Let's hear it for the little guy

Isaac Cordal's tiny cement figures make a big comment on modern society
Share
One of Isaac Cordal's cement figures stands alone
One of Isaac Cordal's cement figures stands alone

Like characters from George Orwell's 1984, grey men march in line through the door of an industrial building. The cement figures, part of a work called Cement Eclipses by Spanish artist Isaac Cordal, are designed to draw attention to the anonimity of city life and humankind's devalued relationship with nature.

Isaac Cordal, Concrete EclipsesIsaac Cordal, Cement Eclipses

Cordal began making the sculptures in 2002 while at art school in Pontevedra, Spain. The sculptures, which started off large and therefore difficult to move, have gradually become smaller in scale (some around 15 cms) allowing him to place them on the city streets easily. He recently left more than a hundred in East London, many of them on the tops of bus stop canopies so that passengers on the top decks could spot them. The figures can also be seen 'floating' in a leafy puddle in Barcelona and struggling to free themselves from rubble in Berlin. One solitary briefcase-carrying worker stands waiting to be found in Milan. Cordal calls them his "magical gifts to the public".

Isaac Cordal, Concrete Eclipses, BerlinIsaac Cordal, Cement Eclipses, Berlin

"Their survival on the street depends on many factors," Cordal says. "Their main predators are cleaning services, weekend thieves (they become an alcoholic's Olympic Games), or curious people who think that street art is only for them." Cordal says the figures are a reaction to a bleak social system. "These pieces reflect our own decline. We live immersed in the collapse of a system that needs change."  

Isaac Cordal, Concrete Eclipses, BrightonIsaac Cordal, Cement Eclipses, Brighton

"Cement Eclipses is a critique of our behaviour as a social mass. It refers to this collective inertia that leads us to think that our small actions cannot change anything. But I believe that every small act can contribute to a big change. Many small changes can bring back social attitudes that manipulate the global inertia and turn it into something more positive."

Isaac Cordal, Concrete EclipsesIsaac Cordal, Cement Eclipses

You May Also Like


related article





ABOUT PHAIDON

Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
Read more