The Dead Commercials

Mirko Smerdel2011-01-01/2011-01-01


Milano, Italy

On Wednesday the 4th of May 2011 on the walkside of via Schievano in Milan, near “Schievano-Bilbao” bus stop n°47, a 35 mm film was found, unrolled and abandoned, as if somebody had thrown it out from a car. The film has been recovered and restored, then scanned. Inside the film are contained six commercials of different products: Lega del filo d’oro, Lipton Tea Time, Diffusionetessile, Foxy Mega, Tantum Angelini, Groupama.
Notes on a lost film: If we look at these photograms separated from the flow of the narrative, the perception of these commercials radically changes. Despite the usual status of advertising, in these images disturbing and almost grotesque new features seem to appear. The reason of this feeling is given by a new distance between the images and the observer, between space and time, but probably this feeling is also embedded in the images themselves, in the compulsory desire of consumption these images would like to provoke. In this context these images become part of a self-referential process: –> capitalism –> advertising industry –> production of desire (consensus) –> consumption –> refusal –> reality (urban space) –> capitalism –> … All the aspects of this circular process are embedded in these photograms. At the same time, through post-production, these images rebuild a new storyboard, a new interpretation of the capitalist society himself. That’s why I decided to compare these photograms with George A.Romero movie “Diary of the Dead”, that explicitly reflects about the role of the media in society through horror clichés, then selecting some peculiar quotes from the movie representing a symbolic value, also related to the narrative.


  • Title: The Dead Commercials
  • Creator: Mirko Smerdel
  • Creator Lifespan: 1978
  • Creator Nationality: Italy
  • Creator Birth Place: Prato
  • Date: 2011-01-01/2011-01-01
  • working and living place of the artist: Milan
  • Provenance: Courtesy the artist
  • Type: Installation
  • External Link: https://www.privatemythologies.com/
  • Medium: Installation, Prints on PVC. Source: Found 35mm Film.

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