Rub Kandy in the Gallery and in Public in Lichtenburg, Berlin

The first thing you learn with contemporary, specifically conceptual, art is that it is likely to be accompanied by an artist’s statement. Some times the statement is illustrative and clarifying while other times it may feel like you have fallen into the beige university basement professors’ lounge full of caffeinated academics who are playing a quick game of jargon hackey sack.

Street Artists do not typically provide descriptive prose for their installations.

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Rub Kandy. Berlin, March 2014. (photo © Jessica Stewart)

Rub Kandy is melting the distinction between the street and the gallery further with a new installation in Lichtenberg, a neighborhood in Berlin. Incorporating imagery evoking Berlin’s not so distant past and it’s administration under Soviet authority, Rub Kandy is placing powerful memory-jolting symbols unusually in public space, and letting the associations be determined without providing context.

For those of us living far away from this site, you may check your Wikipedia to further appreciate how electrifying these associations will be for people walking past them when you learn that Lichtenberg was also the site of the extensive headquarters complex of the Stasi, “the official state security service of the German Democratic Republic or GDR, colloquially known as East Germany”.

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Rub Kandy. Berlin, March 2014. (photo courtesy the artist)

A provocatively subtle collaboration between the artist and co-curators Jessica Stewart and Fabio Campagna, the street installations are part of a laboratory of ideas that continue in a gallery setting at Corpo 6 in the same neighborhood. You may feel like Rub Kandy is extending the exhibition into public space, or that the street art practice is merely the other side of the gallery window. Advertisers have been commandeering our common areas for multi-site and multi-platform messaging campaigns for decades, and so have political campaigns. By removing the clear signifiers of the original thinking behind these works, your discovery of these pieces in public will clearly trigger your own interpretations, if rather unclearly.

Thanks to Jessica Stewart for sharing these exclusive images with BSA readers that she says she took while trailing the artist last month.

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Rub Kandy. Berlin, March 2014. (photo © Jessica Stewart)

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Rub Kandy. Berlin, March 2014. (photo © Jessica Stewart)

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Rub Kandy. Berlin, March 2014. (photo © Jessica Stewart)

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Rub Kandy. Berlin, March 2014. (photo © Jessica Stewart)

Learn more about the work of Jessica Stewart on Rome Photo Blog HERE.

For more information about Corpo 6 Galerie please click HERE.

For more about Rub Kandy click HERE.

“HERZERBSTRASSE-LICTHENBERG! WELTSTÄDTE?”

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