CCA Andratx is excited to present the final stage of The Last Cowboy Is Dead, a corpus created by Zevs, consisting of urban action, exhibitions, the content available on Instagram and by QR code, as well as an unauthorized advertising campaign, that has travelled from Berlin, to Copenhagen, to Paris and now finally to Mallorca.
The Last Cowboy Is Dead begins on December, 24th 2020 with an urban action performed by the artist in Berlin. He shoots with paintballs the monumental advertising character which surmounts the Philipp Morris factory of Neuköllnische Allee and which represents the Marlboro Cowboy.
“It’s a little known modified fact that the “Cowboy” was invented by the advertising agency Leo Burnett Worldwide, especially for Phillip Morris. In order to make cigarettes and smoking cool (KOOL), they introduced The Marlboro Man. A mythical but literal silent hero from the old west. Men wanted to be him and women wanted to be with him. A true legend of his time, and our time as well. However even legends need to reinvent themselves now and again, and some years ago Leo Burnett (them again) contacted me (ZEVS) and asked me if I wanted to collaborate with them and create a brand new up to date, ultrahip, pack of cigarettes.”
In January 2021, Zevs turned the CCA Gallery space into a mortuary chamber, making it accessible worldwide through a QR code. The walls are covered with an imposing wall painting featuring the words Phillip and Morris, both "liquidated". The video documenting the shooting is projected on curtains at the back and in the center of the room the arrangement of the sheets of the "death bed" features the famous stylized red M from the pack of cigarettes.
Zevs uses the codes of the funeral process. If the representation of death is a constant - even a role - of art, it takes on a very particular meaning in Marlboro storytelling. Five of the Marlboro Cowboys actors died of lung cancer. And in many countries, tobacco is the only product whose marketing packaging has first been neutralized by having to present medical and funeral imagery. Visually and socially, the imagery associated with Marlboro is on a path to extinction. The Last Cowboy.