Arca del Maresme
We Can Xalant
‘We Can Xalant’ se planteó desde el primer día como un proyecto que adquiriría un sentido a medida que fuera albergando distintas actividades. Algunos años después de su ejecución, el espacio ha sido utilizado en numerosas ocasiones. Desde la realización de proyectos en el espacio público a través de la Unidad Móvil CX-R (como el programa educativo ‘Zona Intrusa’ o la convocatoria ‘Ceci n’est pas un voiture’), hasta talleres y presentaciones realizadas por el mismo centro. En la actualidad, el proyecto es una de las imágenes iconográficas del centro Can Xalant de Mataró.
‘We Can Xalant. Nomad Architecture and DIY Laboratory’ was a project made in collaboration with the architects ‘a77′ from Buenos Aires. The work was commissioned by the Can Xalant Art Center (Mataró, Barcelona). We were asked to reconstruct the old pavilion of Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata located in the center’s garden. This work, known as ‘Xiringuito Mataró’, had suffered months ago a fire that had partially destroyed it. Our task was to reinterprete the ruins of the old structure, and to incorporate, at the same time in our intervention, a mobile unit understood as an extension of the art center to the public space.
The project began exploring the possible complicities within the immediate surroundings of Can Xalant. Under the idea of working ‘with what we had to hand’, we invited the art center’s artists to participate. At the same time, several local associations got involved in the project. On the other hand, we achieved an agreement contract with the company ‘Arca del Maresme’, responsible for a recycling plant near the art center from where we would get part of the necessary building material for the project.
Once the various collaborations were settled, we decided that the process of conception and construction of the new structure would be developed as an open workshop. Between January and June, before the workshop started, we stored much of the building material. We recycled the parts of the existing structure that survived the fire. But we mainly collected a wide amount of material from the recycling plant nearby. As a result of this collaboration, we also obtained several abandoned caravans to develop the future mobile unit. The choice of the caravan for that purpose seemed appropriate. It allowed the new vehicle to move freely around the public space without special permits. Finally, through the contacts with a local association, the group of artists Les Salonnières (resident at Can Xalant) organized a workshop with the students of a school nearby. From this previous work, some preliminary ideas emerged to start the future construction.
The workshop was held during the first two weeks of June. About twenty people took part in the process. Participants came from several areas, but most were linked to Can Xalant. This collective DIY process was mainly based on improvisation. While some of the participants were checking the existing structure, others were rebuilding the ground with wooden pallets. While one of the caravans was being transformed into the new mobile unit, another caravan was emptied and attached to the structure. While some were building a ramp to carry material to the first level, others were imagining that same ramp as a slope garden. All these decisions were being combined with constant visits to the recycling plant, where new materials and new ideas for the construction were acquired. In parallel to this constructive tasks, we kept on having meetings, within the group and with the local associations.
After two weeks of intense work, the outcome of the workshop was between the 16th and 17th of July. On the first day, the new CX-R Mobile Unit was officially used during a series of events with the neighbor’s association. The following day, Can Xalant held its annual ‘Open Doors Festival’. The new structure hosted various concerts and activities.
Several years after the ‘We Can Xalant’ workshop, the new structure and its mobile unit had been used on numerous occasions. From projects in the public space through the new CX-R (such as the educational program ‘Zona Intrusa’ or the open call ‘Ceci n’est pas a voiture’), to workshops and presentations organized by the center . Currently, the project is one of the main iconic images of Can Xalant’s art center.
‘We Can Xalant. Laboratori d’Arquitectures Nòmades i Autoconstrucció’ va ser un projecte realitzat amb el col·lectiu arquitectes ‘a77 ‘de Buenos Aires. El treball va néixer d’un encàrrec del Centre d’art Can Xalant de Mataró (Barcelona) per reconstruir l’antic pavelló de l’artista japonès Tadashi Kawamata situat al jardí d’aquest centre. Aquesta obra, coneguda com ‘Xiringuito Mataró’, havia patit mesos enrere un incendi que la va destruir parcialment. El nostre treball havia de reinterpretar aquestes ruïnes i aprofitar l’ocasió per incorporar, a la nova construcció, una unitat mòbil entesa com una extensió del centre d’art a l’espai públic. El projecte es va iniciar explorant les possibles complicitats que oferia l’entorn immediat de Can Xalant. Sota la idea de treballar ‘amb allò que es té a mà’, vam convidar a participar en el projecte als artistes residents del centre i vam contactar a diferents associacions i col·lectius del barri. D’altra banda, es va establir un acord de col·laboració amb l’empresa de gestió de residus ‘Arca del Maresme’, responsable d’una planta de reciclatge propera a Can Xalant d’on vam acabar obtenint gratuitament gran part del material necessàri per a la construcció.