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July 2021
Territori contemporani 5/5
by Anna Dot

From Folgueroles to Savassona. An aerial route.

I don’t know if you have wings, but there are those who believe that someday we will all have them and a part of us will leave our body and see the ground we are magnetized to from the heights. I don’t know if you have wings, but maybe you can imagine that they come out and that you take flight and look up, because this bruise is deep and brutal. Then, a little later, maybe you overcome the vertigo and look down. If you already are, if you already fly, this route is for you and it starts here: to the sky.

The starting point is Folgueroles, near the Font Trobada. Yesterday’s rain has filled the torrent that Perejaume taught to write a name that this land has known for years: “Verdaguer”. Among the leaves of the trees and the murmur of the water you can still hear, still, some fragments of the complete works of the priest and poet that a few dozen people pronounced simultaneously in the corners of the village in 2002.

The sun is setting, falling on the Pedraforca side, and you head out flapping your wings hard to Torelló, where you stop. You spend the night on the Bardissa path, which skirts the Ter river as it is about to meet the Ges, amidst some kingfishers, river crows, ducks and a motionless grey heron. You could say that the scene is quite silent, were it not for the force with which the Ter, which is very wide here, flows downstream, and for the voices and footsteps of some ghostly women singing as they make their way to the textile factory. They are specters of the fifties. Among the trees there is also a group of people led by the girls of the company Anònima, who have followed these women and have learned their ancient sorority routes to remind us today.

(«inVISIBLES», Cia. Anònima. Foto: Jordi Casas)

The birds have been singing for a while now when the first ray of sunlight manages to break through the fog. You rise and, when you overcome the low and dense clouds, you see the profile of all the mountains that limit Osona. You focus on the Montseny and the elongated Pla de la Calma. At your height, but to the south, you see some hot air balloons coming out of Vic. You frame yourself and take the opportunity to enjoy the lunar landscape at the foot of the hermitage of Sant Roc, in Gurb. Some call it elephant’s feet, others more technical call it gullies, but all refer to the type of brittle marl canyons that characterize the landscape of this region.

Fans of Pilarín Bayés take pictures of the drawings that the illustrator made on the walls inside the chapel.

(Image by Jep Boix – extracted from Wikiloc)

You are going to do the vermouth on the second floor of the modernist building located on the corner of Rambla Hospital with Verdaguer Street, touching the main square of Vic. It is the Casino, where they celebrate the 25th anniversary of the exhibition hall of this place. You look for optical effects in the black and white tiling of the floor of this hall through which so many local and foreign artists have passed. You are entertained listening to a conversation in which an architect claims that one part of this house is built on a mountain; the other is supported by wooden beams of dubious reliability. Luckily you fly and get lost talking to local artists who are also hikers and who recommend you to stop by ACVic. You visit the exhibitions and spend time enjoying the children’s books in the window space of this contemporary art center. After a while, you raise your head and see a distant green beckoning you.

(Sant Jordi of Puigseslloses, Vic. Image: Josep Maria Viñolas Esteva)

Already outside Vic, you enter again in the municipality of Folgueroles, flying over the chapel of San Jorge de Puigseslloses where Verdaguer sang mass for the first time, in 1870. You realize that his ghost returns, just to enter again in this locality. More attracted by the pagan signs of spiritual rites in this area, you look at the dolmen in front of the chapel and continue flying. You leave the verdaguerian village, pass over Tavèrnoles and the Casserres road takes you to Savassona. You enter the rainforest and get lost among the huge and millenary stones in the petroglyphs, from which you read legends of prehistoric sacrifices and witches’ encounters.

(Stone of Sacrifice, natural space of Savassona. Tavèrnoles. Image: Alberto G. Roví)

It is getting darker and you decide to climb up to the hermitage of Sant Feliuet, which crowns this magical area. You look at the sun, which is setting and perhaps, only if the air is clear enough and you look hard enough, you will get the last ray of the day, the green ray.

Graf Route through Barcelona by Anna Dot, artist.

This text is part of the set of routes directed by Frederic Montornés. With the intention of getting out of Barcelona city and making other route projects known, GRAF invites Frederic Montornés to make a first introductory Route to the repository of Territori Contemporani – a television programme to discover the spaces of diffusion and production of contemporary art in the regions of Catalonia, through the artists and cultural agents involved – and in the same way, to direct four GRAF Routes through the four provinces of Catalonia by the hand of artists linked to these territories.