Décret n.º 1. POURQ/UOIDONC/Des Poè/Tes ent/Emps de/Misère//UNDWO/ZUDICHTER/Indurf/Tiger Zeit? (Decret No. 1. Why Poets in Times of Hardship?)

  • Date: 
  • Material: 
    Galvanized steel and industrial paint
  • Technique: 
  • Descriptive technique: 
    An installation made up of 22 pieces of urban signage intervened with visual poems
  • Dimensions: 
    300 x 100 x 17 cm
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 
  • Sculpture donated by "Sociedad Estatal para la Exposición Universal Sevilla 92", especially created for the event by the author
  • On display in:
    Nouvel Patio

Decreto n.º 1 (Decree No. 1) was originally conceived for Seville’s Expo'92. The artist’s idea was to look at how the urban landscape had become standardised through signage, along the usual lines of his work, consisting of breaking down society’s messages and icons. Rogelio López Cuenca designed a set of 24 signs to be put up inside the exhibition venue. They were identical to institutional information signage in format, lettering and colours, but had very different texts and icons, loaded with irony and confusion. Where official signs informed, López Cuenca’s signs disinformed, presenting a mixture of languages and a deliberate disassociation from the surroundings. The title of the piece comes from the text Decreto número 1 sobre la democratización de las artes (Decree No. 1 on the Democratisation of the Arts), published in the Moscow Futurists’ Futurist Gazette in 1918, promoting the idea of the dissolution of artistic activity in everyday life. Decreto n.º 1 was supposed to be put up throughout the venue on Seville’s Isla de la Cartuja during the Universal Exhibition; however, on the day before the opening the pieces were taken away and put into storage, an act that nullified the discourse of institutional criticism, alteration of language and appropriation of public space that they set out to present.

Carmen Fernández Aparicio

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