John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Say hello to one of the creepiest pieces of public art in recent history.
As Spain ponders passing one of the harshest anti-abortion bills in Europe, the protest-art community is out in full effect. Topless activists from Femen have crashed a pro-life rally and people are flooding Tumblr with (rather disturbing) drawings mocking the law. Now the interventionist group Luz Interruptus has responded with this... thing.
The pending legislation, which conservative politicians advanced this February, would outlaw abortions in all instances save for rape or when the woman's health is in peril. And these qualifying conditions would have to be verified by not one, but two doctors. The anonymous folks at Interruptus felt these rules were draconian and unfair to women. So they went out and got themselves a bunch of inflatable "novelty" dolls, outfitted them with lights, taped their mouths shut, and dumped them on the doorstep of a government building.
The result is one of the creepier public interventions in recent times. As to why they chose to go the half-inflated naked-woman route, the artists write:
Thinking about how women’s rights are being trampled by politicians and legislators, we decided to take to the street to demonstrate our opposition to the law, quite clearly intended to win votes from the more radical right.
Loaded with half inflated plastic dolls into which we had placed lights and sealed their mouths, we went, one night in the month of March, to the front of the Ministry of Justice in Madrid and we placed our figures on the pavement like a carpet of female bodies ready to be trampled upon.
The action was called Rights to trample on and it took us a couple of hours to carry it out. Afterwards we picked up everything so as not to leave the vicinity of the Ministry full of plastic, and now we have a lot of dolls in our possession, and we would like to give them away to anyone who wants to adopt one. If you would like one please contact us and we will get it to you.
You heard that? Contact the group today to get your very own piece of street-art history:
Photos by Gustavo Sanabria via Luz Interruptus