at the gates of paradise

Controversy during the presentation of the door project that the Liceu will install in the arcade that gives access to the theater.

at the gates of paradise

Controversy during the presentation of the door project that the Liceu will install in the arcade that gives access to the theater. They have been conceived by Jaume Plensa, but the controversy has nothing to do with the fact that he was the chosen artist, but rather with the statements made by the theater's artistic director, Víctor Garcia de Gomar: "In a space that is paradise, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, it coincides that sometimes we have found hell at the door. So, looking for an analogy, that space had to be protected so as not to be complicit in many things that can happen here, from people injecting heroin, people sleeping because they have no other place... And we ask the City Council that they can go to another place. But when they don't want to go somewhere else and they stay here… Then, situations like rape, prostitution, etc. We believe that it is a difficult situation to sustain at the gates of paradise.”

The deputy mayor Jordi Martí asked for a rectification: “No cultural facility is paradise, it is the mirror of what happens outside”. Garcia de Gomar has apologized on Twitter: “I apologize if that has offended anyone. Sometimes in the interior space of the arcade a dark and unhealthy space is created”.

The doors of the Liceu will therefore be a new example of hostile architecture. We talked about it when the bank branches put spikes in the gutters to prevent the homeless from sleeping there, but the practice is old. In many church arcades they put fences for the same reason, and in the 19th century, in the cities, they built inclined reliefs in the corners so that, if someone tried to pee, they would get splashed. Even today's paper, glass or plastic containers are a display of hostile design, with small mouths to prevent people from putting large objects. Hostility is everywhere. Let's see if now the Liceu should go around with subterfuge.


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