LAND ART AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM - TED CONFERENCE

LAND ART AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM - TED CONFERENCE

Have a look to the TED conference when our Art promotor explains the soul about ES REVELLAR ART RESORT. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

At TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)When I told my 15 year old son that a university had invited me to talk not about economics or business but about Land Art and Sustainable Tourism.

We are pleased to show you when our Art promotor, shared the fist idea of the project of ES REVELLA ART RESORT. Have a look on it, and start a journey througt the Art's in the nature.

 

ENGLISH TRANSLATION FOR THE VIDEO WORDS

When I told my 15 year old son that a university had invited me to talk not about economics or business but about Land Art and Sustainable Tourism,  he looked at me sarcastically and said: “dad, are you going to start with that famous speech -I have a dream- by Martin Luther King?I looked at him irritated,  how cheeky impertinent.

Later, I thought, well, at least he knows who he was and that famous speech.  I was in the USA when he gave that speech and the boy was right. I had a dream. Well, many really, all focused on the Artists Garden. 

On my way here, I saw another TEDTalk by the young Korean artist Jung Ha King and his motto is to be an artist NOW. And he said that we all have artists inside of us. All that kids do is Art and we shouldn’t be afraid and we all should devote ourselves to art and I hope that some of you will after this talk get a few ideas and principles; you can do what I have done in this place. In your houses, your gardens, the house in your village or even in your flat or apartment. Your lives will be better if you manage to mix vegetation with art.

The “Dream Project” I’ve always liked Art. Maybe it’s because of what the Korean said. The first thing I did was to take it to the business world, the shops. And we managed to design 150 shops, some of which were really shop-museums. We won the 1stprize for the Best Shop in Barcelona in 1998. And the millions of people who went to see were really voting with their feet.They liked the mix of Art and Shopping.

The next step was to take it to restaurants and hotels. I started looking for the place, I don’t have time to tell you all we did, we looked from Isla Margarita in Venezuela, Cancun, Yucatan, Florida, the Mediterranean Islands and we finally decided that it had to be in the Mediterranean arch between Spain, France and Italy. And what better place than Majorca, two hours away from Central Europe.

There has also been a massification of Art and its trivialisation. In 1949, I went to the Alhambra. My mother was from Granada so she took me to see it. And it was like Washington Irving had described it in the 19thcentury.

So back then, when studying History of Art, Prehistoric Art in the Prado, we were alone, just my class. Recently, I went again to the Alhambra and there were 8000 tourists daily and you couldn’t really enjoy it. It wasn’t a positive experience because the tourists kept pushing us along from one place to the next.

The same in the Museo del Prado. I was there not long ago and we had an Italian group that we had to show around. To avoid the queues, we booked the tickets online. In the end after an hour and a half of saints, virgins and martyrs, because all art until the 19thcentury, the clients were either members of the monarchy or the Church. And if artists went out of the straight and narrow, they were sent to the Inquisition.

That’s why we have so many saints, virgins and martyrs in these museums. But all the great centres of Art. For example the Louvre or the British Museum, has become mass scale. Today, marketing experts tell us to sell positive experiences not goods and services.

Going to these places maybe a necessary experience but I can’t say it’s a positive one. It’s like being in the Tube in the rush-hour. There had to be another place where art could be enjoyed in nature without being shoved. With all the time in the world.

At the same time, and I wasn’t aware of this, I was told last year, an article came out in the Financial Times, Sunday edition, and there is a trend where art is moving to nature, and there are 6 other places in the world where crazy, private entrepreneurs like me, without budget limits or red tape, were taking artists to nature.

Of course it’s not the same having to design a small space in a museum or a gallery, Imhotem I think has 3000 acres, that is about a 1000 hectares, so that the artists can do what they damn well please. The destination is part of the experience.

If you have to go to Brazil or Tasmania, you might as well spend time there and enjoy the place. Everybody told me that I was crazy. Nobody knew what I was doing but when the Financial Times says there are 6 other places in the world doing this right now, I was relieved. Clearly, we’re not crazy; we’re part of a trend. These are the locations of these places: 

Spain isn’t on the list. It’s a pity because it should be. Our project started 17 years ago, long before these places I have shown you.

The reason is the bureaucracy. Oscar Wilde said that Nature imitates Art. But now with Land Art, Landscape Art, Nature is Art. And I hope that during this talk, I can give you some examples of where Nature alone has developed Art.

Ian Hamilton Findlay, who is perhaps my biggest inspiration with his Little Sparta, was a writer who moved to an estate in Scotland. In the British literary world in the 1930s there was a movement of going to the countryside. Robert Graves is one of them. Then they came to Majorca.

Well, Ian Hamilton Findlay, did it in the 1960s and uses the ruin as a symbol and metaphor of Man’s fragility. It’s a criticism of modern society. 

Es Revellar, The Artists’ Garden. It is a settlement 2500 years old. The actual buildings are from 600 years ago. 5 Hectares 50,000m2, 20 fountains and 8 lakes. It’s the place we chose to create this lost paradise.

The influence has been the Maeght Foundation. Maeght was an art dealer who representedpeople like Giacometti, Miró. His heirs have, with the works of art bequeathed to them, a wonderful place in southern France. The Cologne d’OR where artists went.

