Tuesday, June 17, 2014

MOS Germany Day 2

 Saturday was filled with music, break dancing, live rapping and beatboxing, as well as throngs of visitors, some accidentally stumbling upon the site, but many others making it a destination. I arrived around 3:30.

Zore64 piece in progress. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce

FPLO in progress. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce
 Surveying the walls I noticed that great progress had been made: most outlines were drawn, and large color blocks with fat caps had been applied. Most were in the process of adding dimensionality through layers of color and varied tones, thicker outlines and details, or frames to relate to other pieces.
Pixel Juice piece in progress. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
Nena piece. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce
RizeOne piece in progress. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce

Stigma One work in progress: Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce

INO work in progress: Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce

At any given point around 300 people (not including artists) floated around with cameras, on bikes. Families donning the MOS shirts struck "gangsta" poses for cameras. Aspiring break dancers struck various poses in front of the walls, inspiring some of the artists to mimic them. Those not anticipating the festival stopped in open mouthed astonishment, or alternately, attempted to continue jogging, biking or roller blading through the busy tunnels. The small tunnel that had been populated by youths the first day had now been overtaken adults who applied buff with rollers and worked on large burners. It was filled with fumes. The organizers has also placed a rollable parquet-colored mat near the dj booth to serve as a stage. Reporters and camera crews flitted in and out of the tunnels.
Reker. Tunnel piece. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce

I met Matilda, one of the co-organizers for MOS UK who was helping out at the wall with the underwater scene. In our short interview she explained that the wall engages the "Cause and Effect," theme by reflecting the beauty of the ocean. "There have been so many environmental disasters in this last year, like the BP oil spill...but instead of representing the negative we chose to represent the beauty of the natural world." Underwater scenes, she continued, have not been as prominent of late, even though years ago they were too common.
Underwater wall, detail. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce
I hopped the little fence to visit the wall being painted by old school Mainz writers, another painted by Italians, a third by the French ODV crew, and a fourth by CanTwo. On the Germans' wall was a photorealist rendering of a buzzard in what seemed to be a swamp-like landscape. Further down the wall little-shop-of-horrors style carnivorous plants reared their heads, flanked by the words in gothic lettering "Cause," and "Effect." On the end of the wall two youths rendered in tonalities of grey were in a standoff, guns pressed to each others' heads. "HOOO AHHH" one of the Germans yelled, a military call, running to greet a friend and grasp forearms in delight yelling "SHATZI!"

The italian piece showed a vivd red city scape, with a masked gangster character. The lettering swirled weightless near the top of the wall, like paper blown in the wind.

The French production, which included MOS France organizers and Cellograff founders Astro and Kanos, was, per their usual style, a dynamic lettering style that seemed to be explosive, about to roll or transform off of the wall. The crew works quietly and efficiently. Mechanical elements gave the wall, which read "Wiesbaden," with a film-noire style man in a porcupine hat and sports coat looming above. Kanos worked on the details of machinery while Astro deftly created a clean and curclicued outline around the letters. The wall will be visible from Frankfurt bound trains.
ODV crew production in progress. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce

The CanTwo production involved three burners against a geometric and multicolored background. Images of smiling and dancing spray cans flanked CanTwo's burner, and will be visible from Wiesbaden bound trains.
CanTwo in progress. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce
By 5pm the break dancing has begun in earnest, with a class of youth (all male) demonstrating a routine. Parents do smaller versions of the moves on the sidelines, watching their kids intently. Youth balance on their heads, do flips, and robotic movements. Between 150 and 250 audience members watch, cheer, and clap. The performance is a display of excellence, but also an opportunity for public recognition and respect, the kind of environment that enables youth to have a place in public space. A German-American rapper, KDL, self-described as "army brat," is able to deftly switch between English and German and still rhyme.
Break dancers. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce

KDL, flanked by energetic dancers. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
The rapping is accompanied by head nodding by audience members, although some, perhaps overjoyed, or drunk or stoned, dance like it is their last day on earth. A tall blonde man in a shawl sways continuously, rolling his hands up and down, stepping in a figure eight. A short brunette man in a black sports coat, exactly on the other side of the stage as the blond, bounces up and down energetically, and without stop. Many of these visitors, Zore told me later, come to the festival every year. 
DJ Dinosaur dancing. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce
The next rapper, is a larger man, with a prominent nose and chin, dinosaur like arm motions, and an expansive occupation of space. This man is wearing a t shirt, jeans and a skull cap, and approaches the mike in a clownish, swevering walk, pantomiming a fart, a fuck you motion, drunken lolling head. It is grotesque and fascinating, he breathes into the mic and then screams. The music is a circus-song beat, “whommmp, woomp whom whoomp.” I am reminded of elephants and LSD. He pulls a man from the crowd, a skinny guy with fine, even features and a perfect five o clock shadow wearing some interation of raybans, jeans, a wool hat. He runs around the rapper with the mike yelling in an imagined rhythm “uuhh uhhh uhhh muterfacker, uhhh uhh uhhh faterfucker.” The rapper lifts up his shirt and pokes his belly button with a finger, going in and out.

Absurdist rap. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce
After fifteen minutes of watching this absurdist rap, I wander back towards the parking lot and meet AIGR, a French writer. We chat in French about the increasing public/government supported street art expositions. I suggest that these events exist “to promote transition.” "Or to promote tourism” he responds. 
AIGR in progress. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
I walk around the parking lot area and am struck by a piece that shows a butterfly and MOS and then lava, and around the corner,  pictures of monsters and burners with bible quotes about judgement day. Near the very end is a crew that carves space for letters with a drill, scraping away multiple layers of paint at high speeds. I notice Manuel with Zeb, and Birger (The owner of eskis and festival co sponsor) with the Singaporean writers drawing signatures at the end of the wall as it becomes a gradient and then indistinguishable with the sidewalk. This section of MOS is more peaceful; people grill on a lawn, and a Jack Russel Terrier chills out on a blanket. Lucky Lucy’s piece is on a quiet piece of wall around the lawn, sharp 3-d letters hovering above a cool blue background.

Balu collab piece in progress. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
Lucky Lucy piece. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce
Statik piece in progress. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
I watch Zor work on her piece for a awhile, along with The Aerosol Kings, Statik, FPLO, Bird, and others, and head back to Wiesbaden around 11pm to prepare for the next day.

No comments: