ARC Public Art Exhibition displayed BURIBA’s billboard titled at Sleep, Mommy, Sleep and named one the most powerful artworks of the year. BURIBA’s artwork turned into a billboard on ARC Exhibition where we reflected to the tragic circumstances of pregnant women hospitalized in Hungary during Covid-19. First of all, what is ARC? Arc Billboard […]
ARC Public Art Exhibition displayed BURIBA’s billboard titled at Sleep, Mommy, Sleep and named one the most powerful artworks of the year.
BURIBA’s artwork turned into a billboard on ARC Exhibition where we reflected to the tragic circumstances of pregnant women hospitalized in Hungary during Covid-19.
First of all, what is ARC?
Arc Billboard Exhibition is the most well-known and visited public art exhibition in Budapest, Hungary. It was first organized in 2000 and since then it became the leading cultural billboard exhibition in the capital city that promotes freedom of speech, system critical thinking, creativity, and humour. The published artworks usually communicate a mind-blowing message about current social issues, political actions, philosophical questions, environment problems and human rights concerns. Most of the billboards are considered thought-provoking, provocative, and they are all created to bring justice. Many of the billboards call attention for the political actions of the Hungarian government and the opposite parties. Around 200 thousand people visit ARC Exhibition every year, and thank to the online campaigns, the offline PR and the word of mouth communication, it reaches more than 1 million people in the country.
With whom did BURIBA apply for the ARC Exhibition?
BURIBA was asked to by its client, The Association of Baby Genetics (in Hungarian: Babagenetika Egyesület) to apply for the ARC Exhibition. The founder of Babagenetika, Anna M. Sevcsik has been working closely for years with Barbara Burian, the CEO of BURIBA as they both believe in the same values including empathy, equality, and providing help whoever is in need. Barbara Burian with her team jumped into the professional challenge as they have always loved working with NGOs and standing up for social issues. As the mission of the association is to provide an emphatic approach to doctor-patient communication during pregnancy, the chosen topic was obviously connected to childbirth but we both wanted to dig deeper and unveil the hidden truth of a very up-to-date, raw and terrible social issue that was hitting Hungary during the pandemic.
What is the background of the chosen topic of the billboard?
Anna M. Sevcsik shared some tragic insights that she heard from the community members of her association and hospital workers in Hungary. We immediately knew that this is it, the public should be informed about the horrible circumstances. The visual and textual concept of the billboard must be based on this internal information.
But first, let’s put the concept into perspective. The disappointing facts are that the hospitals in Hungary are on shortage of doctors and nurses on regular days too as the medical experts tend to go to work abroad for a salary that is often multiple times more what they can expect in the Middle-Eastern European country. In time of Covid-19, the hospitals were packed with Covid patients, the institutes worked a way beyond their capacity, university students (not only medical ones) were forced by recently made laws to work in the hospitals during the pandemic. In the middle of a humanitarian catastrophe, the government forbid the press to enter the hospitals.
Visual and textual concept of BURIBA’s billboard at Arc Exhibition
Wonder why the press itself, the ultimate channel to the speech of freedom was muted. The first tragedy is that several pregnant women who were suffering from corona virus died before they could give a birth to their children. In the time of chaos, tiredness, grief and shortage of human resources, anaesthesiologists cut out of the live babies from the dead mothers as there were no obstetrician-genecologists or midwives who could have helped. On one side, we can say thanks to the anaesthesiologists who at least could save the children but on the other hand, it is unacceptable that people – live or dead – do not get the medical help, the medical experts, and the dignity in care what they deserve. The hospitals (the government) cannot provide the basic conditions for doctors and patients which serves the health, growth, and wealth of the society. Not mentioning that the surgical experiences that the anaesthesiologists have is incomparable with the obstetricians who were so much missed in these improvised C-sections. In democracy, in Europe in the 21st century it is highly worrying if the press is forbidden to see what goes on where the highest death rate of Covid is taking place.
For the visual we decided to use dramatic black background with overexposed bloody elements. The contrast of the colours symbolizes the hardship of death and the rivalry of life, the dramatic first experience of the newborn with their lifeless, moveless and pale-skinned mother. Behind the anaesthesiologist who was put in this extreme situation, you can see layered, red colours due to its multiple meanings. They emphasize the bloody surgery, and they even associate with a piece of raw meat that highlights the hurt of the human dignity and the physical body. The belly of the mother was cut without giving it to any esthetical consideration due to the lack of time and surgical routine. As the theme of ARC Exhibition was the Sign of Life this year, we coloured the umbilical cord with pink as this is the brand colour of the Association of Baby Genetics which main activity is to provide support for pregnant mothers for a responsible pregnancy and childbirth. The idea of the copy came from the well-known lullaby, Sleep, Baby, Sleep as the anaesthesiologists had the last contact with the mothers and the children. We switched the word Baby to Mommy so the headline became Sleep, Mommy, Sleep to emphasize that the mommies fell into a deep sleep, they returned to eternal rest.
If you plan to apply for the next ARC Exhibition on behalf of your NGO or corporate company, and you need a creative concept and visual execution, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.