April has been the month that "Ocho por Tres" has dedicated to "España en Blanco" ("Blank Spain"), a photographic series by the architect Noa González Cabrera who was awarded in 2014 by the Castile and Leon province council. As the jury's act proclaimed, it consists on a «photographic series that is both a portrait of times of crisis and the lack of values or contents, as well as a reflection of a speculative economy based not so much on the product as on the inflationary processes - that on the other hand, have been the triggers of the current crisis.»
It seems special to me how she has used a plastic language to deal with the concerns of her area (architecture), which perpendicularly intersect with mines regarding the use of advertising spaces. While she directly speaks about the effects of the crisis in a sort of "mental state", "Ocho por Tres" recognizes its origins in the ideas of 15M (a direct consequence of crisis?), when people wrote their impressions with a marker on Madrid underground ads. Different aspects from the same cause find an icon on the advertising spaces and, both "España en Blanco" and "Eight by Three" appear to urge a need for rethinking - either because of the emptiness or because of the excess.
Noa González states: «The series brings together a set of photographs in which you can see the billboards that once advertised housing promotions and whose information has been hidden. Several layers of paint have covered its surface, although some of them still reveal its old messages. Interestingly, all advertising surfaces have been covered in white. The attempt to hide their original purpose is in vain; their position in front of vacant lots or unfinished housing developments betrays them, noting also the cancellation of the projects they were announcing.
Why haven't these property development advertisings been recycled with new advertisings or simply been removed? On the other hand, these advertising surfaces show the relevance of advertising in the public space when their large dimensions become evident while turning to white, a presence that has become a routine and yet carries a strong visual impact on the environment. Considering their high visibility, why not to act over them? As large empty spaces (like blank canvases) they are, located in not-controlled points, it seems strange that urban artists or collectives haven’t taken them yet. Are these posters a symbol of the country's numbness?»
The past April 27th we had the chance of listening Noa's explanations by herself during a snack in La Gran, where the exhibition "sin logo" seems to evolve as "Ocho por Tres" does, collecting the documentation of each new step. Additionally to Noa's billboard documentation, it is possible to see my four new original A3 drawings whose copies to size 175 x 120 cm will soon be displayed, along with the four previous ones, in different bus stops and signboards throughout the city. More info about it coming soon!