Daniel de Paula’s project at FLACC consist firstly on the development of a both material and conceptual correspondence between planetary geological-time-based processes and current systems of political and economic dominance. Such correspondence is bounded by the materiality of metal and its relative displacements, both within and upon our planet, from the rotation of liquid metal inside the earth’s core to the circulation of metallic commodities on the surface of the planet, and the resulting polarizations these displacements construct such as the magnetic field surrounding the globe and socio-economic inequalities that structure contemporary society.
Furthermore, given the specific geographic and political context in which FLACC is located, three localities and three groups of objects of socio-economic power within this very context were indentified. By means of interconnecting three distinct locations and three distinct objects through an artistic proposal, vectors and centers of power were exposed and linked.
These location and objects are:
- The European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium) linked with Belgium produced metallic FN Herstal military weapons
- The Limburg Province Government Building in Maastricht (Netherlands), where the Maastricht Treaty was signed, with metallic Euro currency coins
- The Central Train Station in Calais (France), which is famous for the refugee camp and linked with metallic railway components and trade logistic importance
By determining three localities and three objects, each with its specific political functions and symbolisms, two triangles were composed upon the topography, one comprised of a fixed triad with three points on the map and the other visible as a dynamic and moveable trinity constituted by mobile forces and trafficking objects (weapons, coins and refugees).
A granite cobblestone was removed from the public vicinity of each of the selected places in Brussels, Calais and Maastricht. Concurrently the metallic coins, weapons, and railway components were, through the appropriation of a geologic process that occurs within our planets core, melted altogether, thus generating another singular metallic substance composed by the particularities, both material and conceptual, of the objects specified earlier. The newly generated metal was poured into molds subtracted from the cobblestones. The metallic cobblestones were casted and are going to be placed in the original apertures left open by the initial subtractions.
Consequently, through the collection and arrest of the mobile items, a maneuver was put into action, that in which unnoticed power flows and vectors were given permanence, materiality, and perceptibility by means of a physical architectural intervention.
Certainly the guiding conceptual effort throughout this artistic proposal was to make visible the frequently imperceptible brutal and complex geography of power that reverberates violently and forcefully from this specific geographic context to and throughout a broader global and geopolitical landscape. Through the triangulation of the embodiment of capital, the production of weaponry, and the exclusivity of displacement, it was possible to highlight and emphasis the profound inequalities generated by the privileged benefiting of certain corporate and governmental subjects within this particular context.