Valeria Schwarz
Merci pour votre conformité 2015

intervention in front of chain brands
Public space of Valais, Switzerland

This hit-and-run action consisted of putting carpets in front of fashion chain shops. In a similar font to that of each chain's logo was written: Merci pour votre conformité (in English Thanks for your conformity). Both the sentence on the carpets and the selected spots work as a metonymy (the substitution of a word referring to an attribute for the thing that is meant). This project arose from parallel research on civil disobedience that I was conducting. I started to think about obedience and the habits that prevent some social changes from happening. My curiosity guided me to look for synonyms for the word obedience in the dictionary. Deference, condescension, docility, submissiveness, acquiescence, orderliness and conformity were some of the results, but conformity was the one that attracted my attention. Maybe because it has the word form in it. It is a very plastic word since it has the sense of adhesion to something that is giving form.

Carpets delineate an invisible border between a place that is being left and another that is to be entered. They are also the place on which we leave the dirt on our shoes. Which kind of “ethical dirt” do we ignore, when we buy cheap fashion?