Last week, in the Nervión river running through the Spanish city of Bilbao, a frightening monument of a little girl drowning had stirred alarms. The Drowning Girl Statue, which has been dubbed as ‘Bihar’ (‘Tomorrow’ in Basque), was designed by Mexican hyperrealist artist Ruben Orozco for a campaign by the BBK Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Spanish lender Kutxabank, to promote discourse about sustainability.
According to the artist, the objective is for people to be aware that “their actions may sink us or keep us aloft.”
The 120 kilogram (264 lb) fibreglass figure is submerged and uncovered each day as the tides rise and fall, which BBK claimed was a representation of what may happen if we continue to gamble on unsustainable models such as those that contribute to climate change.
Residents of Bilbao were awoken last Thursday by the installation, which had been transported by boat and placed into the river in the city center in the middle of night.
“At first it gave me a feeling of stress, when more of the face was out of the water, but now, to me, she communicates sadness, a lot of sadness,” A few onlookers commented.
What did you think of this stunt? Do you think the Drowning Girl Statue by Ruben Orozco will be able to create the kind of awareness BBK foundation was looking for? Or do you think such stunts are seen as just stunts? Will people remember the installation as ‘The Drowning Girl’, ‘BBK’s The Drowning Girl’, or perhaps ‘Ruben Orozco’s The Drowning Girl’? Don’t forget to share your thoughts in comments below.
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