«In general terms, his idea was to destroy the forests and replace them with cars. It was not a conscious and thoughtful project; it was much worse. They had no idea where they were going, but they continued like nothing - after them, the flood (or rather, the acid rains). For the first time in the history of Planet Earth, humans from all countries had the same goal: earn enough money to be able to look like an advertisement. The rest was secondary, they would not be here to suffer the consequences.» (Frédéric Beigbeder, "99 francs", 2000)
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This is what the user Walter García states on the website of the sublime supralinfen.ml: «I had never experienced pollution in this way before. I thought that was something for others, now I feel a more active part of the city.» This fantastic product is put at your fingertips to make you happy with the day-to-day shit. And the truth is that I already notice its undeniable benefits: fatigue, headaches and alterations of coordination. Even the climate around me is changing, isn't it wonderful?
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Supralinfen encloses in a small piece of resin the miserable trick/falsehood/emptiness/fibber in which advertising transformed with the appearance of brands. If it's necessary to define it in some way (although not being definable is part of its character), it would be "souvenir", or as its slogan sings, «the definitive keepsake of your city». Playing with the pop icon of the classic pine air freshener invented in 1952 by Julius Sämann, the Valladolid artists Gaspar Francés, Ana Nan and Trillo conceive an advertising campaign that is, with all its pieces, a work of art: creation of a marketing campaign, with its logo, its billboard and its website; performance as a commercial presentation of the product; intervention of Javier Gutiérrez from "Ecologistas en Acción"; and, finally, the distribution of a limited edition of 50 Supralinfens to those attending the event.
The action of this work began long before the placement of its billboard when the three artists morphed as power rangers of pollution and walked the streets in search of their desired benzene, xylene and toluene. From the purest and genuine dust of Valladolid are precisely made the adorable black spots of our pine air freshener. And since ideas also look like particles in suspension, I ended up finding (thanks to Noa González) a Dutch designer who has approached very differently the same idea.
Concerned about improving daily life in the urban environment, Daan Roosegaarde is the creator of Smog Free Tower, a seven meters high artifact that acts as a vacuum cleaner of atmospheric mass, filtering and accumulating the smog in membranes, next compressing it to create beautiful souvenirs in the form of rings. This jewelry "fallen from the sky" not only works as a satellite of the project, but it also helps to finance it. «By sharing the smog free ring you donate a 1000 m3 of clean air to the city.» The interesting aspect of this coincidence is the different approaches to the same problem in such common ways: in the case of our artists, the creation of an ironic, acid and humorous but at the same time aesthetic object that also addresses all the hypocrisy of advertising; in the case of the designer, an almost futuristic signature to combat the dystopia in which we could be transforming.
The Ocho por Tres cycle closes with its most combative intervention, although the twelve of them have been one way or another political. Gaspar, Ana and Trillo committed to directly bring up a local issue that actually affects so many countries in the world. In the era of globalization it seems that everything goes in a chain: system of consumption, exploitation of nature, fashions, pollution. Nor is it an isolated work of this team of artists. Ana Nan and Trillo, both graphic designers, put again into question the relationship of the metropolis and nature in their intervention on the ground of the busy street Teresa Gil in Valladolid. "El rapto de proserpina" (The abduction of Proserpina) keeps reminding us with its cobbles made of encapsulated plants that, «though men in their hundreds of thousands had tried their hardest to disfigure that little corner of the earth where they had crowded themselves together, paving the ground with stones so that nothing could grow, weeding out every blade of vegetation, filling the air with the fumes of coal and gas, cutting down trees and driving away every beast and every bird - spring, however, was still spring, even in the town.» (Lev Tolstói, "Resurrection", 1899)
Gaspar Francés, graduated in Fine Arts, has also a persistent personal iconography in which the question of the reappropriation of the public space is very present. The attempt to recover a savagery buried by the grounds of civilization is reflected in the romantic dinosaurs that one can find, for example, in the San Pedro Regalado neighborhood of Valladolid. In the midst of the 15M movement, Gaspar ventured to throw into the flames of San Juan some mockups of buildings that represented the entire ruling system, a symbolic attempt to recover not only the city, but all its principles. Destruction as a first step for regeneration or protest as a way to make the city habitable again. «What for others is a ruin, for me it is a garden.»