(Hi! English text below!)
או: חיים בטבע ורזידנסי לאמנים בשום מקום
Life in nature and artist residency in the middle of no-where
I have been waiting some time for the upcoming week on Nectar. Because the end of the school year is approaching with all the changes that summer brings – the period before this week has passed at home – with a scent of stress, chores and a certain uncertainty.
On one hand – a more stressful economic situation and on the other – three months of great freedom ahead of us, each of us with needs, commitments and expectations. And so it happened that the days before my arrival to this magical place were full of matters to arrange and take care of. And suddenly I realized: tomorrow! Tomorrow I’m going to the old house to the forest!
“Nectar” is a beautiful and very brave initiative of Olga and Tai. Olga – an independent curator who managed to accumulate experience in the field, and Tai – an artist, photographer, who has also come a long way in an interesting way. (And maybe I should not define him as a photographer, because he is a lot of things beyond a photographer). Anyway – each one separately and both together are also parents of Maya and Yago, (and of Nubo, the older brother – their dog) They inspire me a lot. Not because their life is easy and pleasant in the shadow of the terrace in their residency they have set up, but because there is something in them that I recognize that I would like to have in me, and that maybe somewhere – I wanted but feared. Something honest, real, and not spoiled in jumping into the water of this project, inspires me and makes me feel a great appreciation. There is something unflattering, done not out of a need to stand out or be “more visible, more important, more considered” in the art world, but out of genuine sincerity and a basic need to simply live the thing as they are, and combine these two things called “art” and “life in nature “In its initial sense, even if it is not the easiest thing to do for city dwellers like us.
The house is an old ruine that they reformed with their own hands. A very ancient and secluded farm in the province of Catalonia (an hour and a half drive from Barcelona in the nature reserve Les Guilleries) that they rented several years ago with the idea, and even a vision, to make it partially residence for themselves and partially a residence for artists. And so – after, a period of hard work, and a lot of faith and love for what they do, they managed, step by step, summer after summer, to rehabilitate the place, which is all rough and unadorned magic (and includes bees, ants, lizards and other insects and animals), And host artists for different periods. (There is an open call on the site, get in the web and check it out).
You can come and work here full time – there are studios and workspaces, and you can also combine the work with sitting on a balcony while staring at the lake and the mountains, which slowly, as the days go by, take on a slightly more familiar shape, and gradually allow you to connect with this immense landscape, wich is too vast and too amazing to understand how to connect with, (at least for one like me, whose wildest landscape I know reduces to Mount Tabor in the north of Israel).
The mountains, forests and the buzzing spring life that surrounds the house leave no room for doubt – we (humans) are the minority here and it is inevitable and even worthwhile to respect nature. In fact there is really no other choice. And so, I slowly found myself changing city customs
that would not have occurred to me to change before: after fifteen minutes of trying to sit outside and write on the laptop with one hand, as the other hand was busy flipping away flying buzzing creatures – I gave up. What’s the point? It’s not a movement that can really bring me any benefit other than arm training. They are too many and too buzzing, besides they are not really plotting anything against me but just running their lives next to my laptop and fulfilling their tasks (actually-just like I do). And this is exactly the feeling about how things are going on here – Tai and Olga run the Residency and their family in harmony and condescension. When we talked about the vegetable garden they have, I asked Tai if they have pest problems (Ivan and I struggle a pest attack every summer on our modest terrace trying to save our lemon tree, parsley and other modest plants).
Tai mentioned a certain plague that made it difficult to grow the tomatoes all around the valley last year (but there is nothing to do with it) and after a little while, he also remembered a large green worm (as he put it), that had eaten their strawberries. “So what did you do”? I asked, “Is there any magic potion that keeps the gluttonous worm away”? “No”, he said… “I finally realized that the worm loves strawberries and I just take it in consideration”.
Well, listen. It really sounds completely crazy if you read this text in your metropolitan little apprtment, but here, in Nectar, among the buzzing and the sunsets that change colors every evening, it makes the most sense in the world.