Serpentine bench in Park Guell
It is noteworthy that during a long illness in 1911 in collaboration with Gaudi Huholem created his most inspired and joyful work. It is ironic, but the serpentine bench in Park Guell, it seems, replaced Gaudi pain and transformed it into a sense of spiritual uplift. Bench began to construct in 1909, and it was conceived as a functional object: a long bench on the perimeter of the roof of the market at the same time served as a guard and a place to sit, and a spacious, covered with sand outdoor area designed for meetings, as well as for filtering rainwater. The shape of the bench is preferably selected so as to ensure that the flow of water and a comfortable place to sit in dry weather. Even before finishing bench caused some difficulties during construction. Made of pre-cast concrete sections, it is a one of the earliest and most successful examples of using this material in Spain. Building contractor, recalled that "Gaudi ordered workers to take off all my clothes and sit as comfortable as possible on the pre-applied layer of the solution to get the perfect shape of the seat until the material hardens."
This method proved to be effective. But whenever Gaudi worked with the water - from bombastic Neptune in Ciutadella thirty years before spouting dragon at the bottom, at the entrance to Park Guell, - he emphasized its mythological and symbolic power. And that finish bench transformed this purely utilitarian object into something amazing.
Pattern of shiny colored pottery at first seems to be random. The surface of the serpentine bench, as the roof of the mansion Guell, has been a major restoration. Nevertheless, its original concept remained intact.
From afar, she caresses the eye and teases the observer. But it is not just a decorative feature, but also sculpture - a work of art that requires empathy. When you sit on the bench, you cover a pleasant feeling of completeness.
If you focus on the details, which at first seem to be purely decorative, almost Byzantine, then chaos is gradually replaced by the logical clarity. Serpentine bench - a giant puzzle. Throughout its length located mysterious signs, fragments of letters, magic formulas, illustrations and special designs that will forever be exciting puzzles, reflecting the intricate mind of its two creators.
Across the undulating surface of the scattered variety of narrative and visual intervention from multiple images to graffiti and puzzles. This technique was fantastically modern and ancient at the same time. Huhol built into a decorative ensemble the opportunity to stumble upon the shards of a broken porcelain doll head child.
Scattered across the bench, individual clusters of strange little objects. Firstly, it is a short series of numbers on the fragments of porcelain tiles cheap ... 8-9-10-11. Here you can find bottles and shells. In the fifth bend, facing the sea, two severed hands proudly pulled the Cross of Lorraine, which in the Middle Ages were allowed to wear one of the five Patriarchs, which was recognized attribute of Gregory the Great. Nearby stars and butterflies, as well as cheap putti, slipping off the edges of the tray. And, as if nailed to a cream background, there are five blood-red irises. On one of the dark blue flown placed broken white plate, isolated fragments which fly to the sky ceramic quickly moving from left to right, like a falling star. This movement is, of course, is a reflection of the observer's movement along the bench.
From left to right trinity of green, blue and yellow, which for Gaudi was chromatic equivalent of Faith, Hope and Love, was completed by the end of the radiance of the divine brightness. This triumvirate stressed the importance of details more saturated colors associated with the Catholic Church: red for the expression of passion, black for mourning and purple for penance. Gaudi realize how mutually reinforcing symbols and color, conveying its meaning through the subconscious. If we consider a riot of colors bench as a whole, it can be regarded as a cinematic version of the famous round window in Chartres.
At a distance of three-quarters from the beginning on the southern edge of the bench preserved much of the original ornament. On the curved outer tiles Huhol cut small images or symbolic images covered by mucus squid, flowers, heavenly constellations and the waxing moon. These images are naive and mysterious. Nearby you will find the word "MASHA" upside-down so that it is convenient to read from heaven. Next Way of the Cross presented the inscription «VIA», surrounded by a scattering of stars - the heavenly crown of thorns. In the microcosm of the bench reflected that Gaudi Guell Huhol and tried to achieve the creation of the Park Guell as a sacred public place. Again, Gaudi used safely folklore. Decorative ensemble snaking bench resembled abstract arabesques and floral patterns that are painted on the sawdust during religious processions through the narrow streets Riudoms. Other words that accompanied the unfolding multicolored benches are those passionate and unvarnished expressions of piety that jump out at the audience, when in front of them swam slowly stops painting of Christ on the Way of the Cross during Holy Week. But if the purpose of the bench and lay in the fact that the "voice of the true faith, untainted by self-consciousness and tricks", its general meaning was much deeper.
Tell the story of two students who were sitting on a bench in one of the wonderful sunny days. Immediately after the bells sounded, calling for a reading of "Angelus", they saw a little bleed through to the background color ribbon words of the prayer: «Angelas Domini nuntiavit Mariae». Further, the curve of the bench found the inscription «Ai urbs antiga i atresorada», city name: REUS - and the date, 1898, however, the ancient and mysterious letters spoke of the relation of Gaudi to his art far more than any autobiographical event. Gaudi and Huhol hoped to charge its serpentine bench powerful religious energy, which would impact on the consciousness of sitting. Without knowing it, people would sit down on the pre-industrial means of circulation to the Catholic faith, numerous signs and symbols which turns him into a primitive surface "prayer machine."