Cervantes en España. Application to the Pump House Gallery Open Exhibition-"Tradition".
Escribir para el pueblo –decía mi maestro– ¡qué más quisiera yo! Deseoso de escribir para el pueblo, aprendí de él cuanto pude, mucho menos, claro está, de lo que él sabe. Escribir para el pueblo es escribir para el hombre de nuestra raza, de nuestra tierra, de nuestra habla, tres cosas inagotables que no acabamos nunca de conocer. Escribir para el pueblo es llamarse Cervantes, en España; Shakespeare, en Inglaterra; Tolstoi, en Rusia. Es el milagro de los genios de la palabra. Por eso yo no he pasado de folklorista, aprendiz, a mi modo, de saber popular. Siempre que advirtáis un tono seguro en mis palabras, pensad que os estoy enseñando algo que creo haber aprendido del pueblo.
Date: October-November MMXIII
Materials: Paper, cut and folded in accordion, with screen-printed images and hand written text, mounted on Perspex (Fig.1). Alternatively, images transferred onto wood.
Writings include dates, titles and observations. Also some excerpts from Antonio Machado’s works.
Dimensions: 2m x 2m
Author: Alejandro Cano
Regarded as an important and selective channel for the exchange of ideas, concepts or knowledge between popular and intellectual cultures; tradition plays a fundamental role in social evolution. It is a compendious of popular wisdom, acquired trough centuries of experience, which has a determining effect in the development of culture. This exchange, or transference, becomes particularly evident in the legacy of the Spanish architect Julio Cano Lasso, whose practice this piece analyzes by studying three of his works (Fig.2, 3 and 4):
1. The agricultural hamlet in La Mancha (1950). It is his first piece ever built, in which adaptation, authenticity and functional efficiency are prioritized following the patterns of Castilian popular architecture. The different uses, like farming, harvest or vintage, demanded the integration of big labour patios, stables or wineries. It is a very mature construction in perfect harmony with the landscape.
2. His house-studio in La Florida, in the outskirts of Madrid. Built in 1958, it is an example of modern Rationalism. Diverse circumstances, like family growth, motivated later interventions that compromised the original design, which became closer to the models of popular architecture.
3. The “Laboral University” of Almería (1974). The basic idea behind this project was to create a purely rational design rooted in the tradition of Mediterranean Andalusia. It is an organization of white volumes of lime, shut to the desert and opened to inside patios, in which the vegetation provides a fresh environment.
There is a very interesting transition between each of these projects. From the first one being purely traditional, to the last one being both unique and inherited. These are three projects of a maturity only attainable by an innovative use of popular wisdom.
Fig.1. A general view of the piece:
Fig.2, 3 and 4. A selection of three of the images presented above:
It seemed important for us to demonstrate that, with the elements and principles of popular architecture, we can archive modern constructions that are fully functional and better adapted to the environment than those examples of “cult” and extrinsic architecture; bringing together the intellectual and the popular in a reciprocal transfer of influences.
(Julio Cano Lasso, 1971)