Attempt of merchandise revaluation
Mercat dels Encants (Barcelona)

 — Proyectos

Second part of the international exchange between the contemporary art centres Hangar (Poblenou, Barcelona) and CeroInspiración (La Floresta, Quito). The work continues exploring those forms of urban selling equidistant between the formal and the informal. In the Poblenou neighbourhood of Barcelona, we focus on the Mercat dels Encants, the main second hand market in the city that we’ll be soon moved to a new building. In order to reflect on the aesthetic, hygienic and functional changes that this move will involve, we decide to carry out the following action: To acquire an entire chaotic plot in the market’s morning auction and, two weeks later, to re-sell it right there after cleaning, sorting and carefully classifying all its elements. Taking as a point of departure the presumable revaluation of the Encants market when moving to its new site, our exercise wants to check if by modifying (improving?) the appearance of a lot its value will increase. The final result ends up being the contrary. The lot is devalued. We get to understand that in the morning auction, value does not depend on its presentation. In our case, what devaluated the lot was not its changing aspect, but mainly our inexperience when negotiating the final stages of the transactions, both the buying and selling. Beyond the specific conclusions of this particular action (which will be developed in a future publication next to our work in Quito) this exercise allowed us to understand ‘from the inside’ the buying-selling dynamics of this peculiar market.

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