«Bloc a Block», Young Talent Award 2019

Paula Guallar wins the Grand Laus in the students category

Bloc a Block by Paula Guallar

One of the banners in the project Bloc a Block contains a short message in Latin: that famous "Sapere Aude", which through Kant connects us to the poetics of Horacio. "Dare to know". That’s a good synthesis of Paula Guallar’s project, winner of the Laus Young Talent 2019. Dare to know, to learn, to relate to your place, your people, your city...  Dare to think about why and how urban space is configured, understood as a physical context, but above all, as a space of freedom, collaboration and life. 

Bloc a Block celebrates the city’s balconies as privileged spaces for communication. Places of transition between the private and the public, which have great potential for representation, bonding and the connection of ideas and people. Paula Guallar uses them as the axis for an exhaustive theoretical investigation about notions of the city, society and community. Her work represents an invitation to submerge ourselves in the fascinating contributions of relevant contemporary authors like Luis Fernández Alonso, Imanol Zubero, Miquel Amorós, Marina Garcés, Manuel Delgado and Roberto Espósito, among others.

Bloc a Block by Paula Guallar

At the same time, she has managed to achieve the most difficult thing: to connect contemplation with a lively and authentic proposal for action. In different points of Barcelona, she has collected almost random messages from neighbours. Messages that contain a lot of truth: "I love your garden; Stand up straight; Are you loving enough?; If you look closely, you’ll see me naked". She has captured these messages on silkscreened canvases, which the neighbours have hung on their balconies. They are interpellations to passers-by, to the city, to all of us. They are a new voice in that superposition of signs, codes and relationships that make up the dense space of the inhabited and shared.

In addition to the canvas and the research document, Bloc a Block is rounded off with a third element which contributes to the graphic excellence of the whole: a large format newspaper where reflections about the urban environment are gathered. It is another example of the unstoppable force that drives theory when it is allied with design.

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