Electri city

Whoever has ever a house built will know how ingenious the masters can be when it comes to bricolage. And the ancient craftsman’s sentence “this is how it reached it” will always be an apology for everything.

However, the electricians of Palma de Mallorca could give one lesson or two to any Hungarian master. This superlative of the trade can be pursued only in a Catholic country where there are enough saints for every wire. These pictures will make you understand without any further etymological expatiation the tight relationship between ingenio, genius and ingeniería, engineering.

Miserere nobis


À la recherche du temps perdu




Gran reserva

Hanging garden

Electric mailbox

Noli me tangere

Water-gas-electricity, or the four elements


2 comentarios:

Megkoronáz A.J.P. dijo...

Every picture tells a story. The wires must be very useful for birds to sit on.

What's the significance of the text, placed diagonally in the "Miserere nobis" tilework, being backwards?

Studiolum dijo...

Sharp eyes as always, picking out what is essential. This scene represents an important local legend, also depicted in some other places: I want to write about it later. That curious text goes backwards because it is told by Christ to the priest at His right, while a correct left-to-right way of the script would mark the priest as a speaker. Christ tells him, in a somewhat archaic/dialectal (or perhaps even erroneous) Spanish: “Mira lo que me costa assollo”, that is, “look what it costs to me, absolve him”. This is the abbreviated form of His saying in the original legend, where the priest did not want to absolve a malefactor: “Absolló, absolló, mira lo que me cuesta una ánima!” “Absolve him, absolve him, look how much a soul costs to me”.

I have seen no birds on all these wires, the most probable reason being that they are packed full with saints protecting the inhabitants from the consequences of the electricians’ happy caprices. Another, much duller explanation is that the common street bird of Palma is seagull rather than dove, and it sits rather on peaks, rooftops and statues’ heads than on the wires (the seagull/dove dichotomy thus appearing to be the avian equivalent of the goat/sheep one).