Written by the Rural Life Museum
Rural Life Museum of the Carulla Foundation and the Pau Costa Foundation
The fire has always been the great ally of humanity: essential for the development of civilization, a reason for celebration and object of science and the arts. Linked to the myth of Prometheus, the fire would have been stolen from the gods to protect the defenseless humans. Fire has played on horseback of ambivalence: the fire that regenerates and the fire that burns. The fire of devils, stoves and homes. And the fire of lightning, war and apocalypse; The big threat. Anyway, we have to live with fire and it is best to do it in a sustainable way.
The exhibition "Play amb foc!" It is the third exhibition produced entirely by the Museum of Rural Life after the approval of a strategic plan that places cultural education for sustainability at the heart of its actions. Organized and produced with the Pau Costa Foundation, the objective is to challenge the visitor and reflect on the current management of forests and, of rebound, of rural areas. The will is to deepen the ecology of fire, generate knowledge about forest fires and reflect on climate change and the sustainability of the current relationship between fire and people.
Climate change, and the consequent global warming, is increasing the risk of forest fires, large fires directly related to droughts and intense heat waves. To this, we must add the abandonment of rural areas with respect to fields and forests vulnerable spaces to these large fires. Working for sustainability is betting on a more rational management of the territory and forest areas to prevent and control fire.
The Museum of Rural Life and the Carulla Foundation declared the climate emergency last year and work within the framework of cultural education for sustainability. On the other hand, the Pau Costa Foundation focuses on the management of forest fires, while investigating the ecology of fire. In this context, the two institutions have produced the exhibition "Play amb foc" that reflects on the two aspects of this phenomenon.
As Salvador Palomar, Jesús Contreras and Juan Soler point out for the Great Catalan Encyclopedia: “From the most distant antiquity, humans have intuited the radical ambivalence, the dialectic of fire: celestial and subterranean, solar and volcanic, divine and demonic. Fire illuminates, fertilizes, purges and purifies. Fire regenerates, sublimates. But it also devours, creams, consumes and destroys: it is war, the apocalypse, eternal damnation, the great threat ”.
The exhibition "Play amb foc" makes a portrait of this duality from a prologue and four large blocks: the origin of fire, allied fire, unleashed fire and living with fire. This is a cultural issue: look at where we come from, radiograph ways of living in rural areas and analyze forest management to face a more sustainable future in terms of preventing and controlling large fires. At the same time, the exhibition aims to dismantle false myths, promote good practices and publicize projects focused on the ecology of fire. All this through artistic languages.
The dissemination must be a key element of the new culture of fire and spaces such as the Museum of Rural Life must offer new stories through ethnology, history and science, but also visual art, the audiovisual world or heritage. The exhibition "Play with fire" proposes objects, videos, works and artistic installations or texts that constantly challenge the visitor to ask questions and reflect.
The exhibition opens on February 14, 2020 and will be open until January 24, 2021. Throughout these months, the exhibition will be one of the programming axes of the same museum with parallel activities such as talks, debates, cinema forum , workshops, visits and educational proposals.
Fire has fascinated mankind forever. Around it, hundreds of generations have been warmed, it has illuminated dark spaces and it has been a cause for celebration and traditions. At the same time, it has been used for war and destructive purposes. Today, fire is also a threat due to large fires. An uncontrollable fire, unleashed, but that can be prevented. The exhibition wants to be a space for reflection, through artistic languages, around the use of fire and the management of rural areas to understand fire as an ally and not as an enemy.