All posts tagged: Erik Vestman

Hannes Tirén Paints in a WWII Bunker in Malmö, Sweden  (Video)

Hannes Tirén Paints in a WWII Bunker in Malmö, Sweden (Video)

“An underground bunker from World War II.

A manic artist painting day and night for several months.

A party in the forest and his first show/exhibition…”

That’s how street artists Erik Vestment & Nils Petter described to us this hidden art installation and show by Hannes Tirén that they recorded on video below the surface in Malmö, Sweden.

Hannes Tirén. (photo © Erik & Nils Petter)

In it you see the Stockholm native buffing the bunker and acclimating to his new environment, gradually filling the ceiling and walls with one contiguous mural, culminating one night in a small candle lit art show for friends and family.

“I had just moved down to Malmö and bumped into Erik over a beer and we knew each other through common friends, and he asked me straight away if I would be up for talking a bike ride down to the shore in the cold rainy autumn evening to show me this military bunker that he thought I should paint,” says Hannes as he recounts the experience, which was more difficult than he may have realized at first.


Hannes Tirén. (screenshot from video © Erik & Nils Petter)

“I spent many many night alone down there trying to paint my way in the darkness with batteries that got moist and with a brain that also kind of went a bit nuts sometimes,” he says as he describes feelings of isolation and strange imaginings – and and how he pushed beyond them.


Hannes Tirén. (screenshot from video © Erik & Nils Petter)

At first, it wasn’t clear what kind of art project he wanted to make in this clandestine concrete cubby hole in the ground. “I had lots of different ideas; to fill it up with candy, or maybe with stolen bike skeletons that I found on my nightly expeditions,” he says.

“But in the end I decided just to try to tell a story in the room with my paint.” For inspiration he looked at his life. “It’s a story about death, love and confusion I suppose – and maybe some more ingredients.”


Hannes Tirén. (screenshot from video © Erik & Nils Petter)

Hannes says he settled into a pattern of waiting until just after dark when he knew respectable people would no longer be walking their dogs on the public lawn near the bunker, and he climbed down into the hole with art supplies and candles to explore. While working he tried not to be disturbed by the eerie acoustics.


Hannes Tirén. (screenshot from video © Erik & Nils Petter)

“I had to wait to climb down to into the pitch dark hole that made sounds vibrate in impossible ways,” he says with some trepidation. “The waves from the ocean, the birds that screamed in the middle of the night – they all sounded different in different places. So when I moved into a new position or location the sound vibrations in the half-sphered room played tricks with me.”


Hannes Tirén. (screenshot from video © Erik & Nils Petter)

After many trips from his apartment to the bunker over the course of a year, it was finally show time. “Erik brushed off the dust and made the last night epic and magic,” Hannes recalls. “He had a tent that we put over the entrance to the bunker, filled it with candle lights and much much more. He really pulled much of the tough work and I’m forever grateful for how successful the night became.”


Hannes Tirén. (screenshot from video © Erik & Nils Petter)

The plan was for guests to keep warm by a bonfire a hundred meters away and for Hannes to invite them in small groups to come see the installation below. “I told them to be careful because of all the burning candles,” he says about the possibility of hair catching on fire in the close quarters. “I myself accidentally started a fire the night before when I lit a candle that was too close to the wall. Not much damage done although there was much smoke.”


Hannes Tirén. (screenshot from video © Erik & Nils Petter)


Hannes Tirén. (screenshot from video © Erik & Nils Petter)


Have a look at another hidden underground oasis project from last year by Erik Vestment & Nils Petter, who debuted their project “The Pier” last June here on BSA.



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“The Pier” Online Premiere on BSA Film Friday 06.06.14

“The Pier” Online Premiere on BSA Film Friday 06.06.14



Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

BSA Special Feature: World Premier
“The Pier” (Piren)

Today BSA brings you the online release of “The Pier”, by Erik Vestman and Nils Petter Löfstedt, who have presented it at packed documentary events and exhibitions around Europe but it has never been presented online until today, which we do proudly.

The half hour film tells the story of two artists discovering a hidden space under a pier near the ocean and their distinctly D.I.Y. approach to getting their hands dirty and creating something genuinely new. “We wanted to make the room perfect – like a classy room in an apartment – but in a dirty dark hole underground,” says Petter when describing the secret project that took the guys about six months of ferrying materials and tools back and forth to the spot on bicycle. Why, you might ask? “There was no obvious purpose. Otherwise all rooms have a purpose, usually – toilet, office, living room. But this was just a room, underground, for everybody to do what they wished with.”

Löfstedt and Vestman have been experimenting with the concept of public/private in some of their other conceptual works over the last few years; precisely replacing stone tiles in public areas with photographic works of friends and rats, for example, and “re-purposing” a downtown commercial kiosk into a rural field outside of the city for uses more fitting the agrarian way of life.


“Everything can be changed. Everything can be turned into poetry,” they like to say, and with this same philosophy you can best assess many artworks works on the street – sanctioned and guerilla style – and judge how successful at writing poetry an artist has been when engaging the public.

Is it possible to find poetry in all public spaces? Petter says possibly, “Guess there is poetry everywhere. The only thing is to have time to see it.”

