This is no comparison to the natural stone walls.
The two exits for the chickens can be seen in the foreground. Later, two small wooden stalls will be separated inside so that groups of pedigree chickens can be kept together or separately in order to generate offspring in a targeted manner.
Art is probably not used in a normal cattle shed. In the chicken coop at Color Garden, art is the primary goal. The house as a concept and in its realization is an art project. It has both a social and an aesthetic component. The glass bottles in the wall later give a broken, colorful play of light inside and loosen up the architecture. But they are also a way to recycle material in an unusual way.
Old single glazed window frames have been refurbished and recycled and become part of the chicken coop.
The front door is already stuck in the wall and could be opened for the first time.
The roof height is reached after only four days.
Rafters are placed as a test and the distance is adjusted to the clay slabs. From this, the number and size of the panels are determined.
The main beam is embedded under the ceiling and later pressed against the rafters from below with building stamps. This creates an optimal connection and the subsequent roof load can be well distributed.
A lot of the work is done elsewhere. A work area will be set up here for the construction of the exits for the chickens.
The guides for the trapdoors for the exits of the chickens are being prepared.
Wooden constructions for the interior are provided, laying nests from old bee boxes, perches, covers for the compartments in the stable, exits for the chickens.
Below the ceiling, a small intermediate floor was installed on one side. This offers storage space that is always necessary for food and tools. This shelf is very solid and also allows heavy loads.
From the stock of ceramic tiles, a selection could be found that fits perfectly and will make regular cleaning easier later on.
The construction of the compartments for the hens in the barn continued. These compartments will later be equipped with a multifunctional connecting door. This means that both areas can be used individually or together. Especially in larger groups with several roosters, it is an advantage if these roosters can avoid each other. It makes keeping multiple roosters easier.
No people were seen in these photos. Nevertheless, many were there and helped. And much remains secret for most. The rafters of this roof come from Germany, they were brought to Spain more than 8 years ago. They should actually be installed elsewhere, but the people who were out and about in the color garden back then are long gone. They left their dreams there. They have moved on, but their strength is also in these materials and we are giving them new life in a new project. The windows also come from Germany from old houses. Many generations looked through these windows in a rough rural region in the Eifel before they were to be disposed of. We took them with us and kept them in Germany for years, and later in the color garden. Now they have found their place.
A special thanks to Maria and Jens for their help in building the roof and to Mario the builder who gifted us the main beam. These people help with their love and power to create such places. And the least thing is to name it.
It’s going to be a long story. We will publish them in several articles. This will be the first. It is the story of a dream of a single mother in Spain, of a desire to live close to nature with animals, and it is the story of its fulfillment, in times of violence and strife in Europe. It is a symbol of the power of a community to focus on the well-being of its members and to get involved for good. Food is the means of life.
As you can see, they see nothing. No buildings, no sculptures, no art, no chickens, just nature, which had temporarily reclaimed parts of the finca.
Four years earlier, Iris and Kai from Hanover had set metal posts for the chicken coop. After that, the construction site rested and we only occasionally deposited building materials. Clay stones and an iron door patiently awaited the start of construction.
The shepherd’s old shelter was almost invisible. Only the column that had been started and the concrete beams for a new roof construction protruded above the tall grass.
As a beekeeper we need to use part of the color garden as a storage. Beehives, tools, wood… large parts of the Color Garden are a space of possibilities. What amazes many visitors is the apparent disorder, the creative chaos of the artists. One factor is always underestimated. The seemingly disorganized storage of materials fuels the process of creative problem solving. Beyond public funding and without sponsors and patronage, we have to create many solutions from the recycled resources.
Logistics is a very important factor in site organization. Access roads, intermediate storage. All of this needs to be well thought out. The upcoming construction site requires good planning. The materials are heavy and therefore difficult to move, and unnecessary multiple movements cost a lot of time and energy. This organization is difficult for many lay people to understand and it requires experience to recognize its importance.
Then the grass was cut with a brush cutter.
More building material was collected. Among other things, the remains of drainage pipes for drainage were brought under the floor slabs of the chicken coops that were still to be produced. These come from a construction site in Germany and had waited 18 years for a meaningful use.
