January 13, 2010

On the Walls

I love street art and it is one of the reasons I am drawn to Berlin as there is a different street art character, statement or design on every corner. Works by international and local artists such as Alias, Prost, El Bocho, Kripoe & Bimer can be found all over the city, particularly in Kreuzberg*.

Photography displayed on the streets, however, is harder to come by. Perhaps this is because it is too easy to identify people from a photograph or perhaps because it is just too 'real'.
The closest things I've seen (apart from one small row of photographs on a Neuk├Âlln side street) are stencils made from photographs. So, on my last day in Berlin I was delighted when I came across this very open air exhibition of photojournalism on the wall of the Rauchhaus in Kreuzberg.

The images themselves are depictions of violence, brutality, despair and political passion. Not your usual public art display. There are no descriptions of exactly what the images depict so the viewer is forced to make up their own mind about the images. Painted below one of the images is a website address for the artists. There I discovered that the work was by a group of French photojournalists called Bon Pied Bon Oiel (Good Foot Good Eye) and they had exhibited this series of images in several other cities as well. The work was displayed in Berlin as part of 'The Knot Festival' in May 2009 so it is lasting quite well. Despite (or maybe because of) the graphic content of the images there is very little evidence of vandalism.

I am very interested in alternative ways of showing work and what I like about this exhibition is that it is uncensored and engages with the real world, rather than only being available to people with time to visit a white-walled gallery. Being on the street it is ready for a conversation- people can manipulate, vandalize, write on, add to or destroy it. It isn't precious.

* Berlin Street Art Safari by Kriebel (blog post) is an excellent starting point for learning more about the Berlin street art scene.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

when will we do this here in Bris....there has to be a way, a wall a willing landlord!