Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Reassembling the Social in Barcelona through Minimalist Urban Interventions: Visual Poetry and the Rehabilitation of Party Walls (2004–2009)

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2019), 96, (5), 513–531.

Abstract

Recent studies on the effects of globalization on the city of Barcelona have concentrated on criticizing the corresponding urban model. Whilst gentrification and segregation are tangible issues in contemporary Barcelona, these studies have not contemplated the new minimalist urban interventions that strive to look for a solution to the excesses resulting from the combination of urban tourism and the global economy. This paper focuses on four party walls rehabilitated with the visual poetry of Joan Salvat-Papasseit, Josep Maria Junoy, Joan Brossa and Carles Sindreu i Pons in the period 2004–2009 as part of the campaign ‘Barcelona, posa’t guapa’ (1986–). Drawing on Bruno Latour’s Actor Network Theory, I explore how performativity, dislocation and movement in these artistic party walls contribute to reassembling the social in Barcelona while dismantling an unnecessary distinction between the local and the global.

Los estudios recientes sobre los efectos de la globalización en Barcelona se han concentrado en criticar el correspondiente modelo urbano. Aunque la gentrificación y la segregación son asuntos tangibles en la Barcelona contemporánea, estos estudios no han tenido en cuenta las nuevas intervenciones urbanas minimalistas que intentan buscar una solución a los excesos que resultan de la combinación del turismo urbano y la economía global. Este artículo se centra en cuatro paredes medianeras rehabilitadas con poesía visual de Joan Salvat-Papasseit, Josep Maria Junoy, Joan Brossa y Carles Sindreu i Pons en el periodo 2004–2009 como parte de la campaña ‘Barcelona, posa’t guapa’ (1986–). Partiendo de la teoría del actor-red de Bruno Latour, se analiza de qué manera la performatividad, la dislocación y el movimiento en estas paredes medianeras artísticas contribuyen al reensamblaje de lo social en Barcelona al tiempo que desmantelan la innecesaria distinción entre lo local y lo global.

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Works cited

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Mas López, Jordi, 2004. Josep Maria Junoy i Joan Salvat-Papasseit: dues aproximacions a l’haiku (Barcelona: Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat). Google Scholar

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Moragues, Jeroni de, 1933. ‘TENNIS: el nuevo libro de Carles Sindreu’, El Noticiero, 16 September. Google Scholar

Natxo, 2010. ‘Mitgeres poètiques a Barcelona’, 7 June. Available at: >http://laciutatdebarcelona.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/mitgeres-poetiques-barcelona.html> [accessed 13 March 2019]. Google Scholar

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Salvat-Papasseit, Joan, 1992. Antologia de poemes, ed. Enric Bou (Barcelona: Ariel). Google Scholar

Sánchez Cabrera, Jerónimo, 2006. ‘Influències de l’haikú a Occident: de Bashoo a Salvat-Papasseit’, Extravío: Revista Electrónica de Literatura Comparada, 1: 1–17. Google Scholar

Sindreu i Pons, Carles, n. d. Deporte y ciudadanía (unpublished manuscript). Google Scholar

Sindreu i Pons, Carles, 1960. ‘El problema de los alcorques ciudadanos’, Diari de Barna, 25 May. Google Scholar

Sindreu i Pons, Carles, 1975. Obra poètica I (Barcelona: Llibres del Mall). Google Scholar

Sontag, Susan, 2002 [1991]. Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors (London: Penguin). Google Scholar

Strauss, Anselm L., 1968. ‘Strategies for Discovering Urban Theory’, in The American City: A Source-book of Urban Imagery, ed. Anselm L. Strauss (Chicago, IL: Aldine Publishing), pp. 515–30. Google Scholar

Vallés i Rovira, Isidre, 2001. ‘L’obra pública de Joan Brossa: Els poemes corporis’, Journal of Catalan Studies, 4. Available at: >http://www.anglo-catalan.org/jocs/brossa/articles/valles.html> [accessed 25 March 2019]. Google Scholar

Xut!, 1931. ‘En Carles Sindreu, autor de “La Klaxon i el Camí”’, Xut!, 2 June: 17. Google Scholar

Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2010. ‘Barcelona’s Party Wall Rehabilitation Programme’, October. Available at: >http://www.paysmed.net/upl_premi/4-72-allegato-138.pdf> [accessed 13 March 2019]. Google Scholar

Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2011. ‘Barcelona remodela 134 parets mitgeres en el període 2008–2011’, 19 June. Available at: >http://w110.bcn.cat/PaisatgeUrba/Continguts/Noticies/Documents/19062011_DossierPremsaMitgeres.pdf> [accessed 12 March 2010]. Google Scholar

Arenas, Carme, 2009. ‘Carles Sindreu, lletres i esport’, in Paisatge, lletres i esport (Barcelona: Institut del Paisatge Urbà i la Qualitat de Vida, Ajuntament de Barcelona), pp. 17–61. Google Scholar

Balibrea, Mari Paz, 2004. ‘Urbanism, Culture and the Post-industrial City: Challenging the “Barcelona Model”’, in Transforming Barcelona, ed. Tim Marshall (London: Routledge), pp. 205–24. Google Scholar

Berasategui, María Luisa, 2000. ‘Datos para la historia de la prensa deportiva en Cataluña’, Revista General de Información y Documentación, 10.1: 153–69. Google Scholar

Bohn, Willard, 1986. The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry, 1914–1928 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Google Scholar

Bordons, Glòria, 1996. ‘La poesía objetual de Joan Brossa’, Poiesis. Revista de Crítica y Creación Literaria, 3: 22–30. Google Scholar

Bordons, Glòria, and Daniel Giralt-Miracle, 2006. Itineraris brossians (Barcelona: Fundació Joan Brossa and Ajuntament de Barcelona). Google Scholar

Brossa, Joan, 1982. Ball de sang (Barcelona: Editorial Crítica). Google Scholar

Chevalier, Jean, and Alain Gheerbrant, 1996. The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols (London: Penguin). Google Scholar

Colomina, Beatriz, 1997. ‘The Medical Body in Modern Architecture’, in Anybody, ed. Cynthia C. Davidson (Cambridge, MA: Anyone Corporation and The MIT Press), pp. 228–39. Google Scholar

Davidson, Robert, 2011. ‘Barcelona: The Siege City’, in A Companion to Catalan Culture, ed. Dominic Keown (Woodbridge: Tamesis), pp. 97–116. Google Scholar

De Certeau, Michel, 1988 [1984]. The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press). Google Scholar

Favà, Maria, with Xavier Bolao Cervelló, 2003. Petits paisatges de Barcelona (Barcelona: Ajuntament de Barcelona/Editorial Pòrtic). Google Scholar

Fraser, Benjamin, 2012. ‘A Biutiful City: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Filmic Critique of the “Barcelona Model”’, Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, 9.1: 19–34. Google Scholar

Galdon-Clavell, Gemma, 2016. ‘Uncivil Cities: Insecurity, Policy Transfer, Tolerance and the Case of Barcelona’s “Civility Ordinance”’, Urban Studies, 53.9: 1925–41. Google Scholar

Galeano, Eduardo, 2003. Soccer in Sun and Shadow, trans. Mark Fried (London: Verso). Google Scholar

Garcia, Gemma, and Montserrat Prado, 2009. ‘Petits paisatges de la ciutat, mitgeres’, in Paisatge, lletres i esport (Barcelona: Ajuntament de Barcelona, Institut del Paisatge Urbà i la Qualitat de Vida), pp. 65–76. Google Scholar

Harvey, David, 1996. Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference (London: Blackwell). Google Scholar

Hereu, Jordi, 2009. ‘Presentació’, in Paisatge, lletres i esport (Barcelona: Institut del Paisatge Urbà i la Qualitat de Vida, Ajuntament de Barcelona), p. 13. Google Scholar

Hughes, Robert, 1999. Barcelona (London: Harvill Press). Google Scholar

Illas, Edgar, 2012. Thinking Barcelona: Ideologies of a Global City (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press). Google Scholar

Jameson, Fredric, 1997. ‘Absent Totality’, in Anybody, ed. Cynthia C. Davidson (Cambridge, MA: Anyone Corporation and The MIT Press), pp. 122–31. Google Scholar

Latham, Alan, and Derek P. McCormack, 2010. ‘Moving Cities: Rethinking the Materialities of Urban Geographies’, in The Blackwell City Reader, ed. Gary Bridge and Sophie Watson (Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell), pp. 86–94. Google Scholar

Latour, Bruno, 2005. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Google Scholar

Marshall, Tim, 2004. ‘Introduction’, in Transforming Barcelona, ed. Tim Marshall (London: Routledge), pp. 1–23. Google Scholar

Mas López, Jordi, 2004. Josep Maria Junoy i Joan Salvat-Papasseit: dues aproximacions a l’haiku (Barcelona: Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat). Google Scholar

