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Filthy Luker & Pedro Estrellas

Art in the public space must often fight a tough battle for visual space against the many attention-grabbing elements of the urban environment. It’s not strange that many artists go all out to achieve a format that gets noticed. Big artworks in ‘common’ materials are usually limited in their dimensions by the simple matter of weight. It’s not surprising then that a number of works in OpenART’s history have been inflatable sculptures. In 2011, a huge bright red inflatable submarine rested between the walls of two buildings at Köpmangatan/Våghustorget and during the last biennial in 2017, viruses and micro-organisms occupied the façade of the city’s town hall.

This year, it is Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas who have very clearly taken over Örebro Castle. Or one side of it anyway. On the other side, the Vasa fortress is besieged by Anders Sunnas’ Sami occupants. The bright green monster whose octopus-like tentacles coil and wriggle out of windows is quite noticeable indeed, and creates an almost cinematic atmosphere: Mars Attacks, or rather, Art Attacks! It’s hard not to smile at the jumps of alarm caused by this whimsical intervention of the unknown into this historical scene that forms the backdrop of our everyday lives here in Örebro.

The world of film is full of horror stories about monsters attacking humankind in different ways. We’ve all seen them in one of the countless film variants that have been produced since the art of cinematography was born. Just like with the current zombie fascination, all monster stories work as a sort of therapeutic cleansing against fear. In a somewhat darker interpretation, these tales can also be seen as preparation for the dangers that stick us in the soul now and then when the media roars about climate threats, nuclear disasters, hurricanes and rampant epidemics.

Or could it be that these stories are used by those in power to prey on our fears as justification for keeping us under surveillance?  The second work by this artist duo at OpenART provides a clear reminder of this, in a way that is simultaneously serious and humorous.

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