Alicia Framis presents her most recent work, the majority of which was prepared in Shanghai, where she currently lives and works. As in the case of Not For Sale (2007) for Madrid Abierto, Framis' projects are always related to society and directly influenced by the reality that surrounds her and her immediate environment. Using elements of fashion design, popular culture and architecture, Not For Sale (2007) reflects that reality.
Not For Sale is a work in progress that analyses the situation of children who are sold all over the world. The project began in the city of Bangkok, Thailand, where Framis produced a first portrait of a naked chets child but a necklace that read "not for sale."
At first glance, the images are gentle and sweet. The children are smiling and appear healthy and happy. It is only on close inspection that what Framis seeks to emphasise comes to light: the reality of the fragile and dangerous situation that many children currently find themselves in. From the moment we are born, a price tag is placed on us, and many children face the real risk of becoming just another product of the global market.
Since living in China, Framis is interested in the idea of the portrait as a propaganda tool, such as the posters of Mao Sedong or Thailand's king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, both normally exhibited throughout the city. Not For Sale employs the same methods of propaganda portraits, maintaining the same measurements but changing the subject of the leader for a more domestic version. These posters always come across as optimistic and encouraging and contain certain details and attributes that suggest the message, only shown discreetly at the bottom, otherwise through the flag or a multitude depicting the power of the leader. Framis shows a smiling child in an ideal scene just bearing a small attribute - the small necklace that reveals the child's possible destiny.
For Madrid Abierto 2008 the artist proposes a grand performance night: a cultural event. The initiative will consist of a production in which sixty children of different ages will wear necklaces or pendants bearing the message "Not For Sale", as in the above-mentioned portraits. However, this time with the peculiarity that each necklace will have a special and different design, as each will have been designed by different Spanish jewellers, gold and silversmiths and designers of accessories who have been invited to participate in the project, namely, Chus Burés, Marta Miguel, Alberto Leonardo, Carol Salazar, Uovo, Paz Sintes, Oscar León, Jorge Masanet, Nim Art Gallery, Alicia Framis and different jewellers from Thailandia and Shangai. The children will just be wearing trousers, with their naked chests revealing their necklaces as the main attraction piece.
Likewise, Framis presents this work together with the artist Michael Lin, who will be responsible for designing a special architectural structure or platform made from fabric, on which the performance will take place.
The striking prints that characterise Michael Lin's painting are taken from traditional Asian fabrics. The prints, the culture, the industrial manufacture of the fabrics and the traditional decorative art are extremely important concepts in his work. The fabric is thus transformed into architectural structures on which the children will parade, generating a mutually complementing dialogue between both projects.
Thus, the architectural structure with oriental fabric prints will become the perfect scene for the children's parade, wearing the Not For Sale necklaces.