Poetry Amidst Chaos: The Enigmatic Phantoms of an Inflatable Army

During World War II, there was the Ghost Army, a U.S. division. The objective was to deceive the Nazis, making them believe that the enemy was heavily armed and occupying strategic positions different from the actual ones. It was a special army unit composed of artists, military personnel, and sound engineers, and it remained a secret for 45 years after the war. 

They didn't use firearms but rather full-size inflatable tanks, fake insignias, soundscapes, fabric bridges, and false radio transmissions. This war strategy was not exclusive to the U.S. It was used by both the Allies and the Axis powers. 

Faced with Jofre's proposal to build a life-sized inflatable tank, Lucía responded by adding an inflatable army of eerie and fantastical characters. This involves two battling factions: the dark army and the pink army, represented by 3 real drag queens dressed and styled in their extravagant manner.

The dark army evidently symbolizes evil, greed, and cruelty, while the pink army conveys light, imagination, and love.

Lucia Herrero used these elements to recreate a war in the landscapes of a Portuguese village.

Through visual creation, Lucía allow herself to reconstruct the idea of war, transforming its elements until they become absurd. Criticism is served. Tragicomedy through a choreography of jesters and exaggerations. An inflatable army turned into acerbic poetry. 

What a luxury to mock war as Chaplin did with The Great Dictator. 

There is a critique of the trivialization of war and the use of toy weapons and video games to educate children. In this case, it is adults playing at war, and clearly, this action is aberrant.

We live in tumultuous times in which war takes unexpected and new forms. It increasingly resembles harmful air, a transparent yet deadly bullet. But the objective remain unchanged: usurpation of foreign resources. 

War is a power struggle rooted in the deepest of self-esteem deficiencies.

This work encompasses various branches of the arts: installation, sculpture, photography, painting, fashion, documentary, and theater. 

This series was created in June 2021 by Lucía Herrero and Jofre Oliveras during an artistic residency invited by the urban art festival WOOL, in Covila, Portugal. It was exhibited after its completion in the industrial shipyards space of NEW HAND LAB.

With the collaboration of Carolina fp (3fatigué), Marta Lofi, and the volunteers who lent their bodies.

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