Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. “Watching My Name Go By”
2. Nicolas Romero AKA Ever: “Logo II”
3. Gilf! …and counting
BSA Special Feature: “Watching My Name Go By”
Directed by Julia Cave and originally shown on the BBC documentary series OMNIBUS in December of 1976, this was actually the second half of a program that followed a tour through the art gallery scene of Soho.
A hidden gem that surveys the variety of opinions held by citizens, historians, police and front stoop sociologists about the graffiti scene on trains and the streets, the story is measured and inquisitive. It’s without glamour, although there may be guile.
This documentary predates Style Wars by about seven years and you get a surprising understanding about the priorities of the day at a time when New York was financially in a tailspin and socially ready to boil over. You see this resignation in the body language and descriptors about the state of the city, and while there is a stated desire by many to rid the city of graffiti, there are fervent fans of it as art and impassioned allies of the practice as political speech.
Notably, one commenter who is familiar with law enforcement practices says that police were actively encouraged to focus more on violent offenders like muggers and rapists than graffiti writers. The hand style is pretty basic, certainly not wild, and check out the difficulty of painting with those cans; but that doesn’t detract from the ubiquity of the social-art phenomena and the fact that many consider these early writers as pioneers of what became so much more.
“Watching My Name Go By” © Karen Goldman, Philip Bonham-Carter, BBC. 1976
Nicolas Romero AKA Ever: “Logo II”
Nicolas Romero, the Street Artist variously known as EVER or EVERSIEMPRE brings you a conceptual performance from his recent stay in Cordoba, Argentina for the exhibition “Pioneros de un viaje a ningún lado”.
A would-be heroic/holy/handsome businessman/pop star/savior marches through the street buckling under the weight of his brand.
“ Logo II is a public test”, EVER tells us. “It is a study that I have been conducting on the relationship between the ‘individual’ and the ‘logo’. The logo by definition usually includes some symbol that is associated with almost immediate way what it represents. This means that the individual summarizes his being as a symbol. In this case I wanted to use two logos, one with a political charge and one with a purely economic burden. Both carried in a theoretical context are antagonistic, but in your reality are quite similar.
Based on this, we decided to take this intervention in the most literal way.”
Gilf! …and counting
Street Artist and political activist GILF! recently created an installation called “And Counting” in Cleveland during the Democratic National Convention there. Focusing purely on the surface data of the persons killed during a police encounter this year, she says that the installation will continue to enlarge as it will eventually cover the entire year.
“It presents the facts around each police involved death in America during 2016,” she says. “By presenting only the facts this project gives the viewer an objective and all encompassing opportunity to face our nation’s heartbreaking and ubiquitous problem of death at the hands of police, which will aid in developing solutions.”