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Brooklyn Street Art

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Isaac Cordal + INO. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. UPN Dispatch 1

Posted on July 10, 2017

This is the third year for Northern Norway’s UPN Festival and this year it’s on an Island called Røst and includes a collection of artists eager to do site-specific and environmental works – one evolutionary development in the mural festivals that blossom throughout the world right now. This week BSA is proud to bring you images and interviews along with Urban Nation this year at UpNorth, where the seagulls never stop calling and the sun never goes down this time of year.


Today we look at new work by Isaac Cordal from Spain and INO from Greece, with each artist telling us about their street practice up north.

“I think it was very interesting as Upnorth subtly left its footprint without overturning the aesthetics of the Island,” says Isaac Cordal about his experience at the UPN festival. You may be familiar with the miniature sculptural interventions by Isaac Cordal, whose corporate businessmen have sold their souls and are looking down at the traffic of the city from a ledge, contemplating their existence, dread, and guilt. Partly social critique, partly comedic play, partly redefining public space and scale, Cordal’s figures are reliably surprising. You can see that at UpNorth this year some of them are evolving as well.

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you tell us about the new figures that you did for UpNorth?
Isaac Cordal: In a way they are part of the same series called “Isolated in the modern outdoors”. They are covered by a blanket with the colors of the houses of Røst. They are isolated in the middle of the sea with no possibilities of returning, without a house, like a kind of shipwreck. Unfortunately blankets have become the street fashion for many homeless people. Blankets remind us of other times, of the devastation, of the migratory crises and of the human being succumbing to the hostilities of the outside.

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Brooklyn Street Art: We notice that they look quite different from the little businessmen that many have become familiar with. What inspired you to change them?
Isaac Cordal: As I said before perhaps the idea is a little dense. In modernity itself we have intense reflections of the Middle Ages, there are still different speeds outside exponential progress, too many contrasts between rich and poor, the so-called globalization leaves a trail of images of people delocalized, confused in space and lost in time.

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Brooklyn Street Art: How would you describe the environment working in Røst?
Isaac Cordal: Working in Røst was an interesting experience since you had to adapt to the peculiar nature of it; there were not many buildings to intervene so that gave me the opportunity to experiment with its geography. With its 24 hours of light its landscape became something completely hypnotic at certain times. The hours of sleep are altered and the perception of time changes in a certain way.

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Brooklyn Street Art: How are you challenging yourself as an artist right now?
Isaac Cordal: I’m going to try to work more in the studio after an intense year from one side of the world to the other. Perhaps I will decrease a little more – until disappearing.

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)


Muralist INO uses a monochrome palette and a splash of color with most of his photorealist/surrealist figurative metaphors to talk about society. Not exactly critique, often the commentary comes across as straightforward observation, openly stated.

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

An aerosol bomber in his teens in Athens, his hard work in his early thirties has brought his murals to many international cities and he says UPN was a great opportunity to address a favorite issue of late, our lack of privacy. The new piece is called “Photobombing”.

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you tell us about the piece that you did for UpNorth? 
INO: The invasion of privacy in our societies is constantly increasing with the pretext that our lives are improving. This exposure may not concern some, but maybe they should think again about it.

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Brooklyn Street Art: How would you describe the environment working in Røst?
INO: It was interesting working on an island  that has only one policeman and 24 hours daylight.

Brooklyn Street Art: How are you challenging yourself as an artist right now?
INO: The production of images that will remain on people’s mind in this era of over-information could be a challenge.

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © INO)

Our thanks to our partner Urban Nation (UN) and to photographer Tor Ståle Moen for his talents.

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