Pirulís. Columns of free expressions

A graphic intervention designed by David Torrents that invites its audience to reflect on the relevance of posters in the street, in the current context predominantly ruled by digital communication. In Barcelona, posters are stuck to advertising columns, colloquially known as “pirulís” [lollipops], and are part of the urban furniture that is also found in most European capitals. But in our city, the “pirulís” have a little-known trait: advertising columns in Barcelona are public property. In fact, many local residents are unaware that they are officially known as “columns of free expression”. They don’t belong to a private company, so you don’t need to request a license of any kind in order to use them.

We walk along the street, we look around and might happen to see some posters badly stuck to colorful advertising columns with images of smiles reflecting false modesty, looking at us, unmoving. We are involuntary readers of posters that spy on us, and the streets are the stage for the poetry of these half-torn messages made of paper, which are sometimes fortuitously found on the pavement.

But do we read them? Do we believe them? Do we understand them? Do we care about them? Do we need them?

In fact, in this exhibition, we question what sense there is in putting printed words up in street, but with the intention of making the point that posters have not disappeared and that they’ll be around for a long time yet. However, not so long ago, there was the poster designer and maybe this is a profession that no longer exists?