Austria is shocked to find a one million euro allowance for commercial advertisements for the promotion of their European chairmanship, starting Jan. 1st, is being used for ‘porn ads’. Chansellor Wolfgang Schüssel has ordered the removal of all public ads to clean up ‘his’ streets and restore safety, because he fears car accidents and very bad publicity and some other damaging PR terms.
The ads, created by 25peaces, display models wearing masks of presidents Bush and Chirac and queen Elisabeth, posing in compromising positions. One could wonder why Bush is a woman, but let’s not get into that.
This isn’t 25peaces’ first public statement. They’ve made quite a few since January 2005, questioning authority and kicking shins all over the country. Why is it they do this? And what else have they been pulling?
One of their recent actions (which ran from Sept. 1st til Oct. 25th) is the restage of an after-war situation where Vienna was divided into 4 zones (sectors). They’ve reenacted this situation and painted the original lines throughout the streets again, using actors dressed up as MPs to strengthen their message. They used the very known image of ‘Vier im Jeep’ (four in Jeep) to stage this scenario. For many people of age, it was pretty shocking to see the past come back to life. Image [source] and inlay [source]
More about this project : (in German) : DerStandard
"25PEACES comprises 25 events in public space designed to open optional discussions on peace and freedom. This reflection about the past shall contribute to the imagination of a possible future of Austria. The question has to be: What will our life be like in 50 years from now on? And not: What was it like in the past? But there is no dream without a courageous imagination." [source]
According to a Flemish news paper, another compromising ad is this one, although I can’t find any related articles or pictures on the web, what it means is unknown to me. Your guess is as good as mine and no, I don’t think it has anything to do with East European countries joining the EU, and being known for ‘cheap prostitution’. Surely there must be something else.
Update 15.13 CET : BrusselsJournal has quite a long article about the image/campaign above.
Related : Google search for 25peaces, where you can hit the translate button.