the spur magazine

#01 espais i xarxes creatives

Contemporary art, a spur for the recuperation of creative spaces in cities

La Volta

Joanot Cortés

“The artist extends the privilege of childish curiosity beyond its normal age boundaries. He plays, feels, weighs, measures space, models a flow of air to sketch a shape; he caresses the bark of all things and with the language of touch composes the language of sight: a warm tone, a cold one; a heavy tone, a hollow one; a firm line, a soft one”.  

In Praise of Hands, Henri Focillon

Feeling, measuring, modelling and caressing with a child’s curiosity, La Volta begins to take shape as it if were a piece of art. A collective piece made with joy and dedication by several hands working in unison. Since the opening of the 4 buildings in December 2014, this framework for creators, artists and artisans located in Plaça Assumpció (Girona, Catalonia) houses the professional and creative activity of more than 20 artists/groups, who share work spaces and unite their efforts to advance the La Volta project, led by the Associació Cultural Fang, and with the involvement and support of the Girona City Council and its neighbours in Sant Narcís.

Currently, La Volta offers spaces dedicated to the rediscovery of glass-making and other or artistic techniques such as engraving, serigraphy and stamping, low-poly, illustration, ceramics, sculpture and woodwork, as well as design, communication, audiovisual, web and product design services.

La Volta has a shop that exhibits and distributes artworks and products created by the residents of the project. The shop is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm. inside, one can find examples of several artistic techniques such as engravings, poetry books, pinhole cameras, sculptures, glass lamps, illustrations, low-ply, etc.

In April 2015, the first La Volta market took place, dedicated to arts and crafts and new trends. Under the name “Art Km 0”, the market encourages direct contact between creators and visitors, and recovers public space as a place to meet and exchange knowledge and products, through workshops and cultural activities: concerts of emerging or established groups based in Girona, exhibitions of creative processes, art, crafts and contemporary creation workshops, etc.

Alongside La Volta market, the project has turned one of the four buildings into a space for exhibitions, art installations, concerts, poetry recitals, and other small format cultural activities. La Cova de La Volta (the Cellar of La Volta) is a unique and versatile space located in the basement of number 15 in Plaça Assumpció, built with a Catalan vault and stone walls. Since September 2015, the project has successfully run a programme of exhibitions, which has allowed it to exhibit works by emerging Catalan artists and by artists around the world, and also to increase the space dedicated to the display of art in the city of Girona.

“I understand Art as a way of looking, as a happy deformation of perception: to feel instantly, empty of meaning and of traditional echoes, the sound that words make without being said. I understand La Volta as a way of looking, stubbornly, at that gap where new words, images, sounds and shapes escape: this is why in the video we see many hands, close up, dirt on the tips of the fingers, so many clear tears in eyes that open and close, so many close-ups, showing how Joanot looks and focuses. A fascination for the notch, the pore, the sweat, the split in the wood, the earth that paints the feet and that dark line between the nail and the skin of a finger.

“La Volta as a wound, as if we were using a knife to gouge and make a notch, though which a torrent of water, the artist, slakes his own thirst, having been absorbed in other things. I have written this text that doesn’t really explain things, but it does talk about the sea of things that cascades through my head when I think about Plaça Assumpció, an empty square, maybe after a market, maybe during a storm.”

Maria Cabrera

Joanot Cortés

Joanot Cortés is a cultural explorer and activator. He co-manages the FANG studio where he works as producer, cameraman and editor for national and international media and production companies. He was the coordinator of “La Volta” a project based on the urban revitalisation trough art and incubation of creative industries in Girona. The FANG studio collaborates with universities, schools, organizations and art centres form around the world in various culture, art and documentary film projects. Searcher of people stories and evocative places, he pursues chance and intuition to produce and achieve vital emotional images.