irene pittatore Public Anagrams, 2016
Public Anagrams is based on the manipulation and subversion of mainstream slogans describing well-known public art and urban development paradigms and strategies, such as “smart cities” or “urban regeneration”. By mixing up letters and by turning upside-down the slogans, the artist aims at raising critical awareness about the hidden outcomes of urban development strategies.
Slogans such as “smart city” are both powerful slogans nurturing branding campaigns, and brands themselves, evoking imaginaries and visions of good and attractive cities. At first sight, the flipped letters seem to mirror the catchy slogan “smart cities”, but it is easy to notice that the letters have a different order, and hence a different message is provocatively displayed, in this case, “racist times”. Irene’s anagrams reveal, through a playful device, a word pun, the ghostly dark side of popular and optimistic urban slogans.
What if we started approaching controversial issues through playful devices?