Aguas Ocultas, Aguas Olvidadas, May 2019 – on-going, is a public art project about hidden and forgotten water in Madrid, and about people’s relationships with water. It focusses on the area around Parque Calero in the Quintana and La Concepción districts in the north east of Madrid. The park takes its name from the Arroyo Calero, one of several watercourses in the neighbourhood that were buried or culverted and forgotten during Madrid’s expansion as a city. The Viaje de Agua del Bajo Abroñigal, one of the largest underground water channels that supplied much of the clean drinking water for Madrid in the 17th and 18th centuries, also flowed through the area. Aguas Ocultas, Aguas Olvidadas explores lost connections to these overlooked waters.
The project is conceived and realised by artists Minty Donald and Nick Millar and landscape architect Malú Cayetano with sound artist Susana Jiménez Carmona. It was commissioned by CAR – INLAND, Madrid.
The project has several parts:
- acciones de aguas a suite of propositions for interacting with water (to be enacted, adapted and/or imagined in Quintana and La Concepción, elsewhere in Madrid, or in any watery location). The acciones de aguas are published as a set of postcards. Some of these actions were also enacted by Minty Donald, Nick Millar and Malú Cayetano, with other people, water and things in Madrid between March and November 2019.
- a sound walk — paseo de agua — inviting listeners/walkers to attend to water in Quintana, La Concepción and Madrid.
- an exhibition of material generated throughout the project.
Approximately 400 people have participated in the acciones de aguas and other Aguas Ocultas, Aguas Olvidadas activities.
‘Asking permission before drinking water from a public source makes you aware at that time and very intensely that water is a good that does not belong to us, that we can use it but we must do it responsibly…[we] have become aware of the need to uncover the hidden waters to know our history; know where we come from as a population and settlement; value water as a substantial and essential element of our identity.’ Resident, La Concepción, Madrid.
‘[It] helped to make visible natural processes that occur within the city, in a direct rather than theoretical way. … [It] helped to improve people’s understanding of water, enriching their relationships with it by questioning their habitual interactions with nature in the city, through engaging their senses and changing their perceptions of the urban [environment].’ Artistic Director, CAR-INLAND, Madrid.
Aguas Ocultas, Aguas Olvidadas es un proyecto de arte público sobre el agua oculta y olvidada en Madrid, y sobre la relación de las personas con el agua. El proyecto se centra en los alrededores del Parque Calero, en los barrios de Quintana y La Concepción. El parque toma su nombre del Arroyo Calero, uno de los cursos de agua de la zona que fueron enterrados, canalizados y olvidados durante el expansión de Madrid como ciudad. También fluyó por la zona el Viaje de Agua del Bajo Abroñigal, una de las mayores conducciones de agua subterránea que suministraba gran parte de las aguas potables a Madrid durante los siglos XVII y XVIII. Aguas Ocultas, Agua Olvidadas explora las conexiones perdidas con estas aguas ignoradas.
El proyecto es una propuesta de los artistas Minty Donald y Nick Millar y la paisajista Malú Cayetano con artista de sonido Susana Jiménez Carmona. Cuenta con el apoyo de CAR – INLAND, Madrid.
Acciones de Agua
Acciones de Agua – postcards
Schools’ and community groups’ workshops