- Title: Drowning girl statue causes a stir in Spain's Bilbao
- Date: 28th September 2021
- Summary: BILBAO, SPAIN (SEPTEMBER 27, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WATER COVERING THE FIBREGLASS FIGURE "BIHAR" IN RIVER NERVION VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LOOKING AT SCULPTURE WOMAN RECORDING VIDEO OF THE SCULPTURE WITH PHONE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LOOKING AT SCULPTURE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BILBAO RESIDENT, MARIA, SAYING: "Before knowing what it meant, I thought that something had happened here to a girl, that it had something to do with a girl and that they wanted to do something in her memory. But today I learnt that it wasn't for that, but I think people can each give their own meaning to it. You could give it a meaning right now, me another. Each person has their own world." VARIOUS OF SCULPTURE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BILBAO RESIDENT, TRIANA GIL, SAYING: "At first it gave me a feeling of stress, when it had more of the face coming out of the water, but now to me it communicates sadness, a lot of sadness to be honest, mainly because she doesn't even look worried, it's as if she is letting herself drown, I don't know, a kind of suicide or something like that. That's the impression I have. It's not worry, it is sadness, as if she is on the verge of drowning but she wants to." BOAT SAILS PAST SCULPTURE
- Embargoed: 12th October 2021 11:22
- Keywords: Bihar Bilbao river statue art installation underwater statue
- Location: BILBAO, SPAIN / GUADALAJARA, MEXICO
- City: BILBAO, SPAIN / GUADALAJARA, MEXICO
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Art,Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Europe,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA002EWMXA9Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Staring impassively out from the murky waters of River Nervion in the Spanish town of Bilbao, the eerily lifelike face of a young girl drowning in the tide has been unsettling the city since she appeared unannounced last week.
Mexican hyperrealist artist Ruben Orozco created the enigmatic figure, entitled 'Bihar' ('Tomorrow' in Basque) for a campaign by the BBK Foundation - the charitable arm of Spanish lender Kutxabank - to encourage debate around sustainability.
The goal for people to be aware that "their actions can sink us or keep us afloat," the artist told Spanish news website Nius.
As the tides rise and fall, the 120 kilogram (264 lbs.) fibreglass figure is continuously sub-merged and uncovered each day, which BBK said was a reflection on what could happen "if we continue to bet on unsustainable models."
Bilbao residents awoke to the installation last Thursday (September 23) after it was taken by boat and lowered into the river near the city centre at the dead of night.
"At first it gave me a feeling of stress, when more of the face was out of the water, but now to me she communicates sadness, a lot of sadness," said visitor Triana Gil.
"She doesn't even look worried, it's if she is letting herself drown," she added.
Another onlooker, who gave her name as Maria, initially thought the sculpture was a memorial to a tragic past event.
"Today I learnt that's not what it's about but I think people can each give their own meaning to it," she said.
'Bihar' is not the first Orozco work to surprise and move Bilbao.
Two years ago his life-size statue of a lone woman sitting on a park bench, 'Invisible Soledad,' sparked a debate about the isolated lives of the elderly.
(Production: Vincent West, Silvio Castellanos)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None