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Proyecto exposición permanente

The importance of recovering the relationship with the most recent architectural past of this place, the garden, and what we call the surrounding urban landscape, has been carried out through a work process based on the historiography of the context. This is a proposal based on the illustrated interpretations of historical studies and other documents such as photographs and texts of this place that are known to date. The creation of a visual documentation of the historical processes with overlapping drawings helps us to interpret the events and transformations of this space.

The intervention put forward now is a critical position with regard to the last intervention conducted by Francisco Prieto Moreno on the Baths in 1976 and the restoration methods used. This current proposal is rooted in the methodological and conceptual idea with which Torres Balbás ‘unrestored’ and reintegrated the Baths, incorporating the pre-existing courtyard of the Barrios family home into a more expanded vision of the restoration. The intervention involves not completely destroying the historical additions – therefore ultimately not erasing the evidence of the passing of time – and keeping the historical memory, in this case, the courtyard and its elements. It is an analogy of forms, situations and eras that reflect the mindset of Torres Balbás and what he called an 'Eclectic and Elastic Theory, Not Dogmatic, of Conservative Restoration'. Torres Balbás unrestored the extensions, alterations and additions of the Arab Baths by eliminating the façade and two sections of the building's height, removing windows and doors, eliminating service areas and stairs, thus returning the former character to the building – that had no nexus with the garden. In addition, and in line with a modern project and according to the theories of scientific restoration, he built domes and columns where the house previously had courtyards. By conserving the pre-existing elements it showed the importance these had for Torres Balbás and also that the architect was familiar with the courtyard and everything that had taken place within it. The interior garden of the house was not recovered, divesting the building of its relationship with the garden.

History and archaeology help to decipher the value of time. Today's intervention proposal allows for a rethinking of the transient nature of the place and not just its historical authenticity and the events experienced by the musician. This intervention is, therefore, both archaeological and historiographical. It helps to decipher the value of time in different ways: the life and times of the artist via objects, the garden, the people close to him during his life, as well as the timeline starting from when Torres Balbás carried out the reconstruction. This led to the decontextualisation of the architecture of the Baths with their surroundings, the garden, and the architecture of the house.

The new permanent exhibition project is a historical reconstruction of the spaces of the – now long-gone – old Barrios family home located on the site of the Baths of the Alhambra mosque. It is a diachronic interpretation of a space evoking the image of the musician and his relationship with the place. A story of overlapping eras; that of the era of the Islamic Baths, the house where the composer lived for much of his life, and that experienced by visitors today. It is a balanced intervention that respects formal, aesthetic and historical aspects and is a departure from the usual exhibitions about the artist. The proposal aims to rethink the body of knowledge we have of the site's history, the events experienced by the Barrios family as well as those by the musician Ángel Barrios from his childhood onwards. This has meant an intervention beyond the physical reality of the place – which today is almost non-existent – to something that cannot simply involve a contemplative recreation of what the object represents. It is meaningless to think that the rooms we see now are the same as those of Ángel Barrios's house. The intervention allows a rethinking of the ensemble of things we see today, a process that aims to go beyond its physical reality to something that is not what the object represents. The Barrios family home is no longer with us, but we have the ability to evoke it. The intervention that visitors see today is an invitation to appreciate what once took place there and is thus an alternative reality of the site.


June 12 2014 08:08

Ángel Barrios. Creatividad en la Alhambra

La Alhambra rinde homenaje a la figura del compositor, músico y guitarrista granadino, con una gran exposición en el cincuentenario de su muerte. Read more


June 12 2014 13:01

Presentación de la nueva web de la Casa-museo Ángel Barrios

El Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife presenta el avance de esta nueva web referente autorizado de la figura y el legado de Ángel Barrios. Read more

June 12 2014 07:07

La Alhambra creativa de Ángel Barrios

Una exposición, organizada por el Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife y el Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucía, recorrerá la vida y obra... Read more