The Memory Cubes

Cube by cube in the port of Llanes

913 lo guardaron
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Since this work was inaugurated by the end of 2001, the memory cubes have become one of the most famous points to visit in the village of Llanes. Never indifferent because of their passionate colours, they are often visited by many people coming from different places. These cubes also colour the horizon of the capital of the council of Llanes.

Also here is the controversial figure of the artist, the Basque Ibarrola which however became famous for its own merits.


Placed by the sea, the cubes take life where the sea is beating, surrounded by a small port in the middle of one of the most beautiful villages of this area, Llanes.

The breakwater of the port has changed its name thanks to the creation of the Memory Cubes. Art here has changed its grey appearance because of the cubes made of concrete that represent the contrast between the past and the present of the popular culture of Llanes, including traces of its own nature and also ancient signs of its long lifestyle.

The vivid colours of the cubes are the reason for their international success. Many other cultural artists coming from different countries have shown their interest for this work. For this reason, Llanes is a pioneer of many different cultural exchanges with other important places. In that way, the Memory Cubes have reached the goal for what they were made : to be one of the most important meeting points incorporating contemporary European art and standing full of splendor.

This strong wall shows its content in three different dimensions with three possible readings:

The Memory of Art, shown in the prehistoric dots that appear all around in this avant-garde work.

The Memory of the artist, shown in the finish of the work , in which the artist looks for the perfection of the shapes and colours chosen.

The Memory of the territory, refering to the cultural memory of this beautiful village. It also refers to the rural and urban side of the village, the influence of the sea, seagulls seamen and also the mountains.

The routes of the memory is the name of a cultural guide given by the town council, in order, to spread the importance of this cubist wall designed by Ibarrola. Through the territory the influence of the landscape, the history, the culture, the customs, the religious beliefs and also the mythology of this land is explained.

In order to appreciate this natural museum in the middle of the port, one can view it from many points, a favourite is the point located in the old shop where the fishermen bought their nets, next to the lighthouse. Other places from where one can enjoy this art work are Puertu chicu, Punta of Toró, Ballota. All of them joined by a coastal path.

In November of 2003 the second phase of this art work was finished, waiting only for a final third phase that Agustín Ibarrola would begin around the middle of the year 2004.

The second part of this three dimensional art work, was carried out using 66 cubes, each weighing 60 tons located in the North of the port. These are visible from the sea, as well as, from the coastal path constructed especially for this.

The patrimony of the Memory of Art shows geometric and abstract figures. It is an important work whose main aim is to reach an avant-garde dimension. It is itself a representation of a representation. The colours and the content make this work a great success despite the fact it is still waiting for completion.

Texto: © Ramón Molleda para desdeasturias.com