The El Martillo Project
Eclectic Electric Collective
In 2010 an inconspicuous looking suitcase was sent from Berlin to Mexico City containing a 39-foot tall inflatable silver hammer. Thus began El Martillo’s odyssey to protest the United Nations Climate Conference in Cancún. El Martillo’s short, but glorious life, climaxed when protesters from Marea Creciente (Rising Tide) stormed the conference complex fences, gigantic hammer above their heads. In full view of the press Mexican police tore the inflatable to pieces. Within an hour global the media corporations declared El Martillo a symbol of the climate changes protests as its image traveled across the world.
The El Martillo Project documents the whole process from its conception and construction to the media flurry it sparked off. Included are numerous full color images and documentation of the project; texts and analysis by David Graeber, Alex Dunst, and Cristian Guerrero; an interview with John Jordan from the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination; and a fold out technical manual and plan for creating giant inflatable hammers.
Initially inspired by the quote “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it,” The El Martillo Project aims to inspire creative action and joyful disobedience.
You can also download it here: El Martillo.
64 pages, A4 trim; full color, with foldout poster insert
UK: £13 / US: $18
Release date February 10, 2012
“In the world of contemporary art people often publish beautiful critical documentation of projects that are neither very beautiful nor critical. These glossy catalogues give surface value to projects that are often vacuous and obtuse. Nothing could be more different with The hammer – the project itself beautifully merged the aesthetic and the activist, the world of art and that of social movements, whilst being a critique of old forms of protest and a celebration of collective creativity. The catalogue amplifies this fantastic project and tells the story of this courageous experiment in art activism via texts, press cuttings and images that inspire us and remind us of the power of beauty when it is thrown into the streets.” – John Jordan, Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination