“Pirinees Living Archaeology” consists of five sourdough, created in the Pairet flour mill, formerly known as Cluells, and in ARBAR, an Art and Culture Center in La Vall de Santa Cruz. This space has been deta- ched from the dominant discourses of our capitalist society. From this unique standpoint, drawing heavily from Donna Haraway’s theories, especially her concept of “speakers for the dead,” individuals who were tasked with bringing extinct creatures back to life, the proposition is to create sourdough referencing the archaeological past. These references include the flours used, which allude to significant gatherings and studies of paleocarpology and archaeological experimentation, such as those conducted on medieval crops in places like Esquerda de Roda de Ter or the ancient settlement of Tenalles, in Sidamon, in Lleida.
Also, there’s the mention of “agua fada” (raw water) or untreated water, commonly used in the Valley area until relatively recently, documented to reach even the Sant Pere de Rodes monastery through mines and cisterns. Not to forget the “lebrillos” (basin), utensils found in the medieval village of Santa Cruz de Rodes, where there were around twenty pieces of this type of monochrome glazed pottery – though as archaeo- logist Anna Maria Puig points out, they were already present in the Greek era. There are depictions, like that of a woman kneading sourdough, in terracotta from the 6th century BC.
This idea aims to revive an extinct, seemingly dead archaeological past, which is actually just dormant. We can embark on building a new world through reevaluating and reconsidering models from the past, much like these fragments of dried sourdough, which can be reactivated at any time by simply adding water and flour.
The project consists of a video, dried pieces of sourdough, basin with dough as well, and an artist's book.
ARBAR, Art and Cultura, support to production. Vall de Santa Creu, Girona. A+A Cycle 2022, Speculative Fermentations.
Reference: Caterina Almirall. Trilogia mediterrània (Mediterranean Trilogy),text for ARBAR, cycle of performances "Speculative Fermentations," with artists Laia Ventayol, Joana Capella, and Olga Olivera-Tabeni, 2023. Text in catalán.