Wednesday, June 18, 2014

MOS Germany Day 3

“Time, nothing but time…" zorzorzor

Zor Zor Zor (Chciago). Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
If day two was about frenzied production and managing the flows of traffic, attention, and quick shifts of heat and cold, day three is a time of suspension, winding down, sometimes last minute finishes, but also elongated conclusions and bittersweet goodbyes. It is the simultaneous desire for and celebration of a space of ample time that occurs out of time’s closing doors.

“See you next time, around the world,” an Italian writer remarked to a Chicago writer on departing from the Schlathof, and indeed, in a sense, the MOS festival is a space where this is nothing but time by virtue of it being a limited span of shared production, dwelling, and talk. 

The sense of having nothing but time is generated by attention being riveted to a similar object: graffiti (and often hip hop) culture and its cultivation, commemoration, and elongation. 

260 Discut Nut. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
Zore64 (Chicago). Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce
Of course, this is reflected differently in different pieces. A bear fighting a wolf who is followed by a shark, with a frenzied b-boy figure and writer hanging out in the lower wall, as reflected in one of the main viaduct walls, does not necessarily tell a totally transparent story about what graffiti culture means from a collection of writers across the globe. 

Pixel Juice Wall. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
Singapore crew. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
ODV Crew (France). Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce
Yet, in the process of production many stories are told about the development of a style, what led an artist to craft a clean representation of a shark tooth, or a vortex, and in those stories information about paths of travel, stylistic influences and subtle shifts that often occur in relation to growing friendship networks.

This years’ theme, “Cause and Effect,” is ample, and is represented in an apocalyptic scenario brought about by the death of a butterfly in one large scale production, an underwater scene related to the Bermuda triangle, in another, or gun violence in a third.

Balu and collaborator (Wiesbaden). Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
Masthead by Elfin (UK). Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce

German crew. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
In many of the walls the wall is effect of a complex, transnational, graffiti network that results in variegated styles but the willingness and interest of a diverse range of individuals to work together, across borders, languages, and stylistic idioms. The wall including work by FPLO, The Aerosol Kings, Bird, Statik, and other artists is one such example. Loosely drawing on the theme of “apocalypse,” it showcases representations of dystopia, violence, corruption, and disillusionment, alongside burners of names that do not represent too much beyond themselves.

The Aerosol Kings, Stigma, FPLO, Bird, and friends. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
Bird (Antwerp). Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce

FPLO (Brazil). "Football does not feed our children." Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce

Statik (Chicago). Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce
The festival, which included a snippet of the wealth of hip hop and graffiti culture across the globe, uses Wiesbaden as a dynamic space, aided by committed organizing, a coterie of invested writers, an interested municipality, sponsors, and, importantly, an engaged public, viewers who go up to the artists and tell them, “it is very beautiful,” or “nice,” or surprising, that enable writers far from home, to feel at home. 
Laduck Crew (Italy). Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce

The day ended with painting a wall behind the Schlachthof. The Schlachthof is a space that is part barren parking lot, part hippie nirvana, part ghostly memory of the holocaust, and a contemporary reminder of graffiti culture. 

Schlachthof at dusk. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce

Deportation memorial. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce

An Italian dude cracks open  a can of paint and sprays it around a figure, creating a a water-color like effect. It is warm, quiet, and lit by the long summer sunset. Tizer (UK) says that the genre Manuel suggested for the wall is the gross, hideous and slimy. 

Tizer, Blob, Gent, Easy, Kent, and others collab wall. Photo credit: Catilin Bruce
There are two-headed men, a vomiting slug, free form mouths and worms also vomiting. After the intense crowds at the bridgehead in Mainz-Kastel, the open wall offers something of a respite, but also a way to reconnect to a form of painting that is less performative, more personal, the quiet friendships and solidarity borne out of long hours at a wall. It suggests that such scenes of conviviality have the possibility of time, nothing but time.
Schlachthof at dusk. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce

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