Uruguay: Martín Sastre
Through the creation of U from Uruguay, a new perfume composed of the essence of flowers and weeds from the farm of the President of Uruguay, artist Martín Sastre (Uruguay) extracts the essence of the modest way of life that distinguishes the head of government. Rather than moving into the presidential residence, President José Mujica lives on his humble farm on the outskirts of the city; selling the flowers he grows in local markets and giving away 90% of his monthly salary for social housing, thus becoming a global icon of austerity. A master of pop art, Sastre created a promotional video film for the scent and announced that all proceeds from its sale would be devoted to establishing a National Contemporary Art Fund in support of Uruguayan artists, thus applying President Mujica’s principles to art. With the worldwide economic crisis and uncertainty as a background, Sastre underscores the unpretentious lifestyle of the president – popularly known as Pepe Mujica – and reflects on a concept of wealth which is none other than the luxury of being oneself.
U from Uruguay, 2012, Video – installation, courtesy of the artist, Bienal de Montevideo.