Using the system to challenge the system

Cildo Meireles, Insertions into Ideological Circuits, 1970

Fundamental to my view of art is the idea that it can come from anywhere and be made of anything and for me a great example of that is the work made by the Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles in the early 1970s, specifically his Insertions into Ideologoical Circuits an example of which is shown here.

For this work, Meireles used the return and refill system operated at that time for soda bottles. Meireles would doctor Coca Cola bottles, adding messages that were all but invisible on the empty bottle but which appeared when the bottle was filled with the conveniently dark liquid. The bottles would them be returned into the system, refilled with coke and distributed to shops.

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