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Roberto Pérez, La finca de las piedras encantadas [The farm of the enchanted stones]

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About the Artist/Site

For over twenty years, Dr. Roberto Pérez, who works in the office of Sanidad Exterior in Almería, has created a variety of elaborate constructions on his rural property in El Fargue, on the northern outskirts of the province of Granada. Known as the Stone Farm or the Enchanted Stone Farm, Pérez has combined materials gathered from the dumps with stones and rocks collected from his land; buildings as well as bas-relief and freestanding sculptures, all created from a variety of materials – including stone, wood, recycled bricks, steel, and more – now adorn this parcel of 2300 square meters (just over a half acre). Pérez himself dug up most of the stones he has used in building or as raw material for his sculptures, working alone with pick and shovel.

Pérez initially conceived of the space – which was raw and somewhat desolate property at the time that he acquired it in 1991 – as a recreational place where family and friends could come together in a beautiful environment. Too, he believed that it would personally help him to throw off the anxieties of the city and his medical practice through cathartic physical labor and contact with natural materials.

The first construction was a small, two-story lookout tower, large enough only for a couch, a telescope, and a handful of people, which he calls El Mirador. Other works are not named, but they include other interior spaces and even a chapel. Sculptures include local and fantastic animals, secular and sacred figures and busts, and abstract or organic forms. There are also assemblages of found objects, and stained or leaded glass windows from recycled panes.

In 2012 Pérez filed for permission to legalize his constructions, but he did so after a significant amount of building had been completed, so the city planning department of the municipal offices of Granada refused his application and issued a stop work order. Since that time, further construction has been impossible, and a certain amount of deterioration of Pérez’s creations has already been noted. This has been exacerbated by four incidents of vandalism, when materials and tools were stolen and windows were smashed. In 2014, Pérez was fined almost 100,000 euros for building without a permit, and the municipal offices have demanded that all of his work be destroyed. An international petition is circulating on Change.org (see link here), and Pérez is trying to make the government understand that his structures are not meant as living quarters, one of the major issues they have raised.

~Jo Farb Hernández



Map and site information

Not Exact Address
Granada, Andalucía, Spain
Latitude/Longitude: 37.203512 / -3.568616

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