Tree care offered itself before the actual construction began. The wild olive trees are still waiting for later refinement. Now a strong pruning was announced.
The dog Lulu is managing the scene.
The excavation for the strip foundations represents the first actual start of construction.
For the foundation, concrete blocks were brought in for living formwork (formwork that will later be part of the structure).
The stones were stored close to where they would later be used to facilitate the work.
Rubble to fill up the subsoil was approached. Hard-working helpers from Germany and Spain lend a hand. A social sculpture is a social activity where people can have a special experience. The “Gallinas de Amor” project goes back to Francesca’s desire to keep chickens in the Color Garden. Familiafeliz as a “facilitator” provides the resources and organizes the infrastructure.
There is an agreement with local construction companies that they can dump construction waste on the finac. We then look for valuable building material and the construction companies later drive the rest away to the dump. This saves you money, because disposing of rubble is expensive. And we receive valuable materials free of charge, natural stones, old clay tiles, ceramics for trencadis…
The rubble has an important function. It reduces the volume of the concrete slab to be poured. It creates cavities for ventilation under the concrete slab and allows the drainage pipe to collect moisture from under the concrete slab and release it to the outside.
About 70% of the work on a construction site is accounted for by the preparation and follow-up of the actual work.
After two hours in the early morning, the concrete slab was ready as the foundation for the first chicken coop.
In times like these, when many people are losing their social contacts, it is a joy and a zest for life to achieve goals together. This foundation weighs over 7 tons, houses a message in a bottle for the future, and will become the base of the new chicken coop.
Thanks to Antje, Corinna, Dilan and Kim. And a big thanks to Francesca for the tireless work in the sun and the strength to make this dream come true.
CASAdelDRAGON is a social space, a think tank, an art hot spot in the province Castellon and a lab to improve new concepts of sozial art at all.
This is a story about raising chicken, doing social art, listening an australian prime minister, realizing the new world order of a global food chain and setting up a new working unit of our community in Spain.
i am what i eat, i eat what i sow, I sow what I like, i like what i am.
It’s a story about lots of animals, lots of people, lots of screws, lots of recycling, lots of fun, and an unusual exhibition at the contemporary art gallery CASAdelDRAGON.
In the spring of 2022, a few friends of Familiafeliz got together to start a chicken farming project. That alone would not be the beginning of a new social sculpture, but a real verified interest of a target group is the motivation for the artist to start one. Familiafeliz has been keeping chickens in the home unit in Germany for more than 25 years and has a lot of experience in rearing and caring for them.
A 28-year-old incubator has been waiting for its first use in the CASAdelDRAGON for many years.
First, hatching eggs from different sources were brought together. The new flock of chickens should show a high level of genetic variance in order to ensure diversity in the species and robustness and health of the brood later when rearing new generations.
Artificial brood is certainly the second choice when rearing chickens naturally, but it offers many advantages, especially when starting over. The absence of older animals prevents the transmission of many parasites, the animals are of the same age and grow up together, which reduces the stress of group integration. The controlled supply of the animals with high-quality organic feed right from the start guarantees health, well-being and vitality of the animals later.
Simultaneously with the beginning of incubation, several chick homes were built. The aim was to recycle as much material as possible from the large pool of 36 years of rebuilding the CASAdelDRAGON and 15 years of running the gallery on the ground floor of the house.
The simultaneous construction of several chick houses should allow a selection of the chicks according to size and breed right from the start. The design should take into account the natural needs of the chicks and at the same time offer the possibility of relaxed natural breeding with a mother hen (separated from the group).
The electrical installation served to connect a light source and a heating source.
Chicken eggs hatch for 21 days. Between the third and seventeenth day, the eggs are regularly turned, at least twice. In natural breeding, this is done by the mother hen.
The mother hen also pays attention to the signals from the eggs and sorts out rigorously what does not answer accordingly. After the seventeenth day, the eggs are no longer turned and the incubator is only opened briefly to check the humidity and temperature. Particular attention must be paid to a good supply of fresh air, because the chicks’ lungs start working long before hatching and breathe through the closed (porous) eggshell.
