The daily observation of the representations on the walls
Ingrid Riera commuted every day by bicycle from Girona, where she lives, to Salt, where she works. During this daily route, I observed a wide variety of graffiti-like representations on the walls. These seemingly innocent drawings caused Riera a certain uneasiness and discomfort, even a feeling of discomfort, although at the time he didn’t exactly understand why. This everyday situation, which she considered a simple anecdote, gave rise to a proposal addressed to Maria Soler, with whom she had co-founded the artistic collective La Noia del Monyo, to catalog all these types of graffiti, although initially moment, Riera admits that this project made them hesitate. “In the beginning, we didn’t know what the objective of documenting this type of graffiti could be,” says Riera.
Public spaces and the Public(l)ic Spaces project
During 2020, while doing a residency at the Volta, they started encouraging people to take photographs of graffiti representing sexuality or gender and share them along with their location. In a short time they received more than two hundred photographs, most of which were of a phallic nature. Faced with this flood of photographs, they decided to limit the reception in order to focus on more theoretical research. In addition, they obtained the support of a grant in the fields of visual arts from the Generalitat de Catalunya to deepen this research, creation and artistic mediation that arose from the idea of selective blindness.
La Porca and data collection
Limiting their study to the city of Girona, they used an action called La Porca to collect data. Through this participatory action, they encouraged people to answer questions anonymously, indicating only their gender and age. The results revealed shocking data, such as that 90% of the women surveyed claimed to have felt abused at some point in their lives.
Taking advantage of the origin of their research project in graffiti, the members of La Noia del Monyo decided to carry out several interventions within the framework of contextual art. Incorporating collaborations with local artists, they directly modified graffiti and carried out other actions related to this project in public space.
Experience and publication in Quebec
Thanks to the Bòlit Residencia Girona Creativa program, they were able to transfer their methodology from the Espais púb(l)ics project to Quebec City. The actions carried out within the framework of this project are collected in a publication, together with all the materials generated in Girona, with the aim of developing the methodology in various territories and creating a collection of publications that allow contrasting views and cultures various in relation to sexuality, gender and its representation in the public space.
In short, the search for graffiti, collaboration with local entities and the development of actions in public space constitute the essential axes of this project.
Conclusions and reflections
With this research, the lack of adequate sexual education in the city of Girona has been highlighted. Despite progress, there is still a long way to go in this area.
Therefore, La Noia del Monyo has directed its efforts mainly towards teachers, considering it to be a key area for the improvement of sex education. In addition, they have emphasized the way girls refer to themselves in many high schools, using the masculine to describe themselves.