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.
The topic is: “Progress”
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’
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
EMBARRAT AWARDS 2019
A qualified jury will assess the exhibited works in ‘The Great Machine VI’ and will award two prizes:
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.