The idea of the commons is reflected in Olalla Gomez’s work: after obtaining an important art production award in her native Spain, she defaced euro coins on their national side, leaving the other one intact, inscribing instead slogans from the Occupy movement in Spain (aka 15M). ‘They do not represent us’ or ‘Violence means earning 600 euros’ were some of the 20 sentences that were inscribed in over 200 coins that, once modified, were reinserted in the system by paying bills at the bank, multinationals, vending machines, or simply, leaving them on the sidewalk. Her work infiltrated back into the invisible network of Ecumenopolis, with coins making their way beyond the borders of Madrid or Spain, all part of the financial engine. In her piece, the financial network is the commons, claiming it as a space of protest and encounters.
The project takes the concept of Damnatio Memoriae (condena al olvido) as a departure point; the practice in Ancient Rome to condemn the memory of an Enemy of the State. When the Senate officially appointed someone to Damnatio Memoriae, it triggered a procedure that involved the erasure of every single element that would provide some kind of memory of the condemned: images, monuments or inscriptions. Placing the project in today’s socio-political context, I depart from this icon-centered action to erase the images that appear on the one and two euro coins, maintaining the star studded rim that represents the Euro Zone. Afterwards, slogans from multiple social movements that I have been recording for months are engraved on the defaced coins. The insertion of the social body inside the coin claims a space for them at the core of the economic system, highlighting the fact that the only thing that represents citizenry are the citizens themselves. The project evolves around the insertion of this modified currency back in the system of circulation of capital.
A few words about ''agent'' Olalla Gómez
Olalla Gómez has studied Fine Arts in Complutense University of Madrid. In 2011 she did her Master's dergee in Art, Design and Research at the same university.
She has been selected with scholarships to participate in many workshops conducted by internationally renowned artists such as Valcárcel Medina (conceptual and plastic arts) and Antoni Muntadas (multidisciplinary installation and media artist), as well as Luis Jacob (multimedia artist and curator). She has been engaged in different workshops with Spanish collectives such as Left Hand Rotacion or Todo por la Praxis. Olalla has taken part in many exhibitions globally.
She was recently awarded the first prize of the La Rioja Young Artists Fair and has been short-listed for the Ciutat de Palma prize. She was selected for Circtuitos 2013 and got a scholarship for VEGAP in 2012. She was included in the Is this Spain? creators files, with the support of the Cervantes Institute and the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport
Visit the official website of artist http://www.olallagomez.com/