Eternity #8 by Lorenzo Belenguer. Courtesy the artist.
Cocaine are a new series of sculptures where the base looks like Cocaine. It has been much in the media lately. Justine Picardie popularised the term cocaine Conservatives in a very interesting interview by Charlotte Edwardes for the Evening Standard. Picardie highlighted the hypocrisy of saying no in Westminster, but yes in Notting Hill. She insists disclosure is important:
"I had very 'Sixties' parents and drugs were part of that counter-culture. [Then] it was seen as a mark of rebellion and revolution. Now it's a mark of being above the law. And I think that's quite wrong. Nobody should be above the law. If Parliament agrees that it's OK to take cocaine, then abolish the drug laws. You can't be both a law-maker and a law-breaker, [yet we] have a tranche of the Establishment that says it's fine to have coke laid out after dinner."
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, previous chairman of the Royal College of Physicians, made a valid point in rethinking how we approached widely used substances but still illegal somehow in a an article by James Kirkup for the Daily Telegraph. Society has become more and more aware, and concerned, about so many innocent men, women and children dragged and having their lives ruined, when lucky to be alive, into the traffic and its distribution. Sir Ian said that banning drugs had harmed society:
"There's a lot of evidence that the total prohibition of drugs, making them totally illicit and unavailable, has not been successful at reducing not only the health burden, but also the impact on crime," Sir Ian said. "I'm trying to take a fresh look, as many people have done. There is a strong case for a different approach. There should be a regulatory framework around illicit drugs, rather than a blanket prohibition. Evidence suggested that state regulation of drug use "doesn't increase the number of drug users".
Miss Bala (Miss Bullet), a film produced by Gael Garcia Bernal, shows how something as simple as a Beauty Contest in Mexico ends with a massacre. Many were killed for being in the wrong time, wrong place.
"Films like this terrorize me and make me want to do things to change (the situation)," said Garcia Bernal, who defended the role of the film in "speaking about the nightmare of terror (prevailing in Mexico) through a visual language."
The confrontation among criminal organizations and between these groups and the security forces has taken tens of thousands of people's lives in drug-related violence in Mexico over the past seven years according to an article by the BBC.
Eternity #9 by Lorenzo Belenguer. Courtesy the artist.
The Frieze Week is in full swing by now and before artgoers gulp down Prosecco and canapes, an other substances, as if there was no tomorrow, it might be a good idea to stop and rethink that things need to change and an honest debate is long due. Innocent victims deserve it. This is the main reason why I decided to create Cocaine. A series of small sculptures where the base is made of white cement and other materials mimicking the substance and encouraging conversations over such a thorny issue.
"I had to investigate for several years to find a bright white material that seems a different material. Consumption of cocaine has become such a common habit like having a coffee or a beer in a pub. I'm surprised, because it has very sad consequences in slums of the big cities and countries engaged in the trafficking and production. Areas where society is completely destroyed "
I sincerely hope that a visual object will put the white elephant back in the room visible to all until something is done. Pressure is mounting while death numbers are counting.
Now, you can go back to the parties and have a lovely Frieze Week.