Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. “Transitional Architexture” by Conform
2. “Transitional Architexture” by Paul Senyol
3.”Workshop, Wheel, Point” by Mook Lion
4. “Back To The Future” by Resoborg
BSA Special Feature: On Point With The Southapedia Mural Festival in Durban South Africa
We’re a long way from graffiti, and even unsanctioned Street Art now. Mural festivals that were grassroots are quickly splintering into 10s of different distributaries, some you recognize as purely related to the original scene, some you would find much harder to ID. This week we feature videos from a mural festival begun by two graphic designer/muralists who have been inspired by the worldwide phenomenon toward public mural programs and who created one in their hometown of Durban, South Africa.
The third largest city in the country, it is short on capital for the arts but this mural program, as is common, is equally envisioned as a tourism builder as it is an opportunity for local artists to get an opportunity to be paid to create professional murals. The opinions expressed by the artists in these personal reflections give you a sense of how far we are from the original graffiti writers and illegal Street Artists en route to officially approved mural programs that make neighborhoods “attractive”. One view shared here says the artist chose what he’s calling Street Art as a “niche” to exploit professionally because the field of digital art is oversaturated, while another lays out the blueprint for murals as a tool for gentrification of a borderline neighborhood – in a positive light. Thematically the murals are meant to reference local history and culture, but not in a confrontational way whatsoever.
At the same time, no other artists in the area have taken the initiative to improve the daily aesthetics for people who live in this area, and the structural, cultural, and economic realities can be quite harsh with a person who has a dream. This is not easy work to convince, to fundraise, to manage, to troubleshoot, and to promote at the same time. The failures of a government and its leaders to provide for taxpayers – possibly because the boot of international finance is on its neck – has little to do with the fact that everyday people have a history, have a present, and they enjoy looking at something newly painted in their neighborhood that inspires them or gives them a sense of pride in their community.
Here’s to the Southapedia Mural Festival and its originators, Dustin Scott and Wesley Van Eeden (artist name Resoborg) and the festivals’ many volunteers, for having the vision to make this happen.
“Transitional Architexture” by Conform
“Transitional Architexture” by Paul Senyol
“Workshop, Wheel,Point” by Mook Lion
“Back To The Future” by Resoborg