Left for Tomorrow

Exhibition: A Cidade Interpretada, Santiago de Compostela

Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Year: 2006/ 07

Curator: Pablo Fanego

Courtesy: The artist, The city of Santiago de Compostela

Photo: Apolonija Šušteršič

Technical Data: newspaper article titled Re-programming Disaster, public bench placed in the local garden build from the left-overs of the building on Monte Gaia – Cultural City of Galicia, international

Conference on the subject Cultural Politics and City Development

Concept: Left for tomorrow is a research project focusing on the questions of cultural politics and city development; using cultural institutions as a development strategy.
The main case study in this project is Cultural City of Galicia, a mega structure placed on Monte Gaia, in Santiago de Compostela.

The main case study in this project is the City of Culture of Galicia, a mega structure designed by Peter Eisenman located on Monte Gaiás, in Santiago de Compostela. Left for Tomorrow is a project in several parts. Part 1 was ideally proposed as a project which could activate the local people to discuss the development of the city of Santiago de Compostela. The focus point was the development of the City of Culture of Galicia on Monte Gaiás, which began in 2003 as a major cultural project. The building was intended to house, and thus centralise, various cultural institutions within the region: the historical museum, the music theatre, the new technologies centre, the library and archives, the central services and administration, the arboretum of Galicia.

The Cultural City of Galicia became a major problem for the new government in 2005. They realized that the building was too big and much too expensive. They started negotiating to re-program the project during its production phase. The public was asked to cooperate and contribute ideas. As part of the project we built a public bench in a local garden away from the regular tourist spots in the centre of Santiago de Compostela. The local garden is located just underneath the main regional government building. Since the access to the garden was quite hidden, only the locals could usually find it. At the same time the garden was under discussion within the city planning office to be re-developed into a commercial centre.

The bench was built from leftover material (stone and construction wood), which was used to cover the façade of the new City of Culture of Galicia. The local people were invited to use the bench and ideally discuss the future of their city with others.

Left for Tomorrow Part 2 proposed to continue the discussion with international guests who were invited to Santiago de Compostela to participate in a conference hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art. In collaboration with Carme Nogueira, we designed a special platform to be used for the conference. The platform became a project in itself, commenting on the symbolic space of the white cube as Alvaro Siza (the museum’s architect) built it in 1992. Our re-design proposed to open the museum institution toward the outside and connect the space to the surrounding environment. At the same time we changed the white cube into a discussion space and reading room. The conference was cancelled 3 weeks before it was scheduled to start. It never happened, although everybody was already invited to attend. The reason it was cancelled remains a secret. Two of the six buildings of the City of Culture of Galicia eventually opened in January 2011, twelve years after they were first commissioned.

Re-programing Disaster

The article Re-programming Disaster was written as a local newspaper article as part of the project Left for Tomorrow which was commissioned as public art work by Pablo Fanego, curator for Auditorio de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela. Other elements of the project are: the simple bench (made from the rest material found on the building site of Cultural City of Galicia), placed in the local garden in the old town for the locals to use for the discussions; the second element was the workshop and later on the Conference on the subject: Cultural Politics and Urban planning (the Conference was supposed to be produced by CGAC, Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago de Compostela, but it got cancelled at the last moment.) 

*The budget for the project on Monte Gaia (Cultural City of Galicia) has grown from the initial estimation of 145 million EUR to 400 million EUR. The project is planned to be finished 2011