After the interdisciplinary workshop in the framework of their New Curriculum methodology, which took place in October 2018, the collective finally proposed as a conclusion an installation in the form of a camera obscura that elaborates on the interactions between landscape, culture and nature in the region of the Serra de la Tramuntana.
After an open call, participants from different fields were selected: artists, architects, teachers or filmmakers. The workshop and this final work were carried out by María Alcaraz, Arantxa Boyero Lirón, Óscar Canalis Hernández, Gema Capdevila Serrano, Carme Frau, Alberto Fernández Jiménez, Laurent Gardet, Marta Goro, Beatriz Millón, Lorena Mullet i Delgado.
The installation revolves around Lluc Mir, head of the Margers guild, an entity that brings together the dry-stone wall craftsmen (marges), so fundamental in the Serra de Tramuntana for building the terraces of the olive fields, which have represented practically the only source of income for the local population for centuries. Lluc explains the multisensory knowledge (touching the stone, the sound during its breakage, its appearance and color) that the margers use in an internalized, embodied way, a very fast way of operating, that goes beyond the apparent logic, when they take a stone and place it in perfect conjunction with the rest. After several hours, and several days, dedicated to building walls, the marger’s apprentice, says Lluc, continues his work in dreams, placing stones and watching them spin, almost possessed by them.
The importance of maintaining these artisan and agrarian practices is fundamental in a peasant landscape in struggle against gravity. As tourism replaces the cultivation of olive trees, the landscape, which has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is gradually being lost.
The project, which takes the name of INLAND Tramuntana, is part of the “Missions artístiques a la Serra de Tramuntana”, as a framework for educational and informative action organized by Es Baluard and the Consorci Serra de Tramuntana, an entity formed by the Government of the Balearic Islands and the Consell Insular de Mallorca, established after the Declaration of the Serra de Tramuntana as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
INLAND was initiated by the artist and agro-ecologist Fernando García Dory in 2009, who was in charge of the workshop together with Marta Goro. Currently, INLAND functions as a group that enables spaces for collaborations on territory, economies and communities-of-practice as a substrate for post-contemporary cultural art forms. Intervening under multiple forms in different countries, INLAND publishes books, produces exhibitions and makes cheese. It also advises the European Commission on the use of art in rural development policies, while facilitating a European shepherd’s movement, rehabilitating abandoned villages and promoting access to land in different places through the lens of collective artistic and agricultural production.
INLAND has three main working spaces, the Centro de Acercamiento a lo Rural in Madrid, the INLAND village on the Cantabrian coast and activities in Deià in Mallorca. Since 2010 it has been involved in the Tramuntana through two main actions: on the one hand, the launch of a school of crafts, with various activities ranging from working with wool, food crafts and clay, to building dry stone walls. The intention is to reinvent the trades that have a place and utility in today’s world, combining the knowledge of contemporary master craftsmen and designers and allowing new productive jobs for young people who would otherwise depend on the seasonal nature of tourism, as is the case throughout the island. On the other hand, INLAND launched the Adopt an Olive Tree project, as a form of complicity between visitors to the island and the cultivation and maintenance of the century-old, or even millennial, olive trees, associated with landscapes of great value, but of small economic productions that are not very competitive. When someone adopts an olive tree in exchange for an annual fee, the tree receives its name and the adopter is kept informed of the care and treatments received.