Responding to our consumer society and its alienating diktat, reacting to the spread of austerity programs, questioning our undermined democracies... Artivism (artistic activism) is establishing itself more and more as a major means of resistance, denouncing the system and awakening consciences.
Drawing as much from avant-garde (dada, surrealism, situationists, etc.) as from ancient carnival traditions and counter-culture (diggers, yippies, punks, graffers, ravers, etc.), artivism reactivates irony and imagination as weapons of subversion.
The approach calls on creativity, far from withdrawal, to fight a paralysed reality and to question undermined democracies, in between dissemination and propaganda.
1. INFECTION OF CONSCIENCES: The General Idea group members, true artivism activists, conceived themselves as a virus in the media machine. By subverting the ‘society of the spectacle’ codes with irony, they created a critical, transgressive reading of it. The Museum of Modern Art in Paris recently staged a retrospective of their work. .
2. BORDELINE AGITATOR: In his last parody film The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen turns society as a whole, from East to West, into a farce.
3. PUNK PRAYER: After having improvised a punk prayer in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, entitled Punk Prayer: Mother of God Drive Putin Away, three Pussy Riot members were sentenced to two years of prison camp. This severe judgment rose awareness and crowds around the world.
EVOLUTION OF VALUES
MOCKING THE EVERYDAY LIFE
After seeking how to create ‘Beauty for all’ and how to widen access to chic, affordable and functional aesthetics, we’re now today witnessing the return of graphic design, of fun and loud messages in communication, packaging and retail. There’s a need for sprinkling humour and irony in our everyday lives, places and products, with the right amount of second degree and politically incorrect.
LETTING GO TO BE FREE
Consumers rediscover the virtues of letting go, to break free from the society’s diktat and morals of guilt, free from a dull present and a scary future. This liberating casual attitude, abandoning any complex, and not caring about other people’s judgment, makes a mockery of consumption, self-censorship and the well-thinking, ‘proper society’.
CREATIVE CONCEPTS: HOAX’ART
Attractive and slightly corrosive, humour sets the stage. Parodies of the classics shake up communication, events and daily products, to make them special.
1. Black Mustard by Mazzetti l?Originale. Combining Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and mustard, this new black-colored mustard creates an original and unusual fooding experience. 2. SinCare by Kimberley Pearson. Sin-care doesn’t care about your skin but about your lifetyle sins. Smoking, greed, etc.: there’s one serum for every sin. 3. Esslack by The Deli Garage. Edible food finish. Chrome-plate and gold-coat any food with Esslack food spray. Directed by PeclersParis.
1. Sugamo Shinkin Bank by Emmanuelle Moureaux. In Shimura, rainbow-like layers pile up in a color burst on a bank facade, which motto reads: “we take pleasure in serving happy customers.” 2. Rock It Suda by Hoon Moon in Jeong-seon. An unconventional complex of guest houses, or pensions, inspired from a rock star, unfolds like a great playground, in Jeongseon, South Korea.