ART, art thou responsible?

  Social Awareness Art speak volumes. However, art that takes on fragile societal topics can be tricky to navigate: if you’re too controversial you could lose part of your audience who disagrees or feels targeted by your work’s shock value. On the other hand, if you’re too timid, the message is lost.

I believe Anna Utopia Giordano hit the bullseye with her collection Pop Bottles. In her show, bottles with obviously alcoholic shapes, logos and names are converted into baby bottles with rubber nipples. Parts of the branding identity are also changed so  that “Grey Goose” is replaced by “Hello Kitty” and “Jack Daniels” by “Fisher Price”. The simple. but powerful statement, “Parents, please, feed your kids responsibly.” accompanies the bottles.

While the initial response to these visuals may be “wow! I want one!”, when understanding the artists’ plea to parents and her desire to raise awareness about alcohol of abuse among teens, by pregnant women, and how far marketers go to attract the attention of young viewers, it’s clear to see that her unwillingness to sell (“The author says: the bottles are NOT for sale, they are part of an art exhibition.“) is rooted in her deep belief that art can not only raise awareness but encourage viewers to take action.

So if after viewing her collection you’re so inclined to pop a bottle out of the hand of a youngster near you, check this chart first, because in much of the world, teenage drinking is legal at 16, or from birth, if you’re in Vietnam, Jamaica or Togo! For more information on abuse, visit www.niaaa.nih.gov/

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Special thanks to the lovely Bizhou Wang for posting this to her gchat status.

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