Seeing a “drowning girl” in a river is enraged, troubling the locals in Spain… but is everything as it seems?
The eerie photos show a huge, pale face of a young girl rising out of the muddy waters of the Bilbao River Nervion.
The live face of a young girl drowning in the tide has been troubling people in Bilbao as it suddenly surfaced last week.
“With large and passive eyes, gray hair, moistened by the cold waters of the estuary and a whitish complexion that seems pale, emerges to excite whoever looks at it,” reports hours.
Mexican surrealist artist Rubén Orozco created the horror figure titled ‘Bihar’, which means ‘tomorrow’ in Basque.
But the locals didn’t know until he was seen trotting up and down near the Zubi Zuri bridge.
The living sculpture was carried at dawn with a tugboat that carried it from the port of Bilbao.
Then he was so submerged in a fierce move that when the tide of the river came out, he gradually came to know about him.
But this has upset residents, who have also reported feeling more ‘stressed’ as a result.
Triana Gill said: “At first it gave me a sense of tension, when the face was more out of the water, but now it communicates sadness, a lot of sadness to me.
“She doesn’t even look worried, it’s like she’s letting herself drown.”
Another onlooker, Maria, initially believed that the bizarre sculpture was a monument to a tragic past event.
“I learned today what it’s not about, but I think people can give it their meaning,” she said.
At first the girl’s face made me feel tense.
Triana Gil, Spain
Orozco explained that depicted as the head of a girl aged 10 to 12 years, it floats with the estuary’s tide to represent “the future, sunken or leftover of the next generations”.
He completed the giant head for a campaign by the BBK Foundation – the charitable arm of Spanish lender Cutaxabank – to stimulate debate around sustainability.
The goal is to make people aware that “their actions can overwhelm us or keep us afloat”, the artist told the Spanish news website Nice.
As the tide rises and falls, the 120 kg (264lb) fiberglass figure is submerged and open every day.
BBK said the artwork was a reflection of what could happen “if we continue to bet on unstable models” such as those that contribute to climate change.
Readers of Hora aren’t so sure, however, with some telling the website that it just looks like a “drowning girl.”
Another confused resident believed that the floating head may have been “a reconciliation for the thoughts of ships approaching the harbour”.
‘Bihar’ is not the first Orozco work to surprise Bilbao.
Two years ago his life-size statue of a lonely woman sitting on a park bench, ‘Invisible Soledad’, sparked a debate about the isolated lives of the elderly.
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