Muntanya Sagrada

Daniel Martinez

2020 - 2021

Muntanya Sagrada thinks over the understanding we, as individuals and society, have about nature and how this affects the relationship we have with it. Delimiting the space for the development of the study to a specific scenario, the iconic mountain of Montserrat. The project is based on the academic essay titled "El Paradís Indicible" (The Unnamable Paradise) from Francesc Roma i Casanovas, PhD in human geography.

According to Roma i Casanovas, “Natural environments become landscapes as people interpret them in the light of a model, a mental image, or a specific historical representation. The landscape is the relationship between the subject and the environment in which it projects certain values to reality. […] Landscape images create, transform or reconstitute the environment to accommodate it to human ideas such as order, truth, aesthetics, balance, etc. That is why the landscape has -deep down- a moral dimension, it tells us how the world should be like or, rather, what it should look like. Without losing its physical dimension, space is socially mediated and merges into a second nature that is linked to human knowledge.”

Once, mountains were considered as hostile places. So far away and dangerous, they went unnoticed for the eyes of the population. The Montserrat massif was one of the first European landscapes to come out of that secular darkness in which there were no mountains or deserts as we understand them today. Around the year 880 after Christ, an event made it turn from indifference to notoriety. The legend tells that a group of children saw a light appearing on one of its hills. As they approached to see what had happened, they saw the image of a virgin engraved inside a cave. The extraordinary event was interpreted as a divine sign which led, years later, to the construction of a monastery to venerate her image. Since then, the mountain acquired a new meaning for society, becoming over time an important touristic, religious and landscape settlement for society.

In that sense, the following questions are proposed:

- Which model influences the way societies understand nature and how this vision affects the relationship established with the environment?

- Could underlay in the environment a different reality to the one we commonly experience?

- How am I personally behaving in reference to this same affair?

Currently working on the development of a book about the project.

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