2021 Fieldwork: Scenic Mudejar

Scenic Mudejar.
Exploring stage culture in medieval times: music, dance and minstrelsy

This study has focused on defining strategies in the territory that promote Mudejar identity and reinforce its professional networks through research, creation and artistic dissemination in the field of musical and performing arts. It has also designed actions that will enable the programming of future stage arts events in the region. The project is based on a concept of heritage that encompasses traditions, customs and other artistic expressions that are part of the collective memory.

The project is based on the idea that the performing arts – arts of time and space, of memory and celebration – have the potential to link the past with the present, to develop the contemporary imaginary of a territory and, at the same time, to nurture myths, figures and motifs of local tradition.
Their contribution to local, economic and sustainable development has been studied in the following aspects:

  • Economic profit, derived from greater territorial appeal (the entire cultural sector) and the innovative impulse (the creative industries);
  • Reinforcement of social cohesion, through expressive forms in line with the cultural diversity of the population;
  • Education and awareness-raising of the population on social and environmental issues (e.g., sustainability and nature preservation), through the performing arts in all their creative forms;
  • Control and reduction of their ecological footprint.
The study has been based on fieldwork and on the examination of a vast amount of archival and bibliographical material on Mudéjar scenic arts in order to outline four operational objectives:

  1. To examine, in the local history of three villages of Territorio Mudéjar, the events that could give rise to a commemorative project of a scenic nature;
  2. To highlight, in the tangible local heritage of these three villages, the material elements that could serve as the setting for a musical, theatrical, choreographic or hybrid programme with reference to Andalusi and Mudejar culture;
  3. To examine, in the intangible local heritage of these three villages, the material elements that can be related to the prevalence of Andalusi culture, with a view to proposing their recovery or revitalisation;
  4. To detect, in the local political, educational and cultural network, the dynamics and difficulties that need to be taken into account in order to propose performing arts projects in relation to the “Mudejar identity” of these three villages.
From the analysis carried out, a series of conclusions have been drawn on the aspects in which the Andalusi culture is manifested in Mudejar scenic art, taking as a reference the data obtained from Islamic and Andalusi sources and those obtained afterwards in the context of the Mudejar and Morisco minority.

The research proposes that Mudejar scenic art should be recognised as a category within the history of the performing arts and that there should be no difference between the scenic activity carried out by Mudejars and Moriscos.

The fieldwork stay concludes with the presentation of a detailed bibliography and iconography of the performing arts linked to Territorio Mudéjar, as well as the proposal of some solutions that propose a tangential and mixed repertoire, a symbiosis between the medieval and the contemporary as a way of highlighting this lost but not irrecoverable tradition and to commit to new techniques to develop new projects related to Mudejar scenic art. The aim is to enrich management possibilities for the use of Territorio Mudéjar’s heritage spaces.
LINE OF RESEARCH: Social function

THE AUTHORS: María Amor Borque and Serge Dambrine

2021 Fieldwork: The Mudejar and Euclidean geometry or plane geometry.

The Mudejar and Euclidean geometry or plane geometry

This fieldwork stay deals with the plastic study of the Aragonese Mudejar in the area of the Mudejar Territory and, by extension, in the province of Zaragoza. The project has made it possible to collect and study Mudejar layouts, studying them in depth and with geometric rigour. It has also established similarities between them or with others outside the working area.

In total, around 50 graphic works have been produced, combining diverse technical exercises in strapwork and plasterwork with interior and exterior architectural views. The result is a graphic archive never before developed which allows Territorio Mudéjar to have a collection of Mudejar images for subsequent publications.

The project The Mudejar and Euclidean geometry or plane geometry is fundamental in order to compile the visual richness present in this artistic manifestation declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is unique in the world.

The working methodology has focused on the analysis of photographs, from which measurements and execution systems have been calculated. Linking points, centres, sets of parallels and patterns have been gathered. Also, an attempt was made to recover the geometric solutions used by the Mudejar masters and their sources of inspiration.
The objectives of the project were the following:

  • To study the use of plane geometry in Aragonese Mudejar solutions.
  • To interrelate these solutions between different architectural buildings.
  • To address the existing gap in the constructive and compilation study of the different strapwork and plasterwork techniques.
  • To boost knowledge of the visual richness of Mudejar art.
  • To bring together a collection of artistic creations that will serve Territorio Mudéjar have its own archive.
The rich graphic work created during this stay studies geometric motifs from the church of Santa María de Tobed, the church of Saints Justa and Rufina and the church of Santa María de Maluenda, the church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in Utebo, the church of San Martín de Tours in Morata de Jiloca, the church of Santa Tecla in Cervera de la Cañada, the church of San Félix in Torralba de Ribota, the collegiate church of Santa María and the churches of San Andrés and San Benito in Calatayud, the palace of the Luna family in Daroca, and the church of Nuestra Señora del Castillo in Aniñón, and relates them to others in the province, the peninsula and the Middle East.
The results, plastic art objects in themselves, will be the subject of different exhibition projects and special editions over the coming months.
LINE OF RESEARCH: New perspectives on Mudejar art.

THE AUTHOR: Chema Agustín.