OLGA OLIVERA-TABENI, artist, of legal age and residing in Bell-lloc d’Urgell, proceeded on November 1, 2020, as a result of the perimeter closure and municipal lockdown experienced due to the pandemic, and after the "Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14", by which the state of alarm is declared for the management of the health crisis situation caused by "COVID-19", to traverse a portion of the mentioned village's territory from these boundaries, or perimeter lines. Symbolic barriers or fences were imposed, which, according to the orders and counter-orders of those moments, could not be crossed. The starting point was taken as the N.E. angle corresponding to the boundary between the village's territory and that of Bellvís, at the location known as "la Boga" - a place name that likely refers to herbaceous plants, reeds, of the genus "Typha", and which is marked by "l’Espartar". The route begins at the edge of the white path of the "LV-3311" road. There, the separating line runs alongside plots of land, filled with ruderal plants like "Hordeum murinum", "Amaranthus deflexus" (prostrate pigweed), "Malva sylvestris", and "Sonchus tenerrimus". And next to an uphill farmhouse, with a roof and large gutters for water transportation that appear to be made of asbestos, this prohibited and complex material, some stones planted like small menhirs, and a strange oasis palm tree, a "Trachycarpus fortunei".A hundred meters further down, we find ourselves at the location known as "Vinyes del mig", named after the vineyards that must have been there until the appearance of phylloxera in 1863, but now leaving no trace. If we look ahead - in this restricted part - we can see the high-voltage electrical towers that traverse the landscape. From this last point, heading north, a distance of 40 meters has been measured, and a wet area has been encountered next to the "Riera de Maldanell", filled with "Arundo donax", which we tend to eliminate today as an exotic invasive species, but which used to be the epicenter of an entire system of life; for example, its rhizome was used as a natural filter to retain impurities from irrigation channels, or to make traditional reeds, woven coverings, and flat roofs – flexible and far more ecologically friendly than those made from materials like epoxy resins... Or to search for and delimit a specific area like the one presented here. Or from there, measuring 3 or 4 steps, or 5, corresponds to a mark with a piece of tile, fluorescently painted with a "P", and then other plants similar to "l’Arundo donax", or like the subcosmopolitan "Phragmites australis", also known as common reed or bulrush.
And near a well for manual irrigation or water detention, in a landscape that is depicted through all these overlapping historical spots and layers, and which never leaves any piece, fragment, to consider as some kind of communal land or territory, what was once known in old documents as the village commons. Everything that exists here today is someone's land; and all at the same time is also a highly anthropocentric ecology. Further to the north, 75 steps from the last stop, we find a second-order hunting sign: "A.C. Bellvís-10.223". And then, there are thorns - "Rubus ulmifolius" - and a plastic bag that has become trapped, now resembling a small swing among the bushes. Another hunting sign appears again, "L-10110", and another rather strange one, "FP 1160". And a margin scorched by the farmer, all black, with remnants of white snail shells standing out, and the pioneering "Cirsium arvense", full of thorns that open as they pass through.Looking beyond the perimeter, the one we couldn't go to - but still, we crossed at that moment - we identify remnants of corn plantations, probably some of their transgenic varieties like "Bt11", "1507", or "MON810", forming rows and patterns in the landscape, perhaps like a completely free and anonymous "Land art". In the background, to the right and 100 steps away, there's a simple, two-sloped adobe house that reminds us of the typical house from children's drawings. Now plastered with cement and filled with someone's proclamations and wishes, "deceptive politicians", "Spit on the flag", and finally the "A" forever enclosed in anarchy. And this perimeter line continues further ahead, heading west, south, and southeast, the one we couldn't step beyond at that moment, within the disciplinary model and the law.
The boundaries are measured and refer to True North and centesimal graduation. Additional documentation for this document, including a photographic roll, can be found at the link provided in the QR code.
Olga Olivera-Tabeni. "Traversing the Territory along the Perimeter Line, following Royal Decree 463/2020". 2020-22.
Text-piece originally created for the "Tancats al Montsant" project by artist Montserrat Cortadellas. Curated by ADDEND, la Morera de Montsant, Tarragona.