The goal is to hatch and raise healthy, strong chickens. The preparation of the chicks for the expected habitat and its challenges is an important moment. This also includes the contamination of the chick home with bacteria and germs that occur in this habitat. For this purpose we dug up topsoil from the garden and single grasses that are offered to the chicks from the beginning. Some larvae and beetles were also found in this natural soil, a very popular prey for the chicks.
An important aspect of a social sculpture is the interaction with the target group. The change to use the project for informal education was taken into account from the beginning.
The audience followed the hatching process attentively.
After 21 days, the chicks hatched. In artificial hatching, a hatch rate of over 60% is a success when the sources of the hatching eggs are not certain and thus the fertilization rate of the eggs is not clear. In the project we were happy about 32 healthy chicks, which corresponded to a rate of about 70%.
The chicks form a community by vocalizing even before hatching and agree on the moment of hatching. You can listen to them communicating and watch them break through the eggshell with the greatest expenditure of energy. Anyone who manages to do it on their own shows the absolute will to live and immediately sets out to explore the new environment.
The pack behavior is distinctive, provides protection and security, and creates trust for the habitat and its challenges.
This is the story of the chicks, and it is also a story of the people. On the day the first chick was born, Australia’s incumbent Prime Minister introduced legislation that could make food production in Australia difficult, if not impossible, for private individuals. This political initiative is just one of many to re-regulate global production, supply chains and conditions of food production. If, at the same time, the emergency slaughter or the house arrest of millions of animals are ordered because of the claim of a new wave of bird flu, the question arises as to who wants to push through which agenda to the benefit of whom. Nature usually responds to challenges with diversity, diversity in genotype and phenotype, diversity in habitat, food supply and climate.
Globalists strive for centralized solutions. They suspect the easier control. Kevin Kelly’s book “Out of Control” described many developments early on. The hubris of controlling nature remains a companion in the development of adolescent societies that have not yet made it out of their egg of presumption about the nature of their reality.
The egg doesn’t come out of the box (bought in a super market). It comes from a living being. And it needs people to raise it, nurture it, feed it, and be willing to share the fruits of their labor with others.
This article is dedicated to such people: Agnieska, Aura, Maria, Jens, Dilan and Francesca.
Most chickens are given names, which makes it easier to operate in day-to-day communication with each other. The first chick that hatched also got a name: Dan.
At a time when everything is supposed to appear smart – cell phones, cities, governments – it’s time to show that there are real alternatives to classic economy: the smart working units of Familiafeliz, for example.
On Francesca’s initiative, Familiafeliz has started to set up a new working unit: chicken farming in the Spanish home unit. In the construction phase, we create the infrastructure for rearing and keeping the animals. The aim is to make the working unit autonomous and independent of other activities in color garden, according to our charter. We are inspired by Cecosesola in Venezuela, a network of cooperatives with an extremely smart approach to establishing a new economy in communities.
The few rules of Cecosesola are: no hierarchy, everyone gets the same wage, plenum with consensus AND veto. Those who stay away permanently are automatically kicked out. 4 rules are organizing 43,000 people at Cecosesola, peacefully, without corruption, without police, judiciary and penal system. This can be a real model for the innovative organization of people beyond turbo-capitalism.
In our German home unit we have been raising chickens with one break for over 25 years. The experiences flow into the Spanish project. We also provided the infrastructure in Germany. The chickens are cared for by several parties (families). This allows each individual team member to travel and does not permanently bind him to the place. All services provided by the members of this unit are gifts to the group. No one calculates who has worked for how many hours. A list is kept and all those involved enter their willingness to provide care in advance for the coming month. This list is available to everyone in the stable. In this way, a direct contact can also be made at short notice if a team member cannot take care of the previously announced support on one day. It has emerged that individual members of the group have preferences, some being more concerned with logistics and finances, others more concerned with the animals. Everyone gives what they like and to the extent that they like. Rarely is a care time to be negotiated. It works, quietly, stress-free, just smart.
The poultry working unit in Germany offers the following products: eggs, hatching eggs, chicks, young animals, chickens, hens ready to lay eggs, selected cocks for breeding. In Spain, education will be added to encourage others to keep chickens. In Germany, the eggs are offered at a reasonable market price, currently 50 euro cents. EVERYONE has to pay this price, whether customer or team member. There is no strife between members of the group, and no conflict of interest between team members who have high egg consumption in their families and those who eat little or no eggs at all. The income covers the costs, fodder, tools, hatching eggs, young animals from external sources to refresh the gene pool. The surplus money will be returned to the teams. The balance after 25 years: no arguments, few discussions, always enough money for the first-class supply of organic feed, high-quality food, local recycling of food waste, and the development of an extended community of customers who regularly buy eggs and the animals with their visit children.
