Ohla Hotel, Barcelona – Barcelona Trip (4.1 – 4.5)

Frederic Amat,
Mur d’Ulls(2011),Hotel Ohla,Barcelona
Photography comes from Wenying Sun


This installation was what I saw in Barcelona. I was shocked when I looked up and saw many eyes while I was on the road. I kept going back, but the wall-mounted installation made me feel nowhere to escape. It made me feel that the building was biologicalized, it was like an energy feeder, constantly providing energy to these eyes. It not only makes the building artistic but also gives the building a safe atmosphere and a strong sense of surveillance.

In an interview with Westlake, I learned that a total of 1,000 ceramic eyeballs were installed on the walls of the hotel, and these eyeballs point in many different directions. It may reflect the current social monitoring issues. Artist Frederic Amat stated that it is also a part of the history of the building. It was originally a department store, then a police station, and today it was converted into a hotel. He used these eye-like needles to solve the problem of damage to the facade of the building, providing vision for the passers-by and hotel guests, and was seen as a reflection and mirror of the urban environment. Frederic Amat thinks that if we place two stains on the surface, then the space will observe us like a mask. So if the eyes appear on the building, then the building can now be seen. This is in line with the kind of monitored pressure I feel. Writer Eduardo Mendoza wrote some notes about his work. “On occasions, Romanesque artists would treat eyes as if they were features that were separate from the human face. They placed them, ever watchful, on borders, also as a decorative element or festooning angels’ wings. They imbued them with a clearly allegorical In sculpture, the entire expressive force of the human individual was concentrated in the eyes”. The decoration and meaning of the eyes are found here.

This project taught me to be similar to the artistic expression of bionics. Artists do not decorate with modern monitors as elements, but with ceramic art that is closer to human eyes. Its shape also gives more imagination, similar to the pointer used on the map, usually used to locate the position. The abstract expression gives more room for imagination, but it also powerful. This transformation project on the building surface achieved the result of both function and meaning.

Westlake, I. (2018). Frederic Amat: Muralist Extraordinaire in Barcelona. [Online] Available from: https://reinventingrid.com/2018/11/28/frederic-amat-muralist-extraordinaire-in-barcelona/ [Accessed 13th April 2019]

The video shows the process by which the installation was built and installed.

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