Methane for All is a specific artwork, created within a particular context: MACBA commissioned several contemporary artists to diagnose Barcelona in the present day and to identify the city's innovation hubs. The project was an initiative of the MACBA Independent Studies Programme (PEI), entitled Metropolitan Images of the New Barcelona, which was part of the exhibition Universal Archive. The Condition of the Document and Modern Photographic Utopia (MACBA, 2008).
Sekula (Erie, Pennsylvania, 1951 - Los Angeles, Estados Unidos, 2013) documents the arrival of LNG carriers such as the Sestao Knutsen, which was built at the shipyards in Bilbao, and Mos, from the gas deposits at Qatar, Lybia and Argelia. These tankers, which can only be photographed from the bow, the bridge and the stern – because the simple click of a mechanical shutter could produce a spark of static electricity and provoke an accident – dock in at Barcelona, the city's historic port. The artist also documents several scenes at the flammables terminal, including the construction of a new storage tank and the period of maximum alert when the police uncovered a plot to place a bomb in the city's tube system. From this terminal, the gas is channelled towards the north of the city via underwater pipes, eventually reaching the power station at Besós owned by Gas Natural.
Sekula photographed the Gas Natural tower – the headquarters of the energy company –, and some of the surrounding historic buildings that are also linked to energy transformation. But his work always emphasises the human element, and how work shapes ways of life.
Gold does not take on any dirt. And gold, just are diamonds, is an exalted material. It possesses such a degree of abstraction that it encounters you –if you use it artistically– on an already exalted level.