Luzinterruptus: shedding light on urban decadence
An anonymous group from Madrid shines light, in the literal sense, on the darkest examples of environmental degradation.
The goal of Luzinterruptus is to force a debate about public spaces, using light as their principle tool and the European night as their canvas. Luzinterruptus originally formed in Madrid in 2008 to make more visible the problems of pollution and urban decadence that are often overlooked by the government and citizens alike.
Plastic Trash Museum is the title of one of Luzinterruptus’ most famous installations, in which they put together a small illuminated hill of plastic bags in front of the Gewerbemuseum Winthertur Museum in Switzerland. As part of an exhibition called Oh, Plastisack!, the artists invited museum visitors to exchange plastic bags for tickets to the museum. The intentional irony of the project was that the installation was temporary, whereas the bags will be trash practically forever.
A few of the group’s earlier installations had a more irreverent feel to them. Things Which Would Be Better if They Were Clean, for example, consisted of hanging 100 items of perfectly clean and white clothing on an old telephone building in Plaza de España in Madrid, in order to emphasize the crumbling and decrepit state of the building.
The humorous images of Radioactive Control reveal an army of 100 ghostly figures with HAZMAT suits marching like zombies through a German field. The message underlined the pitfalls in the German government’s rhetoric about the uses and abuses of nuclear energy, claiming that Germany may in fact not be as altruistic as it appears.
Pool Before the Background of a Barley Field was put together in an area, known as Plaza Cebada in Spai, popular for its family picnics, where a pool was demolished in 2008 with the promise that it would soon be rebuilt. As the promise, however, was not fulfilled, Luzinterruptus took the initiative to make their own pool with 2000 plastic containers filled with blue sparkling liquid. Another installation with a similar philosophy was Umbrellas on Worker’s Beach, which consisted of 200 large cocktail umbrellas placed around another abandoned building close to a fashionable district of the city.
What is perhaps most interesting about the installations of Luzinterruptus is that they show that acts of protest can be creative and even playful without losing sight of the message.
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