University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Pura Vida (Reykjavík)

Gubb, Mark ORCID: (2014) Pura Vida (Reykjavík). [Show/Exhibition]

Pura Vida Reykjavik 3.jpg - Supplemental Material

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"In 2006 I was lucky enough to go to Costa Rica on honeymoon. It's an amazing place if ever you get the chance to go. Beautiful, peaceful people, with an admirably relaxed attitude towards life and a casual catholicism that is a hangover from the Spanish colonisation of the 16th century. They have this phrase 'Pura Vida' that literally means 'pure life' but is used for everything; to say hello, well done, cheers, great. It's like the catch all phrase for anything positive.

There's also another saying that we were told by a local guy, 'If you have a church, a bar and a football pitch, you have a town.' I've worked with this idea of 'Pura Vida' a couple of times now. In my mind, I've almost invented a faintly-utopian town called Pura Vida, but it's a town that can be mapped on to any place. Kind of like a psychological position, you can choose to live in Pura Vida wherever you are, you just need to know where the nearest church, bar and football pitch are. So what I'm doing with the sign is mapping Pura Vida on to the top of Reykjavik, using the sign as the central spot.

Does that make sense?

On a personal level, I'm not a religious guy and I'm not a strong follower of football, so Pura Vida isn't a particularly personal utopia, but it's really just more about the idea that we can choose to live in our own personal Pura Vida, wherever we are. If you like music, burgers and films, then your Pura Vida will be the local music hall, McDonalds and cinema. I guess it's about taking control and not blaming the world for our dissatisfaction. All of that maybe makes it sound a bit heavy. In so many ways it's just a celebration of simplicity."
May 30th 2014, S Mark Gubb

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Additional Information:

A pdf file providing supplemental material relating to this work is available to download from this WRaP record.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Pura Vida, Costa Rica, Reykjavik, art, public art, public sign
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
N Fine Arts > NB Sculpture
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Arts
Copyright Info: S Mark Gubb 2014
Depositing User: Mark Gubb
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2021 10:17
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2021 10:17

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