Once again, on on of those lucky walks on the way to some or other gallery, i passed a space that houses temporary expositions. Inside, complete with DJ blaring rap interspersed with sound tracks like the famous speech by Martin Luther King, was an exhibition organized by “Le Mur” (The Wall), a group of street artists. WOW.
In the words of the catalog: “The urban artist contends with the law- reaping warnings, fines and convictions rather than prizes or awards” Though i am sure many of them also make art to exhibit in gallery-spaces, art made for the street, or public spaces, are precisely defined by the space in which they appear, by passers-by, traffic, street signs, and all sorts of distractions. Furthermore, the artists live with the knowledge that the work will be short-lived. Other artists or vandals will “sabotage” the work, weather will damage it, or the Council will paint over it.
“the Wall” group is just a continuation of a long Parisian tradition of street art that started in the 80’s, but they have gone further and obtained permission from the Council to use a billboard on the corner of Oberkampf and Saint Maur streets in the 11th Arrondissiment. They have “openings” of a new work, which is soon replaced by another member of the group. The works have been documented, and put together in a catalog. Following photos were taken at the exhibition