In an installation called Born Again, Spanish designer Jorge Mañes examines issues involving individuals in public spaces. For more than a century, the historic Born market housed Barcelona’s major fruit and vegetable market. It was built over some of the oldest ruins in Spain. Covering 8000 square meters, during its heyday, it was nicknamed ‘the Cathedral of Iron and Glass‘ for its its iron and glass construction. Sadly, since 1977, the marketplace building has fallen victim to urban neglect.
Mañes’ installation was inspired by the 1963 photographic series called Born by Spanish photographer Joan Colom. Born depicts the anonymous workers and shoppers of the market during their daily activities.
Born Again is currently showing at the Sala b in Barcelona, where it also extends into the city streets. Sala b overlooks the market, creating a fitting space for Mañes’ exploration. The exhibit recreates the past denizens of Barcelona in paint, salvaged boxes, and light. The part-gallery, part-street-side installation consists of a series of multimedia paintings and installations. Mañes uses the side panels of real wooden fruit boxes to mimic the slitted light effects created in the market building by its iron and glass construction. In an attempt to inspire a public dialogue about the use of this neglected site, and perhaps about abandoned spaces in general, Mañes also wheatpasted characters from his paintings on public city walls around the market.
*Photos courtesy of Designboom.