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  • Stupid Borders + Five Questions with Ruben Martín de Lucas
  • Atelier & Repairs

Stupid Borders + Five Questions with Ruben Martín de Lucas

Stupid Borders + Five Questions with Ruben Martín de Lucas

How to claim a parcel of land: section off a space and inhabit it. It’s now yours. No bother that this  land has been here for billions of years before you, or that it will most likely continue here for billions of years after you’re gone. It’s now “yours”.

REPÚBLICA MÍNIMA #3 / Making of from Martín de Lucas / Visual Artist on Vimeo.

With Stupid Borders, Ruben Martin de Lucas invites us to reflect on concepts surrounding limits, borders, possession and mankind’s relationship with the idea of “territory” and the Earth, “a planet that transcends our age but over which we have a strange and intense sense of ownership,” the Spanish artist comments.

The exhibition consists of three sets of works: Repúblicas Mínimas, A Plot on the Moon, and Do Not Enter


The main body of the exhibition consists of micro-states that the artist himself appropriated, bordered off and inhabited for a short duration (24 hours or less) of time. The result is a series of mixed-media photographic prints that ask questions through the subtle ironies surrounding this absurd idea of the physical limitations imposed by humanity.

República Mínima 1 consists of a chalked circle with a 5.4m radius, which the artist inhabited for 24 hours using a beach chair, a refrigerator and a tent.

Republica Minima 1

República Minima 2 exists in a lake and consists of an equilateral triangle with 15.19m sides, which the artist built using floating wood and inhabited for 9 hours using a floating raft.

Republica Minima 2

República Minima 3 exists in a crushed-rye field and consists of a square of 10m sides, which the artist defined using string tied to metal sticks and inhabited for 24 hours using an umbrella, a lawn chair, a book and a sleeping bag.


  1. Appropriate a territory.
  2. Say that it belongs to you.
  3. Defend it even with lethal force.

“Do Not Enter” is a set of work reflecting the notion that the defense of one’s own territory can lead to erratic and violent behavior.


Diameter: 3,474 km
Surface: 37,919,250 km2
Price / acre: 1 acre = $ 19.99
Price / km2: 1km2 = $ 4,939.64
Price of the Moon: $ 187,307,315,145                

*The price of the Moon, in US dollars, according to its surface and price assigned by Dennis Hope, an American businessman awarded a declaration of ownership of the moon and all celestial bodies in 1980 by the United Nations General Assembly and the US government.

In another set of works titled “A Plot on the Moon”, the artist points out the vain attempts of others to appropriate celestial bodies such as the moon, Venus and Mars. He does this by purchasing lots on these surfaces and dividing them into 100m2 fragments – the same surface area of his “Repúblicas Mínimas”- and distributes them to the buyers of his prints associated with the works from “A Plot on the Moon”.



Cuéntanos cinco palabras que te describas. / Tell us five words that best describe you.



Que es algo que te gustarías ver a cambiar en el futuro? / What is something you’d like to see change in the future?

Nuestra actitud antropocentrista.  

Seguimos pensando como si el Universo girarse en torno a nuestro ombligo. Seguimos hablando de la Tierra como si fuera nuestra posesión. Creo necesario tomar consciencia de nuestra pequeñez y de que nuestra vida es fruto de la interrelación con el resto de seres tanto vivos como inertes. Creo que si queremos evolucionar y sobrevivir como especie debemos dejar de mirar todo desde nuestra óptica. Una óptica donde el hombre siempre está en el centro. Un grave error.

Our attitude of anthropocentrism.

We continue to think as if the Universe revolves around our navel. We continue to talk about the Earth as if it were ours to possess. I believe it necessary to be aware of our insignificance and that our life is the result of the interrelation of all beings, both alive and not. I believe if we want to evolve and survive as a species we must stop looking at everything from our point of view, a view where man is always in the center. A grave mistake.

Hay algo (un objeto) que no puedes descartar? / Is there anything (an object) that you cannot bring yourself to throw away?

No, no lo hay. Durante un tiempo en el que hice muchos viajes por el mundo tenía un lema que decía “no quiero nada que no quepa en una mochila”. Lo mantengo. A día de hoy propongo esa frase como mi futuro epitafio.

No, not really. At the time in my life where I was traveling around the world I had a motto: I do not want anything that doesn’t fit in a backpack. I keep it. To this day I propose this motto as my future epitaph.

Qué significa "Waste Less, Reimagine More" para ti? / What does “Waste Less, Reimagine More” mean to you?

Ese lema es una de las claves para sobrevivir en nuestro futuro más inmediato. Es evidente que el sistema capitalista basado en el consumo desmedido tiene sus días contados. Se acerca el momento inevitable en el que hay que tomar decisiones drásticas: limitar los combustibles fósiles, limitar el consumo de objetos, limitar la generación de residuos y limitar el crecimiento de la población. Ni podemos seguir consumiendo a este ritmo ni podemos seguir multiplicándonos a este ritmo. Tenemos un planeta maravilloso, habitado por otras muchas especies maravillosas y sobre ambos estamos ejerciendo una presión enorme. No somos tan inteligentes como nos creemos. Espero que al menos seamos lo suficientemente despiertos como para reaccionar a tiempo. Al fin y al cabo la Tierra y la vida son maravillosas.

This motto holds one of the keys to survival in our immediate future. It is evident that the capitalist system based on excessive consumption has its days numbered. The inevitable moment is nearing in which important decisions have to be made: limiting fossil fuels, the consumption of objects, the creation of waste and lastly, population growth. We cannot continue to consume nor multiply at this rate. We have a wonderful planet that is inhabited by many other wonderful species and we are exerting enormous pressure on both. We are not as intelligent as we think. I hope we are awake enough to react in time. After all, Earth and life are wonderful. 

Qué valoras más en este mundo? / What do you value most in this world? 

El amor por encima de todo. No creo que la existencia tenga sentido. Y si tiene alguno se nos escapará siempre. Nuestro intelecto es una herramienta poderosa pero muy limitada. Vivir una vida sabiendo que no le vamos a encontrar sentido puede ser preocupante para algunos. Personalmente me conformo con vivir rodeado de personas a las que amo profundamente y haciendo cosas que me llenan. Aunque sé que esas cosas (como la existencia) están vacías. Aceptar ese vacío es importante para disfrutar del momento. Sólo podemos vivir el momento. En el pasado y en el futuro es muy difícil vivir.

Love above all else. I do not think existence makes sense. And we will always try to escape our current state of existence. Our intellect is a powerful but very limited tool. Living a life knowing that we are not going to find meaning can be worrying for some. Personally, I settle for living surrounded by people I love deeply and doing things that fulfill me, although I know these things (like existence) are empty. Accepting this void is important in learning to enjoy the moment. We can only live in the moment. It is very difficult to live in the past or the future. 

Learn more about Ruben's exhibitions and on-going activities:

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