In 2007, Cayetano Ferrer was invited for an art project in Daejeon, South Korea. Artists were invited to play with the different land- and cityscapes that can be found throughout Korea’s fifth-largest city with 1,500,000 people living there. What makes the city unique is the mix of futuristic architecture and historical buildings, with nature and humans peacefully co-existing.
Ferrer decided to install a “transparent” billboard. He captured the trees that were covered by a large, 30-foot billboard and then attached a print of it to the surface. However, he also removed a central piece of the photo and attached it to a smaller billboard in the vicinity, further adding to the topics of permanence and obsolescence.
The artist is no stranger to creating transparent billboards, having produced several intricate optical illusions. To do this, he typically takes a photo of the area behind the object and then applies the print onto a surface that before was covering the view. When viewed from the right perspective, the objects now look as if they are transparent.
Ferrer’s transparent billboard projects were created between 2008 and 2008 and fall into three series: City of Chicago, Daejeon City Project and Western Imports.
This billboard speaks both about the continuous change as well as the present conditions. The inkjet prints reveal things that are ultimately ambiguous, cleverly playing with the exposure of history and memory, constructing a new reality, and reconstructing and resurfacing the hidden one.
The space of the city can eventually be changed by humans.
My work ends up being the result of the question: what exactly is an illusion? Is everything we see on a screen or a printed photograph an illusion? Is culture implicated in illusion? Can language itself be an illusion?