In May 7, 2009 the state of São Paulo passed a law banning smoking completely from enclosed public places, including offices, malls and schools as well as bars and restaurants. This new attitude towards smoking led a casual observer to wonder what would happen to the hundreds of ashtrays that were to be rendered obsolete as soon as the new legislation took effect.
That was the origin of the project to which we were invited: to create a piece of art with the decommissioned ashtrays from a restaurant, later to be exhibited at the same establishment.
Brazil is known as a country of continental dimensions. With a demographic density of 22 inhab./Km2, there’s plenty of space here. But, as a very contradictory country, in cities like São Paulo the ratio jumps to 141 inhab./Km2. The coastline of Brazil, with its 7,491 Km adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, is also impressive, ranking as the 16th longest coastline of the world. But despite that, 70% of Brazil’s population live at least 200 Km from the seashore.
For these reasons, the beach is seen my most Brazilians, especially those living in inland metropoleis such as São Paulo, as a paradisiacal getaway, the last place where one can find clean air, health and tranquility. That is why we decided to turn the ashtrays into micro-beaches, transplanting those symbols of well-being into a context where all there used to be were ashes and toxic fumes, in a hope that this cycle of restoration can also reflect in our urban environment.
To create the mini-beaches we used, besides the ashtrays, model-making supplies such as resin and miniature figures, resulting in 1 pieces. These pieces were taken to a studio, where macro photography shots were taken. In the same studio we produced the accompanying video short, mixing pixilation, stop motion and digital animation.
Directors: Gabriel Dietrich e Marcello Righini
Head of Production: Loic Francois Marie Dubois
Assistant Producer: Theo Cardinali
Director of Photography: Nelson Aguilar
Actor: João Maurício Leonel
Sound design: Paulo Beto