Poster for La Batalla de los Patos
M/M Paris, 2003, silkscreen print, 174 x 119.5 cm
Now, M/M also contributed a poster to “Utopia Station” with their longtime collaborator, the artist Philippe Parreno. That poster is a straight-faced parody of those two great bastions of pop culture, Coke and Disney. Screened in a Coke-can red, Mickey Mouse straddles a Coke bottle rebranded as Boing! cola. He’s dressed in a western outfit meant to invoke both the colonizing cowboys of the USA, and, more specifically, Slim Pickens’ nuclear bomb rodeo-ride from Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove. The bomb, here, is not just the one the U.S. was readying to drop on Baghdad, but also the metaphorical bomb of American pop culture and all of its toxic fallout. Donald Duck’s face caps the Coke bottle and winks at the film’s title, La Batalla de los Patos [The battle of the ducks]. Mickey Mouse, a warrior, from outside the species, is off to save the world, but his eyes are crossed, his look deranged, his gun already fired. In a final touch, M/M has signed the piece by turning Walt Disney’s signature “W” on its head.
–“The Problem with Posters,” Rob Giampietro, Dot Dot Dot #7, 2003