Documenting their project of transformation with film and photography, they also left journals for visitors to write in, collecting observations, some negative, most positive.

But the under-pavement construction wasn’t originally going to become a film. “When we found the empty, dirty space under the pier we had no plans except making something great out of it,” Erik tells us. “After quite some time when we finally started building we also started documenting what we were doing. But we had no plan of making a film or a book until far into the process.”

Brooklyn-Street-Art-copyright-Nils-Petter-Lofstedt-The_pier_2Was it all glamour? “It was horrible and fantastic to build the room. I got a nosebleed, there were these tics… I think we both had dreams about moving stones and gravel and paint that didn’t dry in the moist air of the sea. However we were totally absorbed by what we were doing.”

The “secret” spot became known because of its ingenious appropriation of a nether space – not quite public but not entirely private. The transformative effect of their carpentry and industry deliberately plumbed psychological boundaries about the built environment, as well as its purpose. By physically crossing the precipice into and out of the space a visitor pierced a veil of typical expectations, interacting with an inspired project that literally causes one to see their world differently.

Welcome to “The Pier”.



Original title: Piren
English Title: The Pier
Genre: Documentary
Director: Nils Petter Löfstedt
Production: Stavro Filmproduktion AB in coproduction with SVT and Film i Skåne
Length: 28 minutes
Photo: Nils Petter Löfstedt
Editing: Johan Löfstedt
Music: Carl Johan Lundberg / Vit Päls
Producer: Patrik Axén
Sound design: Robert Sörling
First grade: Simon Möller
Final grade: Erik & Nils Petter
Graphics: Erika Nyström


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BSA Film Friday: 05.23.14

BSA Film Friday: 05.23.14



Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. “Free Graffiti” with a Mystery Man by Farewell
2. BSA in Conversation at Brooklyn Museum
3. Talk Of The Sea from POW! WOW! Hawaii
4. Decolonizing Street Art: Teaser for August in Montreal (unceded territory)
5. The Tower, a film by Erik Vestman & Nils Petter
6. Banksy’s Acceptance Speech at Webby Awards
7. JANZ Artist in Time (Trailer)

BSA Special Feature: “Free Graffiti” with a Mystery Man by Farewell

A parody of thousands of graff videos which portray the can-carrying outlaw, this one takes an unexpected turn in a Pink Pantherish sort of way.

BSA in Conversation at Brooklyn Museum

Part II of the Brooklyn Museum: In Conversation with Brooklyn Street Art night. This video features the second part of our talk after the multimedia presentation at the Brooklyn Museum on April 24 where we invited guests onstage for a discussion and Q&A about personal engagement with works on the street and the storytelling that lies behind the work; Swoon, Luna Park and Keith Schweitzer with Sharon Matt Atkins of the Brooklyn Museum as moderator.

Talk Of The Sea from POW! WOW! Hawaii

“It’s about reviving this knowledge and also about passing on this knowledge, keeping the culture alive,” says Kamea Hadar as he describes the mural and the educational training that enables students to become navigators.

“The final installation of POW! WOW!’s three part project with Hokulea and the Polynesian Voyaging Society was a mural created by Kamea Hadar and the young artists of the POW! WOW! School of Art and 808 Urban.

“In order to be a navigator, you have to be fierce.” ~ Papa Mau Pialigug

Decolonizing Street Art: Teaser for August in Montreal (unceded territory)

This August a new gathering will converge to further the street art conversation while putting a focus on activism. It’s goal of turning attention to the decolonization of Turtle Island and reminding people who live in Montreal of the city’s colonial history continues the work of people like Jetsonorama and LMNOPI and others on the street. It will be also interesting to see how the discourse of the current street art movement expands itself to include these voices.

Check out their Indiegogo link below:


Please click on their indiegogo page to help with their crowdfunding campaing:

The Tower, a film by Erik Vestman & Nils Petter

The Tower, a film by Swedens Erik Vestman & Nils Petter  is now showing at Moderna Museet Malmö’s entrance hall between May 20 and June 1. With this project, the film makers take a large advertising sign from the noisy city environment and position it in an idyllic setting in the country side. The structure then undergoes a transformation and becomes a… The two have created a number of projects receiving critical acclaim that question public space and who has the right to use it. This film draws the contrasts effectively by throwing the acceptance of commercial messages in our built spaces into a new context.


Banksy’s Acceptance Speech at Webby Awards

Not really an acceptance speech and not really an award, this self-produced overview of his one month installation last October in New York also features a shot of the Deitch Gallery when referring to street art galleries who were visited by the police. Since that gallery closed three years earlier, perhaps they taped their “card” to the metal grating? You’ll recognize the narrating voice over as one from his answering machine, and you’ll die when you see the dead animals in the meat market, but mostly you’ll just be happy that you were here and blessed to be in the loving glow and embrace of Ban-sky.

JANZ Artist in Time (Trailer)

“Everything is transient, period. Everything.”

Follow Street artist Robert Janz as he goes through the street and his studio, narrating his experience and philosophy. If someone knows, its probably Mr. Janz.

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