ART HACKS WAR by Natacha Merritt
The Van, now a sculpture L’Objet Petit a” being auctioned was one of the first 13 van acquired by Operation PinkBus March 11th 2022, that served in Ukraine during the evacuations in Donetsk region. Over 600 women and children were brought to safety in this van. Natacha Merritt exchanged the van for 2 more vans that were added to the PinkBus fleet. The Van, now back in France will be on auction to the highest bidder, starting Saturday June 4th 2022, with each bid we redistribute more vans. Let’s make the “Object petit a”- emblem of hope and rescue, the most expensive van ever auctioned.
This sculpture is a testament that modern art can use its power to hack society for good. It is a relic by heroes with power to puncture the membrane between us and them; an artifact of remembrance it represents all who were saved and all who were not. It will not allow us to forget that art can do grand things. This little minibus and the fleet that grew out of this auction will be the artifact that never forgets what a guerilla organization patched together by an international group of volunteers did effectively with so little.
The sculpture is a product of collaboration across the chasm of the Other. It stands tall for self ownership and control of representation, a true commentary on content capitalism and philanthropy. Natacha Merritt hacked modern social and economic structures to create not just an art piece with deep reverbrance of meaning, but one that extends into the real. As a Ukrainian object, the sculpture, all the proceeds of the auction, every bit of the preserved and capture affect, everything is theirs for immediate needs and for reconstruction and new beginnings.
L’Objet Petit A is Natacha Merritt’s answer to art’s contemporary predicament. It is a first proactive critique of content capitalism, because besides a robust commentary of war content economies, Merritt offers a wake-up call to exploit the system for good.