Spa Profundo, La Cuarta Piel

12 June, 2022

On 12 June 2022 we hosted the collective performance Spa Profundo by La Cuarta Piel, as part of the festival Domingo de La Casa Encedida.

Spa Profundo (Deep Spa) is a pleasurable encounter in an exceptional landscape. The surplus material from the extraction of marble is relocated to create a new relationship between body and landscape. How are we transformed if we immerse ourselves in mud? What do we do with millions of tonnes of this material?

We are getting closer and closer to the Earth’s core. The extractive industry squeezes every last drop of profit out of resources, irreversibly eroding the landscape in a process of slow violence. Productive landscapes that sustain our reality yet remain invisible, outside our daily life.

In the valley of the River Vinalopó, south of Valencia, more than a million tonnes of marble are extracted every year for export to countries in Asia, America and Africa. In this process, vast quantities of blocks of marble are cut with a diamond-disc radial saw that pulverises the stone. The mud—marble dust mixed with the water injected to cool the saws—is left behind, like a new material emerging from the subsoil, a slimy stratum of decomposed particles that sullies everything.

Spa Profundo transfers this operative landscape to the city centre, a pool of mud designed to create an evening of social and bodily interaction while exploring the viscous dimension of the extractive industry. The bodies become blurred in the residue, and in the territory. The toxicity and stink form part of a collective hedonism that offers new material vibrations, odours, sensations and textures that allow us to enjoy the experience of plunging through the residue. A protocol of contamination and decontamination that enables us to feel the subsoil through our skin.

Can we fuse our bodies with the territory? Will we go on holiday to toxic beaches?

La Cuarta Piel is a community of practices that mediates landscapes, knowledge, species and territories. Its designs construct hedonistic situations that translate the processes that sustain human life in cities. The aim is to use pleasure to construct a new sensitivity to familiar ecosystems, reflecting on the ecological relationships of these complex processes to assimilate them with the human scale. Spa Profundo is a project by La Cuarta Piel coordinated by Iñigo Barrón García, Mon Cano and Inés Miño Izquierdo.


12 June 2022


La Cuarta Piel



Festival Domingo


La Casa Encendida



Lukasz Michalak, courtesy of La Casa Encendida