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...a candle is like art because it illuminates. If I approach it, it illuminates me. If I look at it, it illuminates me. If I touch the flame, it burns me. If I look at it from close to, it only burns for me, like a secret. If I look at it with a friend it illuminates us both, like a mystery that we share. A candle is like art because it melts. It melts and loses itself as if in a dream, without any reason, like all the good things we would prefer to last....
 

LIGHTING UP
BARCELONA !

ALLUMONS BARCELONA !
ENCENDAMOS BARCELONA !
ENCENGUEM BARCELONA !

 

ENCENGUEM BARCELONA! - LIGHTING UP BARCELONA!
Collective action
60 MINUTES OF SHADOW AND SILENCE
BARCELONA LIGHTS 1.527190 CANDLES FOR PEACE

PLACE Barcelona, end to end of the Diagonal
DATE Saturday 11th September of 2004 (from 21.00 to 24.00)
IDEA to convert the city-space into a collective work of art, to light a candle for each citizen, to establish an emotional link between the urban space and the citizens
MATERIAL 1.527 190 (census of January 1st, 2002)
VOLUNTEERS 10 000 volunteers (153 candles/volunteer) and those members of the public who wish to join in spontaneously
TECHNICAL ASPECTS to switch off public lighting along the entire length of the Diagonal (including the Forum) for 60 minutes cut off all traffic along the Diagonal for 3 hours (preparation and lighting up)

 


 

A SOCIAL SCULPTURE

Those of us who live in an urban space on a daily basis often have to put up with it more than we enjoy it. There are plenty of reasons for this: work, stress, audio-visual saturation, haste .. The LIGHTING UP BARCELONA! action wishes to give us the chance to marvel at what is right under our noses: a city-space full of possibilities. This is not, however, an exercise in passive contemplation, but something constructive, which aims at achieving a new, original point of view.

The LIGHTING UP BARCELONA! action wishes to create a magical meeting point in which all the potential of the future will appear. One of the vital motors of any society is its culture. To light up this motor in a way which is collective, generous, unusual and civic is, as I see it, a fine reaction to the time of great changes which we are living through.
 

 


 

The LIGHTING UP BARCELONA! action offers Barcelonans the challenge of lighting up a candle for each inhabitant. The challenge should function as a catalyst which reveals the complexity of the social and associative fabric of the city.

The idea for this action came to me in Pokhara (Nepal), where I had arrived by bicycle after having left Barcelona, in 1984. During the Deepawali festival, in which all the city lights are switched off and candles are lit everywhere, this stunning sensation of suddenly being a part of the world was produced. I asked myself if I would be able to relive this sensation one day.

The LIGHTING UP BARCELONA! action is the result of this wish to share a collective, generous emotion, created by a civic link between people, associations and collectives within the framework of a city-space, and to transform it into an ephemeral, plastic event which will become a memory.