Spain... is different.
A project based on Gerd Arntz work.
At the end of the 1930s, the artist and designer Gerd Arntz (1900-1988) joined the team of Otto Neurath, director of the Society and Economy Museum of Vienna, in a project that ended in 1934 with the creation of ISOTYPE, in The Hague (Holland). The project was about a graphic system in which the world could be described throughout synthetic images representing different fields ranging from industry or demography to politics or economics. Any context of the human being could be explained in an exclusively visual way. The main idea was to be able to convey, in the most understandable way, very complex information going ahead to what now a days we know as “information design”. Over time, Arntz designed around 4000 pictograms of any imaginable topic.

Almost a century later the project “Spain … is different” participates, not only in the language of Arntz, but also in its critical spirit, portraying a society resigned and submissive to the inequalities and abuses of the elites and their leaders, showing a system in which these wealthy classes are perpetuated while the differences between the first and second class citizens are magnified. All with the backing of a docile and conformist social mass that allows and supports widespread corruption and absolute politicized justice that is limited to enforcing laws dictated and executed by the same ruling classes.


“Spain is different” is not an artistic project but a scream, a need… three scenes that speak about the political class in the same way that they do of the complacent society, that conforms itself with the bad known, and that is not able to lift his head off the ground… maybe not to see the reality so closely.
01. Prologue

The famous slogan “Spain is different” was created in the 60s from the Francoist Ministry of Information and Tourism. This slogan intended to publicize a tourist destination different for our European neighbors, with sun, beaches, bulls and tambourines.

Needless to say, the negative connotations have taken over by the merits of this slogan, and is now nothing more than a joke to justify behaviors and situations that in any other civilized place would be unthinkable… Anyway, what to say!


The first composition gives name to the collection and contextualizes it. In this case, the verbal element has greater weight than in the rest of works, appearing all the elements that define it. All the elements are led –as it could not be in other way – by the Gerd Arntz pictograms in progressive layers of information that, as overlapping print tests are describing the different scenes and situations.

Like all other compositions, it is manually printed in three colors and four runs in a 1964 Korrex Hannover press on Fedrigoni Materia Materia Gesso paper, 19 ¾ x 27 ½” (50x70cm.)
02. Politics

Envelopes open the narration of the political scene, in which a television screen hides behind its protagonist and main actor. Repudiated accountants, duplicate accounting books and other papers are featured in the final scene, while behind the television; the clarifications -if any- are increasingly sultry and cowardly. Similar luck have the other congeners, always elegant wearing their costumes, their new shoes and their handbags. All this is happening under the blind eye of a justice less and less fair and more politicized. A justice more permissive with the elites who are feeding her, more constrictive with the scarce critical mass. All this is happening under a tendentious and biased narration of the media that should pale facing its own code of ethics.
03. Society

A permissive and docile social mass contemplates how their fundamental rights –in this case health– are reduced and cut, as the bankers and their banks are rescued and simultaneity the pension fund languishes leaving its future in the air (and our future!).

This society does not react either when the prominent families of the state devote themselves to what they do….. It looks away when envelopes and briefcases jump from company to company, from tax haven to tax haven, form figurehead to figurehead… A society as sick as its leading class which does not act… simply sits in front of the television hoping that the misfortunes of others will not end up being theirs as well.
All the images that appear in the project are part of the original engravings collection of the Gerd Arntz Archive of the Gemeentemuseum the Hage. The use of the original models has been possible thanks to the generosity and collaboration of the Fundation Gerd Arntz Estate. To all of them, my gratitude.
This is a limited edition of about 50 prints that are sealed, numbered and signed by the author. They are available as individual prints or as a collection in BunkerType's shop.

All the prints are letterpress printed in four runs and three inks in a Korrex Hannover of 1964, on Materica Gesso Fedrigoni’s paper.

Size: 19 ¾ x 27 ½” (50x70cm.)
*All compositions fit in IKEA frames. We strongly recommend Strömby model in black.
Spain... is different.
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27,775
58
Published:

Spain... is different.

1,683
27,775
58
Published: