I have admired the Absolut Vodka brand ever since my early teens. It was not the content in the bottle that interested me. I was too young back then in the late 90’s. It was the advertising that drew my attention. The shape of the bottle, the colors and the design, that felt astonishingly modern and groundbreaking, for its time was what fascinated me. The vodka brand with its roots in southern Sweden and a history that goes back to the year of 1879 continues to fascinate me ever since then.
The Absolut Vodka is manufactured in Åhus, Sweden, from local ingredients and exported worldwide. It is a brand committed to embrace sustainability throughout its production and logistics processes. For example, the vodka bottles are made of 40% recycled glass, the brand supports small farmers in Mexico who cultivate their lands in a sustainable way, byproducts from distillation, wheat stillage, are used to feed 250.000 pigs and 40.000 cows everyday and 40% of stillage transportation use biofuel according to information on the company’s web site.
The brand prioritizes not only sustainability but art as well. Absolut Vodka has supported art since the 80’s and collaborated with, at the time, emerging artists such as Andy Warhol and unknown artists such as Keith Haring and Ed Ruscha. Absolut Vodka continues supporting art through an artistic network called Absolut Art, that keeps on building the brand’s historic engagement with artists and the creative community.
The fact that Absolut Vodka supports art and prioritizes sustainability, inspired me to create the Absolut Chameleon. The sculpture is made out of two elements; an Absolut Vodka bottle with the text and design cleaned off and a chameleon made out of recycled and sustainable materials and covered with colorful glass beads as well as clay beads sculpted by hand. It took me three weeks, working from dusk to dawn, to complete this piece.
You may ask, why has the bottle been stripped off its text and design? And, why is there a chameleon sitting on the bottle?
I believe Absolut Vodka is a brand that inspires the use of colors as well as adapts to the environment with respect for nature and diversity. The chameleon together with the Absolut Vodka bottle is intended to show how we all can promote change and adapt in a nimbly manner and a kaleidoscopical way, just as chameleons.
The Absolut Chameleon sculpture will be exhibited in Lund, Sweden, from 4-26 june 2016 at JÄGER & JANSSON Galleri.
Data: Davit Nava, Absolut Chameleon, 2016, iron structure, post-use plastic bags, used clothing, white glue, acrylic on clay, air-hardening clay, wooden sticks, crystal beads, crystal bottle, 20.5 x 17.7 x 11.2 in / 52 x 45 x 28 cm