This team is currently being formed in Cervera. Familiafeliz continues to make the infrastructure available free of charge. We will not dictate how this working unit will ultimately organize itself (we will report!). But after more than 25 years we can take stock: based on the innovations of Cecosesola, it works… smart.
Every state intervention in the organically grown reality of life in rural areas has consequences, some of these consequences are considered, some are not, some are desired, some are not. Anyone who feels responsible and wants to give rural areas an advantage is well advised to involve the population and keep an eye on their basic needs. For a long time, villages have been competing for the people and no longer the people for the villages. Anyone who attracts investors drives away social coexistence. Optimizing the economy and social interaction leads to a conflict of interests. The neo-liberal school of thought opts for economics and claims that social interaction is a side effect. It is not so.
Integration and participation lead to generalization, to the socialization of added value. This is contrary to the desire to accumulate profits in the hands of the few. Many rural villages have opted for industrial settlement or mass tourism. Both put a strain on natural resources and, due to their structure, cannot be sustainable. The sustainable added value for the local population is low. Instead of attracting capital, it is subjectively attracting more successful people. Subjective, because fewer and fewer people are available. Regarding refugee policy as a human resource to fill in gaps leads to outrageous collateral damage when the act of helping goes beyond the unorganized initiative of individuals. There are hard factors in a person’s choice of residence: food, security, work, space, mobility and their infrastructure. There are also soft factors: quality of life, culture, health, potential. Contemporary art is a companion to contemporary culture. Contemporary art shouldn’t claim to know the right answers either, but contemporary social art can make a contribution, and this is aimed directly at the local people.
Rural areas as a natural resource form the basis of every society. The idea of concentrating people in megacities, producing food artificially and reserving rural areas for the elite of a society does not seem sustainable. In a more and more online-based world, the permanent influx of young families with high cultural and economic potential will depend on soft factors. Anyone who invests in the satisfaction of their roommates today will automatically find new roommates. Nothing gets around faster than well-being. And word of that gets around, especially among those who make a difference in society.
The love of music and dance anchored in tradition, the rich culture and open commitment to this culture are a key to integration, but also to a necessary diversification. Just as in education, it is important in local politics to do little to damage people’s own intrinsic powers and to promote them wherever possible. This is exactly where contemporary art can make a contribution. She has long since emancipated herself from the elite and their desire for luxury. It strives for the creation of social space across the board, which is populated for the benefit of this very population. What can contemporary art do in a village like Cervera del Maestre… it can create social spaces for togetherness. It can stimulate in the areas of education, architecture and health.
Social art imparts knowledge in the areas of health, nutrition, medicinal herbs and alternative agriculture. But social art also creates barrier-free access and handling. Social art brings people of different nationalities together in groups. It provides this group with an identity-forming shared experience. Social art questions values, views and dogmas, reduces fear, creates serenity in dealing with the stranger. Social art optimizes social interaction. The prize arises from participation, it remains with the participant himself.
CASA del DRAGON regularly opens its doors to the public space. It invites the local population and it attracts people interested in culture from afar. Nationalities meet in the workshops and seminars. Some of the visitors return later, some of them forever. The Garden of Colors is the campus of the free university for informal education and a place for dance, theatre, music and culinary delights. He is connected to the cooperative, the school, the people of the village. But he is also connected to his visitors in recent years, and thus connected to all continents of the world. Social art transports a message internally and externally, the experience of individual happiness as part of a community.
This is our offer to the village of CERVERA del MAESTRE as well as for other villages with interest in the benefit of social contemporary art (PDF, 22KB).
If you can see social developments like the organization of education in a society as a NATURAL proces then you can apply the principles of nature to further development as well. Then:
Evolution instead of revolution. Niche occupation before displacement.
From the first it follows that in the end there is no legal way to further develop of an existing system. Due to the system, innovation is declared to be an illegal activity.
