Rabasa is a forgotten place located on the edge of the city. It is a territory of resistance against progress where the antisocial desire to depart from the world and flee from the present make it a haven of freedom.
In an accelerated society driven by utilitarianism, the landscapes of our cities have been forced to respond to the productive logics that dominate all areas of our existence. Like its inhabitants, the landscape of the present must provide economic return and profit. But what happens to those places that are not able to reconvert eternally in order to withstand the suffocating rhythm of extreme neoliberal competition? Where do landscapes such as Rabasa end up, abandoned by the centrifugal machinery of progress and expelled towards the fringes of the city, towards that transitory limbo between the city and the mythical tradition of the Castilian fields imagery? That bordering area far from the bucolic pastoral but no quite able to be qualified even as outskirts. That zero zone in continuous conflict for the use of a soil over which the eternal threat of urbanization is permanently hovering.
David Mocha takes a stand in favor not only of this one but of all the Rabasas out there, valuing the usefulness of a useless landscape, defending the need for what is not needed. In his peaceful images, suspended in time, he manifests calmly and without any fuss the non-recovery and the non-restoration of these vacant and abandoned places. Those spaces that are enriched in their abandonment and where oblivion feeds the diversity of a territory that Gilles Clément once called «the third landscape»: territories that «do not express either power nor submission to power» and that precisely for this reason they become places that can be apprehended in a completely free way.
Contemplating from the distance these terrain vague of the periphery and empathizing with them makes us position ourselves politically in the most subtle way of all, almost without realising it. When looking at Mocha’s photographs we now understand that, contrary to what we used to think, those places are fundamental for the city. They are no longer the marginal waste of a pejorative periphery but rather empty islands of activity, oases that seem to be stopped in time, forgotten and obsolete places in which beneath the absence of use and in their uselessness it’s hidden their radical sense of freedom, their firm positioning in the vortex of the present. They become spaces full of possibilities.
© David Mocha y Daniel Mayrit
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