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Fonte do Cabo

The fountain had a very important role in the past because there was no piped water, this was the only way to obtain water, an essential asset.


The jug clay pot was also a key element in the fountain's functionality, it created the connection between people and the fountain and allowed to transport water to another place. The jug established the difference between public water and private water, because when the water was leaked into a jug, it property of the one held the jug, ceasing to be public. In a way, the jug could be seen as an object with its own identity, because it could belong, for example, to a person or a family so carried certain customs and kept the intimacy of that person or family.

Fonte do Cabo is located in the Village of Ericeira and it dates from 1457, the time of D. Afonso V. This name comes from it ́s geographic location, which makes reference to a maritime cape. The fountain was near to the south bank of a river named Rio dos Fundos, which today no longer exists, and as the land on the south bank is steeper than the land on the north bank, the access to the fountain was difficult. Furthermore it was far from the center of Ericeira, which was around the Chapel of Nossa Sra. Da Boa Viajem, where the north of the village is located today.

For many centuries the only few fountains that had place in Ericeira were Fonte da Lua on Praia dos Pescadores´s ramp, and fonte do Cabo. They were very important until the 20th century because there was no piped water. This need that people had on going there to get water and to wash their clothes made it a social center where people were sympathetic with each other and where problems and ideas were shared.

Usually say:

“Whoever this water touches in Ericeira will forever stay”.

This installation at Fonte do Cabo, focuses on the concept of memory space. It intends to make the community aware of the importance of these structures from other eras that carry historical and cultural grandeur.

The streets are fascinating places, they are full of little pieces of great stories. We can think that at the point where we find ourselves at this precise moment that was once trodden by other human beings and we can ask ourselves what situations could have happened in the exact place where we are now.​

The past structures that cohabit with us oscillate between ruin and kitsch. If, on the one hand, they are decomposing matter, on the other, they are war resisters in a vegetable state mixed with the mundane materialism of everyday life. In our daily lives we see the street as a whole and the buildings as a block of walls all on the same level, we don't distinguish a 2th century wall from a 20th century one, but limit ourselves to see if it is new or old. This drastic distortion of reality is worrying.

This mentality, which for the energy saving ignores history makes us format ourselves to think only on the obvious and primary, makes us think that if we want to learn about another time we have to go to a history museum or a tourist castle and we forget that the streets are an open-air museum, you just need to not only see them but also to observe them.

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