Thursday 31st March 2022 – Mike Smith
Source: original article – Álvaro Monfort (Xàbia AL DÍA)
Xàbia Council has put out to tender the contract for the creation of the Foguera Central and the Foguera Infantil that will become the centrepieces of the festivities this coming June. A historic edition (with three quintades as protagonists after the break caused by the pandemic) requires monuments to match and that is why the council has decided to increase the budget of both.
For this special edition, the initial bid is worth 50,050 euros for the Foguera Central and 7,150 euros for the Fogurera Infantil, both prices including VAT. In 2019, the last fogueres that were installed in Xàbia were initially put out for tender for 32,450 euros and 6,600 euros respectively. In that year, the artist José Sanchís Izquierdo won the contract for both after presenting an offer of 29,500 euros. For 2020, an increase in the budget was established in the case of the Foguera Central and a decrease for that of Foguera Infantil, but the fiestas could not be held due to the pandemic and the tender process was not completed.
This year’s tender bid offer specifies that interested artists may submit a proposal for one or both of the fogueres and that the required documentation must be submitted within a period of 15 days from the publication of the announcement of the tender on the Public Sector Contracting Platform; this was published last Monday 28th March 28.
Being an administrative contract, most of the selection jury would belong to the local council but only one of its members comes from the world of design. Thus, this group will be chaired by councillor Ximo Segarra (Contracts) and will include councillor Kika Mata (Fiestas), graphic designer Fernando Sala; Juan Ramón Sapena, representative of the Fogueres Commission; Carlos Bisquert from the Department of Fiestas; Vicent Buigues from the Department of Youth; Bernat Osca, secretary of the local corporation; Josefa Ribes, municipal auditor and acting as secretary, Tairé Vera, General Administration technician.
Characteristics of the two Fogueras
The regulations of the tender process maintain that creativity, balance and its harmonic composition, its proportionality with respect to the location and originality based on modeling and color will be analyzed on the proposed design. In fact, the tender does not limit the artist to sticking to the purely Alicante style (more abstract and conceptual) but also allows him to opt for the cartoonish and traditional style typical of the Fallas de València and to which the municipality has always been closer.
Regarding satire and grace, the document states that the Xàbia Council will be in charge of preparing the critical themes that should be reflected in the accompanying scenes and will transfer the idea of each one of them to the artist,, 40 days before the actual installation. In the case of the Foguera Infantil, the narrative of the same is in charge of the selected constructor.
The “large” foguera should be between 12 and 15 metres high and have a base of 10 x 6 metres. The ninots will be arranged in a total of six scenes and there must be a minimum of 18. In the case of the children’s foguera, it cannot exceed 3 x 3 metres and will have a minimum of 12 ninots. As for the materials for its preparation, the bases also detail the use and limits of the plastic fuel materials that it must contain, giving priority to materials that are not toxic and polluting during their burning.
The specification is demanding with regard to the Plantà (the installation) and the Cremà (the burning), especially with respect to its assembly since it is specified that it is the craftsman who must detail, through a descriptive report, how it is to be executed and the human and material means required to carry it out. In addition, “the artists will be responsible for all the damages that occur in their respective bonfires, from the “plantà” provided that these have been caused by causes attributable to them and except in cases of force majeure. If damage occurs without there being a cause attributable to its builders, Xàbia Council may contact them so that, as far as possible, they repair the damage caused. In 2019, one of the central bodies overturned due to the wind and the artist’s team quickly repaired it.
In the last two editions it has been the workshop of the artist José Sanchís Izquierdo which has provided the construction of the two fogueres. The artist knows Xàbia very well, since from the 90s until 2015 he was providing the fogueras uninterruptedly in the municipality. His record of triumphs is extensive. In the past Fallas he won the first prize in the Special Section in Dénia with the Baix La Mar commission and the second in the First Section with the Saladar commission. In Gandía he was also at the top of the Special podium with the Vilanova commission.