The surroundings and the exhibition space of Alternativa. (by Libia Pérez de Siles de Castro)
The surroundings and the exhibition space of Alternativa.
The Alternativa space became porous and with a variety of proposals. After having worked for two
months in its surroundings and in the old town centre, making anonymous interventions, getting
information on the area, making friends and living there, we worked for three weeks on the
intervention and transformation of the Alternativa space. With the idea of creating a permeable
place, connected with its surroundings, sensitive, experimental, reflexive and (”performative”) active
that remained open to the public for three more weeks.
A very fluid, playful and even hysterical atmosphere was created the day of the inauguration, the
whole space was simultaneously activated. Apart from that, we invited people from different areas
to come and behave the way they wanted to. This was necessary to create the experiment about
this precise situation and atmosphere. No exclusions, heterogeneity and disparity.
From that day the space gained tranquillity, and its different “places” began to develop their own
atmosphere according to the way people used and got used to them, from drinking in the bar to
walking through the exhibition space in very different ways (due to the order and disorder of the
signs), to lie down on the bed, to watch the projections, to read, to use the microphone, etc…
As they were getting used to the reading of the space and its elements, they discovered the
relation that existed with the outside (surrounding) and with them selves…
People sang and danced , because part of the gipsy community were our neighbours and the
breakdancers practised right opposite the exhibition space.
Some singers came from the theatre and the microphone was also used for multiple spatial jokes
(the sound was always produced by the loudspeaker at the other side of the exhibition space) and
for some political voices.
The people we met in the streets came to the space to visit and spend time with us. We
sometimes invited walkers and travellers to come in during the night, or we picked them up from
the square, or from the little wall we had built in the passage (where people began to meet). Those
were magical encounters, because the space did not have a clear contextual definition and the
people did not know where they were, a space that openly invited to (communicate) reflection and
experimentation with their sensations.
This also happened in the morning because the space exists at one side of the theatre building-
nobody’s land- in one of the meaeros(1) of the city (although it does not look like this) with a
minuscule sign and practically anonymous.
(1) Colloquial word used to define the places in the streets used by people every weekend to have a
piss. (Translator’s note)
This way, like the friends we made in the street during the process of the project, whose character
was heterogeneous , the exhibition hall and the little wall were still a place to create encounters -of
different people with diverse expectations- where the origin of the encounter became undefine and
hazy. Through its unfixed nature the space offered the possibility of making its visitors and
participants invent and establish new and different connections.
The found object, here, became space and a triggering element, related to identities and known
places (for the people from the neighbourhood above all).
The function of the space (which also determines somebody’s situation), did not correspond with
the expectations of the majority of the visitors.
The intervined space transforming our contextual perception, can open up to an undefine state that
is creative and inventive.
People told us about their reflections and questions. They told us about their experiences in the
city related to space, the atmosphere and vice versa. Sometimes the discussion ended up in
political and economic matters, because the impression of the different territories exhibited,
especially the projections, were of tension and conflicts, very obvious in the old centre of Málaga,
due to politics strengthening the speculation of the land, and more injustices provoked by it.
The way from the space to the street was very fluid, with a very different sound at the main door (a
“bosbolocophony” directed by a loudspeaker towards the street) and already outside, the next
intervention. We had made a small wall with stones taken from the demolitions and building sites of
the neighbourhood, placed right in front of the exhibition space.
An archaeological appearance, which provoked numerous spatial and temporal digressions about
its origin and was a serious obstacle for some and a place for meeting and resting for others.
Libia Pérez de Siles de Castro