The Pigs by Carlos Spottorno
PIGS is a term coined by the business and financial press as a way to refer to Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain during their current financial plight.
Excessively high levels of public and private debt, government deficits, a property bubble and, generally speaking, very disappointing political and economic policies, have put the PIGS in the crosshairs. It is alleged that the PIGS won’t be able to bear the pressure of sharing a common currency with their stronger European brethren. In this analysis, the forced exit of at least some of the PIGS from the Euro would lead soon to the demise of the European currency.
Yet, how much truth is there to this? To what extent are the wealthy member countries of the Eurozone really fed up with paying for the Southern countries? Is the UK secretly celebrating the stumbling blocks the Euro experiment is facing? Has Europe’s historical decline reached a point of no return from which it won’t be able to recover? Or is this just an attack by speculators to get rid of the EU as a competitor in the international financial markets? Have the PIGS really been deluding themselves into enjoying a level of prosperity that doesn’t match their social and financial reality?
The PIGS are all old, cynical and individualistic countries. The sense of community, so deeply rooted in Northern European countries, is very weak in the PIGS, carrying as they do upon their backs the weight of centuries of a highly hierarchical social structure, and being accustomed to both authoritarian and corrupt governments. People have turned their backs on the political class, from which they don’t expect much, if at all, and seek to improve their wellbeing exclusively from a personal standpoint; an attitude that constitutes both an evolutionary advantage for survival, and a factor hindering social progress. Meanwhile, the family as a social institution has maintained its authority, serving both as a refuge and as a prison.
I have attempted to illustrate the stereotypes brought up by the term PIGS. In other words, what we would see if we were to translate into images the articles we read in the financial press. This is how I imagine economists see us. The result is a collection of clichés, both true and incomplete. The same way a travel guide carefully avoids anything seemingly unattractive, this book shows much of what we find embarrassing, oftentimes rightly, and at times unfairly. Either way, it’s just an artifice with which to highlight a specific aspect of life in the PIGS. In the end, what stands out the most is the glaring absence in these images of all that is positive, beautiful and promising in our countries – and that still endures.
Tuesday – Friday: 2PM – 6PM
Saturday – Sunday: 10AM – 6PM
Finissage with the artist:
Friday October 24 at 6PM
Date / Time
10/14/2014 - 10/26/2014