In 2009 Can Xalant held an annual competition to award a scholarship to produce and present a visual arts project in any format or produce and present research work on theory in the field of visual arts (exhibition, report, publication, learning material, etc.) on the city of Mataró.
The projects selected in 2009 were “Welcome to Mataró” by Raül Roncero and “Yesterday’s Shadows” by Francesc Paez and J. M. Calleja.
The “Welcome to Mataró” project provides a reflection on the state of tourism in modern society, studying this economic driving force and examining the promotional strategies used by it, especially regarding the world of souvenirs as a object of tourism and as a feature representing a specific place.
“Yesterday’s shadows” by Francesc Paez and J. M. Calleja, an experimental short feature film, shows a house full of features and symbols typical of the city of Mataró: diplomas from the world of nativity scenes and images of Mr Robafaves and family, postcards of miniature cathedrals, prayer cards, virgins, etc., fans typical of the Santes fiesta in Mataró accumulate perfectly in piles. A complete symbolic, religious and popular universe which allows our imagination to wander, which takes us back inevitably to an erstwhile time which no longer belongs to us.
The result of both projects was presented in December 2009.
The project selected in 2010 was “Decorating life from the 1960s in Mataró. History of a 10-year phenomenon in the city of Mataró” by Martí Anson.
In the early 1960s a curious phenomenon appeared in Mataró, anonymous project that created links in the social environment of the time. Architect Jordi Capell –a significant character in the development of local architecture–, was the one who began to turn the wheel helped make many houses in Mataró have furniture by Joaquim Anson. Starting from this personal relationship between both, Capell made Anson’s house and Anson furnished the house with his own designs, a simple practical system to optimize the material and lower the costs. When a friend saw the furniture he asked him to make some for him too and thus, with word of mouth a phenomenon arose that distributed the furniture all over the city.
The project aims to follow up this process over the whole city of Mataró seeking families and furniture that exists or existed, trying to compile a photograph collection of the time and new photos of the furniture. With photographs, interviews and diverse opinions he tries to create an archive to explain what happened to that phenomenon and what it meant for families in Mataró. Finally a book will be published on this phenomenon in Mataró.