McDonogh, Gary, 2011. ‘Mediterranean Reflections: Reconstructing Nature in Modern Barcelona’, in Greening the City: Urban Landscapes in the Twentieth Century, ed. Dorothee Brantz and Sonja Dümpelmann (Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press), pp. 57–74. Google Scholar

Molas, Joaquim, 1983. La literatura catalana d’avantguarda 1916–1938: selecció, edició i estudi (Barcelona: Antoni Bosch). Google Scholar

Moragues, Jeroni de, 1933. ‘TENNIS: el nuevo libro de Carles Sindreu’, El Noticiero, 16 September. Google Scholar

Natxo, 2010. ‘Mitgeres poètiques a Barcelona’, 7 June. Available at: >http://laciutatdebarcelona.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/mitgeres-poetiques-barcelona.html> [accessed 13 March 2019]. Google Scholar

Resina, Joan Ramon, 2007. ‘Revivalism to Rationalism in Architecture and Planning’, in Barcelona and Modernity: Picasso, Gaudí, Miró, Dalí, ed. William H. Robinson, Jordi Falgàs and Carmen Belen Lord (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press and the Cleveland Museum of Art), pp. 384–89. Google Scholar

Salvat-Papasseit, Joan, 1992. Antologia de poemes, ed. Enric Bou (Barcelona: Ariel). Google Scholar

Sánchez Cabrera, Jerónimo, 2006. ‘Influències de l’haikú a Occident: de Bashoo a Salvat-Papasseit’, Extravío: Revista Electrónica de Literatura Comparada, 1: 1–17. Google Scholar

Sindreu i Pons, Carles, n. d. Deporte y ciudadanía (unpublished manuscript). Google Scholar

Sindreu i Pons, Carles, 1960. ‘El problema de los alcorques ciudadanos’, Diari de Barna, 25 May. Google Scholar

Sindreu i Pons, Carles, 1975. Obra poètica I (Barcelona: Llibres del Mall). Google Scholar

Sontag, Susan, 2002 [1991]. Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors (London: Penguin). Google Scholar

Strauss, Anselm L., 1968. ‘Strategies for Discovering Urban Theory’, in The American City: A Source-book of Urban Imagery, ed. Anselm L. Strauss (Chicago, IL: Aldine Publishing), pp. 515–30. Google Scholar

Vallés i Rovira, Isidre, 2001. ‘L’obra pública de Joan Brossa: Els poemes corporis’, Journal of Catalan Studies, 4. Available at: >http://www.anglo-catalan.org/jocs/brossa/articles/valles.html> [accessed 25 March 2019]. Google Scholar

Xut!, 1931. ‘En Carles Sindreu, autor de “La Klaxon i el Camí”’, Xut!, 2 June: 17. Google Scholar

Filmography

Barcelona (un mapa). 2007, dir. Ventura Pons (Els Films de la Rambla). Google Scholar

Biutiful. 2010, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu (Menageatroz, Mod Producciones; Focus Features). Google Scholar

Forasters. 2008, dir. Ventura Pons (Els Films de la Rambla; Televisió de Catalunya). Google Scholar

La plaga. 2013, dir. Neus Ballús (El Kinògraf; Televisió de Catalunya (TV3); Arte France). Google Scholar

Todo sobre mi madre. 1999, dir. Pedro Almodóvar (El Deseo; Renn Productions; France 2 Cinéma; Vía Digital). Google Scholar

Vicky Cristina Barcelona. 2008, Woody Allen (The Weinstein Company; Mediapro; Gravier Productions; Antena 3 Films; Antena 3 Televisión; Televisió de Catalunya). Google Scholar

Barcelona (un mapa). 2007, dir. Ventura Pons (Els Films de la Rambla). Google Scholar

Biutiful. 2010, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu (Menageatroz, Mod Producciones; Focus Features). Google Scholar

Forasters. 2008, dir. Ventura Pons (Els Films de la Rambla; Televisió de Catalunya). Google Scholar

La plaga. 2013, dir. Neus Ballús (El Kinògraf; Televisió de Catalunya (TV3); Arte France). Google Scholar

Todo sobre mi madre. 1999, dir. Pedro Almodóvar (El Deseo; Renn Productions; France 2 Cinéma; Vía Digital). Google Scholar

Vicky Cristina Barcelona. 2008, Woody Allen (The Weinstein Company; Mediapro; Gravier Productions; Antena 3 Films; Antena 3 Televisión; Televisió de Catalunya). Google Scholar

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Author details

Vives, Anna