They couldn’t pay so they paid with works of art.  And they have a wonderful collection. The Tuscan Villas, Villa Adriano in Rome, the Roman villas of the Late Roman Empire, where if you couldn’t live in the city you moved to the country. And the Majorcan possessions.

And now you’ll be asking yourselves how on earth do we fill 50,000 m2 with art? The money needed could be huge if we got famous artists. Well I don’t know what the budget would be.

So therefore, we have to become an art factory ourselves. I’ll tell you some of the tips and tricks. To do this you need to know what is the Artistic Act. What is it? I’m like a magician here.

You have to use some tricks of the human brain. The brain has software that recognises an object by its shape and use If we can change the use doing something to it like paint it, cut it, solder it or simply re-arrange it, we have an Art Object.

Example, Picasso took handlebars and the saddle from a bike, rearranged them and voila, a bull’s head! Duchamps got a urinal instead of putting it vertically; he put it horizontally, so he converted it into a fountain.

Picasso said he didn’t paint what he saw but what he thought. The key is in the brain. So if we then control the concept of the Artistic Act, then it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper to create works of art

Why?  I don’t go to see museums and galleries. Sorry, no offence!  I go, and I did it just this week, to scrapyards, antiquarians, flea markets and I see rejects without value. But with the artistic act, become in beautiful works of art. Let me give an example.

Once, an artist friend of mine said: give me 100,000 pesetas to buy scrap. So he went to a scrapyard and bought 100,000 pesetas’worth of broken, discarded stuff and with that we made 10 outdoor sculptures. We called it a collage. As the Korean said, we can all be artists. We don’t need a lot of money or big studios. The Artistic Act is in your mind. I encourage you to try it. 

This is the aerial view of the estate 5 years ago. All those trees were brought from other places. They’re a lot bigger today. The estate has been broken down into 5 different areas as Ian Hamilton Findlay did. 

It isn’t a collection of objects such as Hearst did in his famous estate in California. What he did was to gather many objects without any overall sense.

Here, each area is dedicated in a coherent way. Here is the Majorcan possessió or estate, here is the Mill Tower. We start with the medieval zone. A cloister and a Romanesque church that has a Romanesque Art Collection, and coffered ceiling which is like the book of the cultural history of the 14th Century by Cesare della Ripa.

Next we go to the Classical World with an Imperial Avenue, that has the busts of Roman Emperors an Empresses.   With waterworks inspired by the Generalife and the Alhambra and ends with a great fountain inspired by the Villa La Toscana.

We go next to another world: Africa. The Oasis, the water. This for instance, canoe, which came from Africa, was destroyed by contact with water.

How do we replace it? Bringing another one from Africa was hard.  There was a second-hand dealer who had a wooden drinking trough, more or less the same size. And we had the replacement just by cutting off some wood in the middle.

Very cheap.  These figures, we did as Giacometti would. We get small figures and we copy them in life-size. And this is an installation called “Europe doesn’t want us” as though some natives went to Europe and their folk went to see them off.

Next in the Classical World, we have Apollo’s Fountain and The Nymphs’ Bath, in natural marble. I got this in a flea market. And this is it at night. We have to say that we’ve taken great care with the lighting.

We have more than 400 LED lighting points which are ecological. When the whole estate is lit at night, the effect is ghostly.  Continuing with the Classical World, we had 360 m2 of duralumin and epoxy sandwich which had been used to hang women’s underwear in a shop and we didn’t know what to do with it.

So I gave it to an artist who had car spray-paint, I told him, do whatever he wanted to do connected with the Classical World. So he did all the myths from Classical Greece. Here we put a computer with a sound and light show and we specially composed a symphony for it. Here we can host events for 1000 people in this amphitheatre.

Next, we wanted to go to the previous world. To Prehistory. Or at least to the beginning of Christianity. So we got all the old rocks lying around in the estate and we made a sort of Roman road and we created an open-air basilica.

Here we have the phallic symbols for Man and Woman and around him a stone art installation by Richard Long. It’s a universe that revolves around Man. But Man cannot be the absolute master of the universe. There has to be a higher being.

This cross is made from local stone. Marés. This is all fossils from a quarry-now closed- called “La Ponderosa” There was a hole, so we put in concrete and we made a Christ from a roman plough wound with electric wire.

This is another mural: Genesis, done at the same time as the mural Barceló made for Mallorca Cathedral. Big difference: this cost 1% of what Barceló did.

And here we enter the Totem Forest. This is what teenagers from Papua New Guinea do. They go into the jungle, cut down a tree, carve it and bring it home. This is the Museum of Oceania Art, about 1000 items.

This is an ecological mural, which explains life in a tribe. This is the Museum of African Art. Then we have the rock forest with symbols from Antiquity. Here we have made a glass forest like what Ibarrola has done in the Basque Region. We paint it and then we put small cristal beads on them so they’d be fluorescent.

This is the Last Supper made from Lebanon Cedar. This prehistoric cave where we have put 2000-year old art. From The Nok Culture of the River Niger basin.

You have come with me on a little trip to see the development of this project of Sustainable Cultural Tourism that’s made my dream come true. I hope you’ve learned something you can use in your own homes. Thank you very much.

 

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