An ode to the lingerer, hidden in an infinite realm of vineyards. A place of lost celebrations, as a lavish banquet awaits its guests.

We often pass by those well-known vineyards. We take for granted that geometrical, ever repeating landscape, so recurrent in our journeys that it almost became a silent and somehow absent companion. But there is something about this kind of homogeneous territory that will always bring it into presence. A mystery. A feeling of not being able to grasp the true depths of those narrow, seemingly endless rows. We may try catching a glimpse of them but only if we stop and stare, in some sort of a strange temporary suspension. We are describing, of course, the so-called act of ‘lingering’. Nowadays, we are not used to such an ‘activity’ as if we have forgotten such primordial habits. There is a contemporary speed and indifference to our surroundings, people no longer recognizing the mundane heritage of a fleeting life. But imagine, if you will, the most glorious feast. A feast similar to ancient ones, in which Romans – maybe even those crossing the bridge of Mantible above the Ebro river – held their celebrations. Such a lavish banquet, this time in the name of modern pilgrims, the ones passing by Vina Lanciano, can determine a place where they can eat, drink, and rest aside the primitive structure of the vineyard. The utmost expression of this lavish banquet can be found in the simple act of lying down. This ceremonious pause is set to follow a long timeline in which dining was held as one of the defining moments of Roman domestic life.

The triclinium was characterized by three lecti (singular lectus: bed or couch), called triclinares (“of the triclinium”), on three sides of a low square table, whose surfaces sloped away from the table at about I0 degrees. Set in this semi-recumbent position, one would hold up their head with his left hand while the right one picked up the morsels placed on the table, bringing them to the mouth. This reclined state aided feast goers into their festive practices to the point that they occasionally dozed off and enjoyed a quick nap between courses. Our proposal channels this atemporal, semi-conscious form of being, the lingerer, corresponding to a detached self, one that is at times lost into the vastness of the vineyard yet strangely anchored to the centering ‘drama’ of the banquet.

Such an architecture, dedicated to lingerers, lies only in those objects capable to embody both the fragility of a piece of furniture and the timelessness of a ruin. Our object, although made out of wood panels, has no auxiliary or secondary structure, relying only on the overlapping and imbrication of elements, as if they were cladding a patrimonial void, the very form of the archetypal triclinium. However, this form is loyal to its historical reference up to a point. In fact, given the 3x15m perimeter of the site, the modern pilgrim will come across a distorted artifact; an elongated iteration of it, capable of creating the largest surface for the ritualistic act of lying down yet still in the basic configuration of the three lecti. At the same time, this strange ‘exedra’ will set new rules of orientation for those passers-by, channeling their attention either towards the vineyard, either towards the olive tree and the oak tree across the road – the wild landscape in the river’s vicinity.

Moreover, it is a modular structure, a series of similar artifacts capable of reorganizing themselves in many other distorted variations of the archetype. Although the vines themselves provide a fair amount of shade, especially for those who venture into their narrow depths, we embrace the sun as the sole patron of this lavish banquet. As an act of good faith towards him, we renounce our impulsive desire to seek false-containing structures; the palatial openness of the vineyard should not be framed by erroneous coverings. Thus, a collection of identical straw hats provides the necessary comfort for the guests; a `madeleine moment` reflecting the, now lost, life on the fields; a subtle reference to the trilobed openings which, in turn, houses them; a small lingering roof resting on each head.


Author: Alt.Corp. (Cosmin O. Gălățianu+Andrei Theodor Ioniță+Cosmin Georgescu+Octavian Bîrsan+Cristian Beșliu)
Location: Logroño, Spain.
Year: 2023
Competition: Festival Concéntrico.
Prize: Mention.