Orden Salvaje - Be An Everyday Life Voyeur

Welcome to the miniature world of Laura Millán, the creator of Madrid's Orden Salvaje project which expresses our everyday lives on a much smaller scale. 

Published by Sara on 28/02/2018

Confess: You are also curious enough to want to know what's going on at the house next door.

Laura Millán (Sanlúcar de Barrameda, 1979) gives us this possibility to peek on those everyday scenes - surreal, comical, tragic - through her sculptured miniatures. She explains how the creation process takes place and how her work focuses on the absurdity of everydayness. 

A City Made By People Madrid Orden Salvaje Miniencuadro Proceso

What is Orden Salvaje (Wild Order)?


'Orden Salvaje' is an artistic project where you turn into an everyday life voyeur. A miniature tour of common scenes and the surreal and comic side of privacy.

The idea was first born with the research of the way people lived at some neighborhoods of the suburbs of my hometown, Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz). We call those places pagos, from the Latin pagus, which is the first demarcation of land that we know of. Over time, cities were walled off leaving these pagos in the outskirts, therefore preventing their inhabitants to access the churches, which caused them to be called pagans. This fascinating etymology story led me to start working on a project that spoke about what's outside the walls, what's foreign, what's wild.

What drove you to work with miniatures? 


I am a big fan of the classic corner stores where you can find anything, to check out what objects could be interesting for my projects. On a trip to San Francisco, I found very cool material in a couple of miniature stores that I bought with the intention of recording a stop motion. I never ended up making the film, because I decided to use the mini sculptures to create carving pieces instead. I have never felt very comfortable with drawing, I express myself better with volumes, so the miniatures help me with the story´s narration; it is a way to connect an abstract scene with something concrete. 

Edit A City Made By People Madrid Orden Salvaje Rutina Foto Biniam Ghezai

Why the name Orden Salvaje/Wild Order? How wild is this order you present us with?


I am interested in topics such as balance, uncertainty and contrasts. In 'Orden Salvaje' I bring face-to-face the idea of control with the idea of anarchy. The first, through the use of the building as an orderly place in which people have control. The second, through buildings that go out of the urban order and become something wild and outside the established.

It is an intimate look inside tiny private spaces: we glimpse the criticism, is there any? Towards what in particular?


We are all curious about our neighbors, that’s undeniable, there is an eagerness to keep an eye on each other, to show off, in some cases we even feel alone in communal spaces. We have all imagined what life is like behind the walls in front of us, that's why I like to play with the duality that contrasts the normal everyday appearance with the surrealist core. The challenge has been to move that interior-exterior game to a formal level, through the sculptures. The viewer plays a leading role by acting simultaneously as an observer and observed.

A City Made By People Madrid Orden Salvaje Desafio Foto Biniam Ghezai

How do you see the position of women in art? Do you feel discriminated? Do you think it is more difficult for a woman to bring an artistic project forward than for a man?


Discrimination? Definitely. The first retrospective of a woman in the 200 years of Museo del Prado was Clara Peeters' last year and only 25% of the artists who participated in ARCO 2017 were women. Unfortunately, the art market continues to be controlled to a greater extent by men. In general, we are taken less seriously and it is more complicated for us to get our work to be seen. We still have a lot to work on to have equal roles for men and women in art. 

Any idea in particular to improve the situation?


I think it all starts with asking ourselves if there are women in the music we listen to, the movies we watch or at the exhibitions we go to. This is also valid when it comes to work: are there women involved in our projects/team? It's all about finding references to look up to.

If it is difficult for us (women) to access the established distribution and sales channels so we end up looking for other ways to do it: social networks or face-to-face selling are only two examples. Putting your finger on the problem is also a way: on an artistic level, focusing your work on gender perspectives can help us expand awareness on the issue. 

A City Made By People Madrid Orden Salvaje Casa Del Terror

Next projects?


Among all the material I gathered for Orden Salvaje, I have several pieces of Neapolitan and Spanish nativity scenes. The reinterpretation of these very symbolic materials has left me wanting to dive deeper in the use of these symbols very much linked to the Mediterranean culture.

You can visit Orden Salvaje at the 7 Islas Hotel hall in Madrid until the 19th of March, 2018. 

Words by Sara Paz
Photography by Biniam Ghezai

We hope you enjoyed your little escape to Laura's world of miniatures. If you're looking for more journeys to the creative mind, take a look and get an impression of Issue 1 & 2 of our print journal! #acitymadebypeople

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