Contract, SARA RAMO
In the second of a series of blogposts titled “If paintings could talk”, we present the newly acquired Contract. The work of Sara Ramo plays with the reality of everyday life, using materials which are familiar to us, but adding a critical, playful and experimental approach to the objects she creates. She works directly with elements taken from our daily lives and turns them into strange and unfamiliar objects. Changing the natural order of things is more than a purely formal exercise for the artist; it is a way of creating new meanings.
Sara Ramo is heir to a cultural tradition that has challenged the merely utilitarian and scientific conception of the modern world. She incorporates elements of mysticism, mythology and magic to raise the issue of people’s relationship with objects, defined solely by their use. By shattering this paradigm, new narrative possibilities emerge. As the artist herself has pointed out: “I work with ordinary, everyday objects that everyone is familiar with. I use these objects to create poetic meaning”.
Her work of art titled Contract (2016) fully represents this way of understanding the practice of art. It is a collage made from newspaper cuttings taken from issues of the Financial Times, considered to be the world’s leading business daily. Contract was conceived in the context of the 2007 economic crisis, which led to the collapse of the global economy and resulted in a large part of society questioning the reasons that had triggered it. Millions of people worldwide were trapped by their obligations under contracts involving banking products about which they had not been sufficiently informed. The unintelligible and obscure financial jargon used in newspapers and documentaries specialising in economic matters only served to generate more confusion and hopelessness among those affected by the crisis.
The pile of paper cuttings, clearly illegible for the spectator, symbolises the unintelligible nature of these financial contracts for affected parties. Like a mask that hides the identity of the person wearing it, the contract becomes an instrument which has terrible effects on those involved, thus revealing its true power.
Collage (newspaper on cardboard) 113.2 x 83.3 x 14 cm
Acquired in 2017
Having and understanding all the necessary information about a banking product before buying it is of utmost importance. For example, the new real estate credit legislation requires lenders to provide customers with certain personalised documents containing pre-contractual information, at least ten calendar days before the mortgage is signed. In addition, under the new law, the borrower must have attended a notary’s office at least one day before the loan is signed, to receive individual advice, free of charge, on the main clauses of the contract and to answer questions on the information she/he has received about the transaction.