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Epilogue (start with an ending that was actually the beginning) Stop and think


25 January 2021
This month's topic: 2021OdysseyResident Editor: Diana Padrón

Epilogue (start with an ending that was actually the beginning) Stop and think

Solar. Cultural Action Society – Place – Art

That culture cannot be only a matter of public institutions.
That citizens have resources to create a cultural network. To be encouraged.
That each citizen is an important cultural part of society.
That it is not only necessary to feed oneself.
That culture creates society.
That art generates tolerance.
That life without culture is not life, it is routine, boredom.
That it is necessary to position oneself in the face of ignorance.
That we must leave our skin in it.
That you have to place your body and your head.
That we must think.
That we must question ourselves.
That we must put ourselves in the position of doubt.
That we must have an attitude.

SOLAR is all that.
It is the private space provided to public culture.

So naive began Solar at the end of 2013 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. That year, Syria – which is very far from Tenerife in cartographic terms, but also conceptually – was the epicenter of all the news. The attacks were the order of the day and the channel 24 hours of RTVE was repeating constantly the numbers that were coming off those terrible events. To think that art and symbolic thought could solve something of all those human insolences was as unscathed as trying to contain the lava from a volcanic eruption.

It is in this context of disproportion and convulsive time in all directions that Solar begins in a very simple and unpretentious way. Obviously, little or, better said, nothing could be resolved from a place that is 5121 kilometers from Syria, but it was possible to think about creating a node or a knot of thought in a nearby environment. It is difficult to compare with the problems of distant latitudes, very difficult to put oneself in the place, to see beyond all that is really happening behind the news, to be in what is happening. From here, the option was to place the whole body, the bodies, to question oneself, to think, to be emboldened, to be part of and, above all, to doubt.

This willingness to put oneself in the position of doubt runs through all of Solar’s work as a state of fragility, understood from a form of care referring to all possible coordinates: time, place, people and work. A solar is the place, time is what it takes to pass in front of the entrance and decide to stop or go on, work works as a question and people are not a number to count.

A solar is a residual space, it is less than nothing, it is the place where the garbage and the ground meet the lack of a roof. Nothing, there is nothing, no electricity, no running water, no silence, no white. And it is not the field. It is the residue of the city, what is left in the middle of normalized urbanism – or urbanisms. Sweeping is something and it is always the first action that becomes political insofar as it generates enough space to, for example, put a chair in which to sit and think; or also, sweeping is adding a layer. In a lot there are no rules of behavior, only space to deviate from them.

2020: the year after 2019 and the year before 2021 On January 28, 2020, the computers are turned off and we go for a walk. Without a specific goal or direction we trace part of our journey from the rhythm of a conversation that sought other answers without looking for them and other ways of thinking without thinking. Without the weight of the computers it is easier to walk, but you can feel the heat, the sweat and the tiredness. You rethink your body.  Being outside makes you airy and light. We passed by one of the ravines that crosses the city -the Tahodio ravine-; probably, a long time ago water was running through it, but it stopped when the water galleries were drilled, but we have already talked about that in Turista de interior, the Revista sobre Procesos de isla that we have been publishing since 2018. It occurs to us that we are on a journey, we feel that thought is travelling with us, and that if this is the case there is also room there; it already existed, we did not invent it, we are also aware of that.

El devenir del ir. Itinerancia de Sema Castro

March 14, 2020. We turn the computer back on and activate Skype.

-Hello. -Now what do we do?  -We’ll have to suspend!

From here, that time, that place, those people and that work stop to think.

March 27, 2020. Post on Instagram.

A site to think about (since September 2019 and today in a state of alarm).

From Solar we hope that everyone is well and that they have spent these first 14 days of alarm as best as possible.

 We are trying to make the impact of this circumstance consistent. We understand that this society cannot return to the same place where it was and therefore we believe that a change of paradigm, a slowdown in time and a space for thought is urgently needed without excuses. This, obviously, clashes head-on with many of the situations that have been law until now: the great quantity (of whatever) as the only value, the event as the means and objective, and the lack of space for calm reflection. People already know this, the only thing missing is for public institutions to understand that support for Culture must include long-term research, and that only in this way, with time, can a profound knowledge be built which, in the end, is what contributes something. We hope that they will understand this. The project “Un solar para pensar” now seems premonitory and more necessary than ever.

 We know that it is probable that this will not happen because we know the world in which we live, but we left it there because we were thinking about it (like many others).

May 14th, 2020. Post on Instagram.

All activity these days is clothed in a certain unreality. They are moments in which the sense of refuge doesn’t mean escape but a place that allows a stop, a more dilated thought and some rest. Solar has waited for us these more than 50 days in calm and resurgence. We hope that soon we can return to rest in their chairs, breathe their air and share with everyone what is to come.

Project Un solar para pensar




Lola Barrena – Dalía de la Rosa
In 2020, after seven years and the formation of a non-profit cultural association, Solar. Acción Cultural Sociedad – Lugar – Arte is a critical project whose fundamental activity is research, creation, reaction and artistic production aimed at using everyday space as the natural place for the transmission of symbolic language. With more than 110 members and different lines of work, the attitude remains the same and the bodies continue to modify their trajectories.

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"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)