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[one_half] The modernist buildings that house the Trepat Museum in Tàrrega, origin of the social and industrial transformation of the lands of Lleida, will be the venue of the third iteration of EMBARRAT – Festival of Contemporary Creation. The main objectives of this event are to disseminate throughout society the concept of art and thought as critical and engaged attitudes, and to incentivize artistic creation and promote cultural heritage.

On 7 February 2019, we open the international call to select the artists that will compose the exhibition ’The Great Machine VI’ and will opt for the Embarrat 2019 awards.

The deadline to submit the applications
is on 10 March 2019.

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The topic is: ighlight]”Progress”[/highlight]

In 1914, from a modest foundry in Tàrrega , Josep Trepat promoted the production of the first harvesters and winnowing machines, therefore contributing to the mechanization of the Catalan and Spanish countryside. Twenty years later, the growing implementation of technical innovations triggered the construction of the metallurgical complex of J. Trepat industries. Today, it has become an example of industrial archaeology, housing a Museum, of the same name, in addition to the Embarrat festival of contemporary creation.
The drive shaft (embarrat) system, which the festival is named after, distributes the force generated by a single central engine to the rest of the production machinery. This is a period machine that contributed to the rise of the factory in Spain during the second third of the twentieth century, but that was quickly surpassed by autonomous proposals whose increased power rendered them more profitable. In fact, their failure to replace the characteristic energy transmission system of the drive shaft, resulted in the eventual closure of the factory in 1985. This is how facilities that had been made thanks to the process of industrialization became overwhelmed by the same dynamics that led them to their initial birth and expansion.

From the first industrial revolution, the idea of progress has been unequivocally associated with technoscientific development which converts farmers into machine handlers, optimising their production and advancing the economy. If, ancestrally, the evolution of instrumental manufacturing, energy capture or mobility pursued objectives related to the welfare of the species; From this moment on, they were to substantially shift their focus. Hand in hand with the ideologies of capitalism and liberalism, which promote individual gain over the interests of the community, the law of minimum investment was imposed in exchange for maximum performance, without taking into account global repercussions, as the depletion of natural resources and the consequent developmentalism that gradually broadened the distance between the industrial centre and the agricultural periphery, as well as between developed and underdeveloped countries. These are the same dynamics that in the medium and long term will inevitably lead to the collapse of the system.

’The Great Machine VI’, based on the title of this open call, Progress, invites artists to question the logic of the capitalist world-view, as well as anthropocentrism, which are based on capital, the actions of humanity, the accumulation of power, with the aim of exploring other possible paradigms that restore the mandate of progress to the service of the collective, and take into account the impact of the system’s resulting inertia on the stability and sustainability of the same. We intend to take the plunge into the revolutionary opportunity that the current scene is offering us (in areas such as industry, transport, consumerism, health, education, tourism, etc.), together with what Walter Benjamin predicted in the following terms: “Marx says that revolutions are the locomotives of world history. But the situation may be quite different. Perhaps revolutions are not the train ride, but the human race grabbing for the emergency brake.”

Cèlia del Diego
Curator ‘The Great Machine VI’



  • Who can participate?
    The call is open to individual artists or artist groups.
    All participants must be adults, but may be of any nationality.
    Residents outside the European Union may participate only with audiovisual works.
  • About the works
    The works must touch on the proposed theme: “The progress”.
    Submissions can consist in artworks of any discipline: video art, performance, photography, audio, installations, illustration, etc.
    Participants may submit one work, or a set of works under a single title.
  • Closing date for submissions
    10 March 2019.
  • Submission of proposals. Application form
    Each participant must fill out an application form online on the Festival’s website, attaching a small dossier (PDF) that explains the art project (maximum of 4 MB).
  • The PDF dossier should contain
    On the first page: the artist’s name and surname, phone number, email, webpage and the name of the project that appears on the sign-up form.
    A conceptual description of the work/artistic project (Maximum 12 lines).
    A factsheet or description of the work’s characteristics, suggesting, if necessary, the kind of mounting required for the exhibition space.
    Photographs of the work or works to be exhibited, if necessary.
    A short artistic CV and a copy of the artist ID or passport.
  • About the works
    It is the curator’s responsibility to make the final selection of projects and artists and to determine the appropriate exhibition space for each artwork.
    In addition to the artistic criteria, the curator will consider the conceptual rigor of each project, its adjustability to the proposed topic (disused) and the feasibility of adapting the artistic proposal to Museu Trepat’s exhibiting spaces.
    The artists will assume the cost of the work production.
    The festival will assume shipping costs.
    Reception of the selected artworks: The selected artworks must be at the festival’s office no later than 10 March 2019.
  • Remuneration for exhibition rights
    Each selected artist (group of artists) will receive 100€ for rights of exhibition (taxes included).
  • Rights
    The works exhibited remain the property of their authors. The latter will provide EMBARRAT reproduction and publishing rights with the aim of promoting the festival, whether by internet, printed press, audio-visual means and/or the publication of catalogues or any other promotional material.

A qualified jury will assess the exhibited works in ‘The Great Machine VI’ and will award two prizes:

  • The Embarrat-Museu Trepat award has a economic endowment of 1,000€  (taxes included) and will be released to the best work presented at the exhibition ‘The Great Machine VI’.
  • The EMBARRAT-IEI Award. Production of a solo show: the award will distinguish the best artist among those shown in the exhibition The Great Machine VI. In 2020 the Institut d’Estudis Ilerdencs (IEI) will produce a solo show in its ‘Sala Gòtica’ exhibition space to showcase the work of the winning artist.
    The selected artist must present an exhibition project to the IEI no later than 31 October 2019.
    The dates of the exhibition will be set by the IEI and the artist must meet the agreed
    The award is the production of the exhibition and there are no fees involved.
    In the case of disagreements between the artist and the IEI, the institution reserves the right not to produce or cancel the exhibition.
    For its part, if the selected artist doesn’t agree with the IEI criteria, he/she may, if it so wishes, decline their participation.

Acceptance of the conditions
Participation in the call for entries implies acceptance of these conditions.
In the case of disagreements between the artist and the Festival, the organisation reserves the right to cancel his/her participation.