All posts tagged: Base 23

‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

A partnership of artists, curators, and real estate interests is giving a seriously entertaining show this week to Street Art and Graffiti Fans with this site-specific exhibition of ingenious interventions of many disciplines. Primarily Berlin-based artists and spearheaded by organizers Señor Schnu, Baye Fall and Moritz Tonn, we’re pleased that we have a first-person account of the inspiration behind the show from the guy who came up with the name ‘Wandelism’, Denis Leo Hegic.


Wandelism – Spray Can Change

By Denis Leo Hegic

There we are, in the midst of a lively bustle at the production ground of the Wandelism exhibition in Berlin.

Dennis Gomez Herrmann. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Sparks are literally flying around as Olly is about to cut open a stretch limo and hang it in the air. Behind the shower of sparks Jerome and Señor Schnu are working on their large scale mural while Kitra is about to create a giant piece on a wall, which actually consists more of void then wall surface. C0MPUTERJAN is transforming a half of a Cadillac into a computer-controlled DJ booth and Ostap is turning a window into a tape-art piece.

Ollyollyoxfordfreak at work in his installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Marina Zumi, who is currently installing another of her new light works in the exhibition, joins me and Suzanne Forbes, who makes drawings of all of us in real time. There is some serious good energy in the air, and I’m not talking about welding and the aerosol, but about a group project that is truly created and lived in a spirit of a community.

Marina Zumi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

When I was asked how to name the exhibition few weeks ago, I merged the words “vandalism“ and “Wandel“ (the German word for “Change“). That’s how Wandelism (or Changeism) was born and how it started transforming itself into an exhibition, which is truly accepting, embracing and living CHANGE.

Ostap putting the final touches to his tape installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

On the grounds of a former car repair shop that is soon to be demolished, one can literally feel the constant movement and transformation of the urban fabric we all live in. Everything changes. Constantly. Change is evolution. Change is progress. Change is also the DNA of the art represented in the Wandelism show.

Ollyollyoxfordfreak . Señor Schnu . Fabifa . Mika Sitter “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Berlin is one of the worlds’ capitals and one which has experienced a tremendous change in the last three decades. The city, which was divided in two by a 156-kilometer-long wall for a time period of 28 years, was first unified in 1989 and then exposed to an incredibly rapid development ever since.

Interestingly enough, this very Berlin Wall has proven something that is still a valid topic at the Wandelism Show today: the importance of the freedom of expression.

Wandbrand. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

For decades, one side of the wall was an open-air gallery of graffiti and street art while the other (clean) side of the wall was a death zone. The failed experiment of division is historic proof of the importance of creative participation in the urban space.

On the first day of the opening, Wandelism attracted more than 1,700 visitors who, despite a protracted winter in Berlin, waited in long queues to attend the opening. The following day, 2000.

C0MPUTERJAN. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Nevertheless, the exhibition does not present itself in the usual language of superlatives (“The largest”, “The biggest”, “The best”), which is sometimes peculiar to these types of art shows. Instead, Wandelism promotes the notion of a democratic coexistence, where everyone is welcome and where all the different curiosities can be explored.

Emma Rytoft at work on her installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

“We are socially responsible and work with lot of local talents. That’s very important because not every exhibition of this format has a social aspect. Almost 90 percent of the entire exhibition is created by Berlin-based artists and we would love to pursue our vision in the future and transform more temporarily vacant spaces into art events like this” – Señor Schnu

1UP Crew. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Base 23 . Onur. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

 “I like the speed. I paint graffiti-style but with dancers in public space. For that type of work you need to be really fast. And I like when you can feel the momentum in the painting.” – Herve Thiot

Herve Thiot at work on his installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

“You can not have ‘change’ without a little bit of ‘vandalism’. The one concept can not exist without the other one. A change requires revolution and revolution sometimes needs vandalism.” – Carolina Amaya

Carolina Amaya at work on her installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Akte. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Wenu Crew, CokyOne, Jeron. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Dave The Chimp. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Stefanie Scherer)

Parisurteil. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Rosco. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

“Our ‘Fuck Fame’ toilet is a clear message. Just take a look at the whole social media and online addiction which is going on. Everybody is posting every single step of his life, and from other peoples’ lives; A public run for fame. Without thinking about it we are sacrificing our own privacy. As a reaction to that we decided to take even the last bit of privacy away and created the Fuck Fame toilet.” – Ron Miller Art Collective

Ron Miller Art. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Nasca . The Krank. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

“Somehow I do see myself in process of change. I’m coming more from this graffiti scene but I am also developing more and more into a mass-compatible area, so yes, I do see myself in a process of change. But I also believe that it is the entire scene that is changing and transforming itself into a more recognized and accepted art.” – Tobo

Tobo takes a moment to ponder. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Hagen Schönfeld. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Felix Hülpüsch AKA HÜLPMAN. “Wandelilsm”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Scon75 . Paindesignart “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Canion Berlin . Wenu Crew. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Oskar .  Kish . Canion Berlin .  DXTR . The Weird . WENU Crew. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

“I am in this business for such a long time already. I am doing this now for 35 years. I know that this place will be gone, but lot of people will see it. And nothing can be contained forever. The awareness that the art which you can see here will be there just for a certain limited time, which you have to experience now and can not wait until next year, because it will be gone – that’s part of the deal and I quite like that.” – Loomit

Loomit. Wandelism. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Melissa Lee . Flo de Producer . Theodor Robinson. Wandelism. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Kitra. Wandelism. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Catherine Lupis Thomas and Bill Knospi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Suzanne Forbes’ live drawings of Denis Leo Hegic and Marina Zumi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany.

You can visit the Wandelism exhibition until March 24 and is located in Wilhelmsaue 32, 10713 Berlin.

Www.wandelism.com

 

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“Wall & Frames”, Today’s Street Artists, Tomorrow’s Masters

There is an uneasy reluctance among some artists in the graffiti and the Street Art community to let themselves be seen hanging with art collectors or even entering galleries sometimes because they might lose credibility among peers for not being ‘street’ enough. Seeing well manicured men in pinstripes and shrieking birdberry women with tinted/straightened/plumped everything looking at your shit hanging on a wall and asking vaguely patronizing questions about it like you are an exquisite curiosity could make you go out and slice their tires after downing a few white wines.  Not surprisingly, “keeping it real” sometimes translates to keeping it out of private collections.

Even as there is an every-growing recognition of art and artists who work sometimes illegally in the street, it’s a sort of high-wire act for anyone associating with art born in margins, mainly because it forces one to face the fact that we marginalize.

Sociological considerations aside, over the last decade there is a less traditional definition of Street Artist entering the fray. The graffiti scene originally boasted a sort of grassroots uprising by the voiceless and economically disempowered, with a couple of art school kids and the occasional high-minded conceptualist to mix things up. It’s all changed of course – for myriad reasons – and art in the streets takes every form, medium, and background. Now we see fully formed artists with dazzling gallery careers bombing right next to first time Krinks writers, graffiti writers changing gears and doing carefully rendered figurative work, corporations trying their hand at culture jamming (which isn’t a stretch), and all manner of Street Art referred to as an “installation”.

A new book by Maximiliano Ruiz called “Walls & Frames”, just released last month by Gestalten, presents a large collection of artists who have traversed the now permeable definitions of “street”, gallery, collector and museum. Admittedly, this may be a brief period of popularity for Street Art, if the 1980s romance with graffiti is any indication, but there is evidence that it will endure in some form.  This time one defining difference is that many artists have already developed skill, technique, and a fan base. Clearly the street has become a venue, a laboratory for testing and working out new ideas and techniques by fine artists, and even a valued platform for marketing oneself to a wider audience.

A spread of work by Conor Harrington in “Walls and Frames”.

The resulting work, whether hanging on a nail inside or painted on a street wall, challenges our previously defined boundaries. The current crop of street art stars and debutantes, many of the strongest whom are collected here by Ruiz, continue to stay connected with the energy of the street regardless of their trajectory elsewhere. Some are relatively new, while others have been evolving their practice since the 70s, with all the players sliding in and off the street over time. The rich and varied international collection is remarkable and leaves you wanting to see more work by many of the artists. All considered, “Wall and Frames” is a gorgeously produced book giving ample evidence that many of today’s artists in the streets are tomorrow’s masters, wherever they practice.

Augustine Kofie in “Walls and Frames”.

 

Sixe in “Walls and Frames”.

Remed in “Walls and Frames”.

Anthony Lister in “Walls and Frames”.

Judith Supine in “Walls and Frames”.

Alexandros Vasmoulakis in “Walls and Frames”.

D*Face in “Walls and Frames”.

Interesni Kazki in “Walls and Frames”.

Jorge Rodriguez Gerada in “Walls and Frames”.

M-City in “Walls and Frames”.

 All images © of and courtesy of Gestalten and Maximiliano Ruiz.

Artists included are Aaron Noble, AJ Fosik, Alexandre Farto aka Vhils, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, Alëxone Dizac, Amose, Andrew McAttee, Anthony Lister, Antony Micallef, Axel Void, Basco-Vazko, Base 23, Ben Frost, Blek le Rat, Bom-K, Boris Hoppek, Boxi, C215, Cekis, Conor Harrington, D*Face, Dan Witz, Daniel Muñoz aka San, Dave Kinsey, Der, Dixon, Docteur Gecko, Doze Green, Dran, Duncan Jago aka Mr. Jago, Eine, Ekundayo, El Mac, Evan Roth, Evol, Faile, Faith 47, Fefe Talavera, Gaia, George Morton-Clark, Herakut, Herbert Baglione, Interesni Kazki, Jaybo, Jeff Soto, Jeremy Fish, Jesse Hazelip, Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriguez, Joram Roukes, Jorge Rodriguez Gerada, Josh Keyes, JR, Judith Supine, Katrin Fridriks, Kevin Cyr, Kofie, L’Atlas, Lightgraff, Logan Hicks, Ludo, M-City, Mark Jenkins, Mark Whalen aka Kill Pixie, Maya Hayuk, Medo & Demência, Meggs, Miss Bugs, Miss Van, Morten Andersen aka M2theA, Mr. Kern, Mudwig, Nicholas Di Genova, Okuda, Patrick Evoke, Paul Insect, Pedro Matos, Peter Owen, Pose, Pure Evil, Remed, Remi/Roughe, René Almanza, Retna, Ripo, Ródez, Sam3, Sat One, Shepard Fairey, Sixe, Smash 137, Sowat, Sten & Lex, Stephan Doitschinoff, Tec, Tilt, Troy Lovegates aka Other, Turf One, Vitché;, Wendell McShine, Will Barras, and Zosen.

 

The launch; “Walls & Frames” will be presented at Gestalten Space Berlin on December 15th.

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