And second, the occupation of a niche that cannot be reached by the system is a prerequisite for gaining strength and energy in order to be able to displace old systems in the subsequent step.
Organized education is an instrument of power. It was founded around 800 AD by Charlemagne. The goal was to create a unified class of officials with similar qualification in reading, writing and calulating to govern such a large empire.
Every subsequent social group has repeatedly viewed this educational system as a stable guarantee of its own survival and, if necessary, realigned its educational goals in the short term.
Anyone who talks about alternative education systems today should ask themselves whether he want to gain or stabilize power, whether he simply want to siphon off money from elites in a niche, whether he want to realign educational goals (with the hubris of making them binding for everyone else too) or whether he then wants to say goodbye to the idea of organizing education in systems.
The strategy of the classic offers intends to focus on the educational content, but does not question the structure of the mediation. Anyone who withdraws access to their child must be tracked by the system. He does not question the educational content at a parents’ evening. He questions the system.
So it is first of all to define a niche as such and then to recognize one.
In a reorganized world there will be a tension between the will to virtualize and the access to matter. The relocation of educational offers into virtual spaces is a trend. But it is accompanied by the desire to get all human-machine interfaces under the skin.
The Internet of Things is becoming the Internet of Thoughts.
High infrastructure costs do not pay off in the area. So this niche will develop in an area of low population density. The niche will also be found far away from mineral resources or other systemically important resources (like traffic routes). Every instrument of power is subject to the laws of nature and also to the second law of thermodynamics. A consideration of the ROI for an investment will always lead to peripheral areas, which are not addressed in the first step. Niches will identify themselves as “too expensive” for the mainstream.
The escalation of violence to secure and expand power is also an escalation of the means chosen. Black powder is replaced by fact checkers.
Informal education is based on the natural needs of those who ask. These needs are difficult to predict. Nutrition seems to be becoming increasingly important.
Epicurus provoked the classical educational system of antiquity. Instead of erecting a new school building, he invited people to a garden. Instead of prescribing content, he created a space for the free flow of communication. Entering the room was linked to the acknowledgment of the principle of equality of the people who enter this room. The niche will therefore be a social space in which the analogue dialogue is geared towards the needs of the communication partners. The teacher becomes a space builder. The conductor becomes the stage technician.
People’s strong urge to externalize their thinking, because their own thinking costs so much energy, leads again and again to the formation of roles. These roles (like that of a teacher) are adorned with privileges and burdened with conditions and restrictions. Above all, they are associated with a clear mission statement. The exemption from the task of gathering food is a hallmark of roles in a clan.
Leadership, healing, jurisdiction, defense are assigned to systemically relevant roles. The niche will probably be characterized by the absence of roles… as well as the absence of rules.
Evolution is only recognized by those who remain behind.
The gift to the new generation will be expressed in a wish: please do not disturb.
After we had announced the first exhibition in the CASAdelDRAGON three and a half years earlier, and after more than a hundred people were already waiting in front of the door, it was time to put the lighting system installed the day before into operation. The test failed. The tension rose.
In the end a decision had to be made, the light wouldn’t go on in one room. So we improvised there. The guests didn’t care. They hardly noticed. All other rooms were bathed in bright and neutral light. It later turned out that several errors came together: you can’t really go troubleshooting with a defective bulb in a defective socket.
Antje, translator and interpreter and in Cologne also tour guide in her role… the first exhibition was very well attended. We were also very pleased that so many residents from the village had come by. Local connectivity is important and will remain so. The CASAdelDRAGON is a house for European culture – and thus also for the very local and very valuable culture.
Gabriella, the Sardinian, who, among other things, embellished the Aquarius at the entrance to the gallery with broken tiles, in her pleasant way of helping quietly in the second row, with the eye for what is important, with the strength of her Sardinian ancestors.
Visitors came to the opening from near and far. Half were from the village or the surrounding area, the other half came from more than 1000 km away. From the very beginning, the gallery was also a meeting place, the best prerequisite for bridging cultures, for understanding and respect.
On that day, two founders of Familiafeliz were standing together in the gallery and didn’t even know that they were both laying the seeds for everything that would arise in the years to come around the house of the dragon. The idea of maybe buying a rental house together in Cologne was not implemented, but the successful founding of our decentralized community was. Sometimes you can remember the moments, they are often small decisions, and yet they lead to great adventures.
