A crumbling pier, a series of flags and three young women wearing nothing but their underwear – it wasn’t quite the dynamic spectacle that Colombian artist Cecil Avendano was aiming for and in the end made for a somewhat bizarre show of patriotic protest.
The vision of artist and activist Avendano was to co-ordinate an attention-grabbing demonstration to campaign for the improvement of the deteriorating piers of Puerto Colombia on the country’s Caribbean coast – exactly one year on from the lamentable collapse of a piece of one concrete structure.
In a piece reminiscent of the work of Australian artist Spencer Tunick, who invites thousands of people to pose nude atop famous landmarks, the Colombian visionary invited ten women to pose topless, waving flags symbolic of the former Atlantic prosperity and singing the national anthem, for the “SOS International Naked Pier” live installation.
Unfortunately only three of the women turned up, a fact that Avendano attributed to a “lack of culture.”
“Next time we will invite young people who know about art, although I do appreciate the value of these three girls,” said the activist.
The women, however, were visibly uncomfortable under the gaze of the gathering crowd and the video-camera of joint-organizer and visual artist Alex Fernandez, who was committing the process to film.
And Fernandez was not the only one wishing to document the event.
“It bothers me that the policeman is taking pictures,” said model Karen Ruiz to El Heraldo.
Overall, the campaign may not have been the success that artists Avendano and Fernandez had been hoping for, but they did not allow themselves to be defeated by the day’s outcome, and are optimistic about the future of the project.
“This is only the beginning of a project that we are going to see through to the end” enthused Fernandez, explaining their aim to eventually attract, through such topless antics, the support of the international community to save the piers that they love.