Madrid, Spain – On a cold, dark night last January, the anonymous artists group Luzinterruptus created a six-hour installation of arresting beauty in Madrid’s public water fountains.
The installation, Agua Que Has de Beber, used strings of illuminated mason jars as a sculptural representation of water, the city’s staid (but unused) water fountains as the water “source,” and the night sky as backdrop. The completed works had a striking beauty, but aesthetics was not the artists’ only goal. They wanted to highlight the blighted state of public drinking fountains in Spain’s capital city.
“In Madrid, in less than 30 years, more than 50 percent of the public fountains in service have been lost,” the artists stated. The fountains have been dismantled, broken, had taps removed, or simply run dry, leaving a bustling urban city without an important public service.
“We wanted to say that water is necessary for life,” writes Luzinterruptus on their website. “And that the fountains that are used for drinking and refreshing ourselves seem much more necessary and beautiful to us than those which are merely ornamental.”
Luzinterruptus has been staging unsanctioned, temporary light installations/interventions in Madrid since 2008.