Barbara Rombach, German-French glass artist, stands next to Jose Caldes, Antje Kalisch and Peter Buch. Along with Genevieve Girot, these were the first five representatives of European contemporary art whose works were exhibited under the title Amigos en el Arte 1.
The well-known painter and sculptor Jose Caldes spoke about the risks and opportunities of a contemporary art gallery in the region. Caldes was the first artist who was able to sell a work – on the day of the opening – to an English art lover and collector. Caldes passed away a few years ago after a long illness, his work is remembered, and his friendship, his noble nature.
There are those who are at the front of the stage, whether they like it or not. And there are those who make all this possible in the first place, through their patience, perseverance, their will to create something positive and their willingness to give. Antje is such a person. Always the real center, quiet, present, for the gallery, the house, the community. Thank you.
It is and has always been a challenge to keep the artist residency CASAdelDRAGON open for guests and activities. Decoupled from public funding, every action, no matter how small, is a big task. On the other hand, what has been and is being achieved under these circumstances is a success story and sustainable, since it is not dependent on political sensitivities or depends on the monetary drip of lobbyists.
The dragon’s house is a gallery and workroom and offers 17 beds. It is inhabited by people who come together to participate in a social sculpture. Art is one reason to come, another is health, education, politics or economics. At the beginning of 2020, the house also became a place of refuge, rest and meeting of people who had left in very compact Echo Chambers. CASAdelDRAGON as a place to meet, to build bridges and to approach, a place to experiment, with the option of failing and starting again.
Jo Pellenz is certainly one of the most important contemporary artists from the cathedral city of Cologne. He has visited the artists’ residence several times and left clear traces in the art and culture of the village of Cervera del Maestre. His magnificent installation in the Ermita Sant Sebastian with over 650 unique paper figures remains unforgotten.
The second building in the mountain village of Cervera del Maestre, which is dedicated to art, is called CASA PACHA MAMA. Inconspicuous in a small street in the middle of the village, it shows a facade with mosaic and sculpture. You have to be almost exactly in front of it to see this facade. It was inaugurated in the vuelta del Arte in 2009 with an installation by the Mexican artist Rosana Velasquez.
The CASAdelDRAGON is dedicated to social art. At the opening of the first exhibition, the artist Juan Petry asked his guests to write down words that they wanted to give the place as “good wishes” along the way.
More than 150 people from all over the world helped to rebuild the house. In over 20 years they have rebuilt a 750 year old stone house and filled it with life. In the preparations for the first exhibition after 20 years of construction, these two friends in the “Electronics inclination group” helped assemble the installation for the professional lighting system. The material (ERCO – rails and lights) comes from a former department store in Isalohn (Germany) and was only purchased 6 weeks before the opening of the exhibition.
It was always the declared goal to bring the activities of CASAdelDRAGON together with the people of the region. The builder David Sales, friend, companion of the Casa and specialist in old building materials, helped to prepare the rooms of the gallery.
The floors of the natural bulges of the back walls are laid with river stones from the RAMBLA CERVERA. Margret had helped collect these stones and contributed a lot to the fact that we were able to open the first exhibition on time, three and a half years after we announced this vernissage!
This is a detail from the construction period. The cable harnesses all lead to a junction box that brings together all the house electrics. Thanks to Björn, a Cologne street artist and electrician, this installation is still working today without any failures.
The photo shows today’s living room of the CASAdelDRAGON, today a meeting place. Since then, more than 2000 (!!) visitors have entered this room, students, pupils, artists, creative people from all over the world.
CASAdelDRAGON is also networked with other important art venues in the region. A friend and mentor in the field of sculpture is Peter Buch (left). His “Jardi de Peter” is an impressive destination for the region’s contemporary art.
All these photos – and another 100 – were shown together for the first time in an installation in the rocket club in Cologne’s southern part. This was a social art event, a personal celebration and a music and theater event with Dj Joachim (DREAMS Koblenz) and many guests.
These photos will also be published as part of the Artsurprise art project and as part of an installation in Colorgarden, the CASAdelDRAGON campus.