René Magritte wrote on one of his most famous paintings, on which he had painted a pipe, "This is not a pipe". This kept running through my head during the creation of this Sunday's paper. Today ARA is (not) a newspaper. It's a work of art by Perejaume. We soaked up his “instruction proposal" and given in to the adventure of paying homage to the nature that surrounds us, which we respect, admire, and transform.
Perejaume is an artist with personality and very varied styles. As Carles Guerra notes in his article, he is a man "who speaks to things" and works arm-in-arm with the landscape.
In his instructions to the editorial staff he took on the role of artistic curator for all of us. For the editors, for the design team led by Cristina Córdoba --who managed to make it different while still keeping it as ARA--, for the always attentive linguistic team led by Albert Pla, and especially for the photographic team led by Xavier Bertral, which understood what the artist was trying to achieve.
We have opened the newspaper "to much life, both unassuming and fundamental. Many little pieces of the world that say "we are here", and we have done so throughout the region serviced by ARA's print edition, coinciding with the artist in being strongly rooted in the country but with a vision beyond. The newspaper has been conceived as a show of gratitude towards what he calls "certain minimal events: a budding, the work of a lichen (such small yet grand things as these!)" with the humility of gratitude, and not from a desire to show it off, only to acknowledge it respectfully.
We are Perejaume’s work of art, and we have resisted moving beyond the text that he wrote for you and those he reviewed based on his central idea for the initial dossier: water springs. Perejaume has chosen to explain them with the work of an artist who writes, a writer who paints, a photographer who does installations, a reader who watches, an observer of nature and limitless creator.
From a respect and passion for the world around us, we have dedicated the newspaper's supplement to the idea of water springs. This allowed us to focus on something positive and, as Perejaume said, "a generative thing, germinal, creative, powerful. It is a theme of celebration. The idea of the spring is that of giving and having, it is a thing that gives and still has, gives and still has. And this is happiness. It is a repetitive thing, it doesn't stop regenerating itself, but the little that it gives never runs out".
This Sunday's supplement is a literary --philosophical?-- work, a friendly jolt to our way of living. We speak of water sources, of trees that bloom, of fire, of waste that contaminates aquifers and streams, of the sources of communication and information that trap us in their spider's web, of politics, and of music. All accompanied by paintings, drawings, photographs and installations created or supervised by Perejaume, an artist as solid and stylized as a cypress, but one who can laugh with an ease that moves the leaves of the poplars and who has directed us with flexibility. Minimizing drama when some articles were overdue, including news that broke in on the global idea that inspired his involvement, understanding with a calm smile the limitations that we placed on him so as not to lose our essence as a newspaper. He asked for everything with such kindness that it was great, and we took it as he intended, photographing a moss hidden in a forest by asking it politely for permission to show it without disturbing it.
Together with the supplement about the springs and Perejaume's work, you will also find the usual news of the day and analysis of the week. We continue with the daily politics, sports, social, economic, cultural and media news. It deserves to be analyzed and you deserve to be informed.
Sometimes we experience extraordinary situations in the most natural way. It is especially charming when someone can break into a context that, in theory, is not their own, but bring with them their own, well-crafted world, to the point of stripping themselves bare, as Perejaume has done for this project. Indeed I wonder, what is one's own world? Finally, from many points of view, especially from that of ARA's journalism, which tries to rid itself from time to time of the voracious nature of journalism and get a bird’s eye view of its surroundings, we all made a choice that allowed us to join in what Perejaume calls "growing in parallel and germinating in parallel".
Thanks to the artist for his generosity and calm, thanks to those who make this newspaper for always supporting innovation and for allowing us to explore the limits of communication. And above all, thanks to you, our readers.