Gràcia has always been a neighbourhood with its own particular community vision, paradoxically solidary and independent at the same time. Quietly Catalan, it stubbornly holds its place as a refuge for artistic and social movements and provides a rich breeding ground for creativity. Perfectly aligned with the current grassroots movements that aim to move away from the grip of big business, Gràcia is cultivating its own artistic vision of the future. We offer insight into three of these ventures, each developed to bring the heart of art closer to the street and a little deeper into the larger community.
GRÀCIA TERRITORI SONOR
A non-profit organisation created in 1996, Gràcia Territori Sonor has as its aim the assimilation of artistic forms through a focus on musical experimentation. Organisers of the popular LEM festival, they host interdisciplinary events year round and invite artists from fields as diverse as culinary arts and experimental musicians to participate in cooperative projects. They hold workshops and offer a resident artists programme as well.
Upcoming events include Impronit—a monthly collective improvisation laboratory and public performance—and the Hertziosfera Workshop, where the musically curious can investigate space, elements and the broadening of the sound palette in order to develop different ways of listening.
Mercat de l’Abaceria, Stalls 14 and 15 (corner of Travessera de Gràcia and Torrijos). www.laparada.org
Barcelona’s markets play a central part in the life of each neighbourhood, as a place to source food, of course, but also as a social meeting point, a place to learn what’s new, share a piece of your life with the fish vendor or with a familiar or unknown neighbour. At Gràcia’s main market, l’Abaceria, this concept has been taken a step deeper, into the artistic heart of the community, with the opening of La Parada. Two outdoor stalls, normally reserved for selling items such as housewares or clothing, bring a completely original concept to Barcelona’s market scene: original photography and literature packaged brightly and enticingly and offered up to the public in order to feed another need. Xènia Bagué and Raquel Villa set up La Parada as a way to introduce artists and their work into the dialogue; as food is for the body, art is for the soul, and the response to La Parada has been continuous and growing. Wooden boxes display little gems from postcards to poetry. On Saturday, there is a ‘speaker’s corner’, where authors and artists come to read or explain more about their work, as a crowd gathers to listen while sipping vermouth. It’s a cultural feast out on the street, and a fresh, dynamic addition to la plaça.
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Independent, active and cooperative are the key features of this project, recently opened in order to bring together musicians, artists, editors, producers, designers and members of the creative community to generate projects that move directly from the creator to the public. L’indiscret offers everything from readings to music to fashion, making it not just a showcase for new talent, but a direct connection between artists and an open door for art to flow to the street.