[artinfo] Fake European propaganda movie hits Austria and Bologna

Franco Mattes Propaganda at 0100101110101101.org
Mon Jan 23 16:06:20 CET 2006


Fake European propaganda movie hits Austria and Bologna
Mattes' grand artwork keeps on spreading in both 
the public and the media space.

'United We Stand' is the title of the much-hyped 
spy/action movie wholly produced by Europe, a 
large-scale propagandistic stunt that has in the 
past few months stirred much controversy. Too bad 
the movie doesn't actually exist, but it is 
instead the latest insane provocation of the 
artists' couple Eva and Franco Mattes, better 
known as 0100101110101101.ORG. After Berlin, 
Brussels, Barcelona, New York and Bangalore, the 
gigantic performance has now landed in Austria 
and Bologna.

While the movie itself doesn't exist, the actors 
and the flashy poster do. They portray the 
inspired faces of the main characters surrounded 
by the blue of the European flag and by gruesome 
war scenes. The movie's Web site also exists - 
www.UnitedWeStandMovie.com - and it is 
accompanied by an extensive advertising campaign 
covering half the globe, causing extreme 
reactions in both the streets and the media.

"United We Stand" Eva Mattes explains "mimics the 
typical Hollywood action movie where the US 
always wins and saves the world. We have used 
their clichéd visual elements, but we have 
replaced their flag with the European one. The 
outcome is quite disturbing, it seems to me that 
it better communicates what we often take for 
granted, rather than stating what it truly 

In the past months, the movie's posters have 
appeared on the remains of the Berlin wall, in 
front of the European Parliament, underneath the 
Empire State Building and on the picturesque 
walls of Bangalore, India. The campaign reaches 
across small urban centers as well as the 
advertising-crowded streets of global 
metropolises. Right now, as Austria is about to 
take over the European presidency,  the 
advertising for 'United We Stand' is appearing on 
dozens of large advertising billboards along the 
Austrian roads, visible from hundreds of yards 

Still in Europe, but just further south, in 
Bologna, Italy, the flocks of movie fans that 
notoriously crowd the city have lately been 
wondering how a blockbuster movie with such big 
names as Ewan McGregor and Penelope Cruz could be 
released without them knowing it in advance. 
Different reactions were found on the McGregor's 
official fan site: "If Ewan decided to do it, I 
would definitely see it!".

"The choice of the subject" writes Flavia De 
Sanctis Mangelli on the Italian newspaper l'Unità 
during the days of the New York campaign "a 
supposed war between the United States and China, 
with Europe trying to solve the case through 
diplomacy, is soaked with subtle and ironic 
provocation. How will Europe convince the two 
super powers? How can European political culture 
stand up to the great propaganda simplifications 
of Hollywood? The work is a poignant take on the 
tremendous power that the media has in the 
formation of consensus, as well as a biting 
political satire against a very small Europe, 
that only united could succeed in having its 
voice heard".

The enormous artwork keeps on spreading, 
exploiting any existing medium, from the 
traditional news media, such as TV and the press, 
to word-of-mouth and the Internet. "United We 
Stand" writes Ben Davis on Artnet Magazine "with 
its focus on rejiggering pop cultural codes in 
social space, is a canny updating of Pop art for 
the age of viral marketing, when the mass media 
has penetrated firmly into the everyday".

Parallel to the international promotional 
campaign, the work is exhibited until January the 
21st at Postmasters Gallery, New York, and at 
Arte Fiera (January 27-30), in the Fabio Paris 
Art Gallery (Pad. 21, Stand B15).

About the authors

Eva and Franco Mattes - internationally known as 
0100101110101101.ORG - are a couple of restless 
European con-artists who use non-conventional 
communication tactics to obtain the largest 
visibility with the minimal effort. Past works 
include inventing and promoting a nonexistent 
artist; spreading a computer virus as a work of 
art; challenging and defeating Nike Corporation 
in a legal battle for a fake advertising campaign.


To contact Eva e Franco Mattes: http://0100101110101101.org/contacts.html

More info:

More information about the Artinfo mailing list