Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Muto--haunting graffiti beings
I visited the Bremen Weserburg Museum yesterday, where I saw an exhibition called Urban Art. By far my favorite piece there was a video which was of graffiti that had been done on walls around Buenos Aires and Baden by an artist called 'Blu'. The figures transform, engulf one another, shatter, and otherwise crawl, scamper and squat against the walls of an urban landscape of decay and other graffiti.
You can see the video here. The artist's work is lovely but also deeply disturbing. My daughter watched it and got very frightened (she is 2 1/2). This surprised me (I wouldn't knowingly frighten her) and in thinking it over, it seems to me that Blu provides a very bleak and disturbing vision of human nature. His figures are lonely and do not have much emotion--they are blank, hungry, scrabbling things. I find them beautiful but I cannot connect to them except as the mirror of a form of despair and isolation and blankness.
What I especially love about them is the way they move through the landscape, magically, occasionally kicking over something in their way that is 'real'. It feels as though they would not register my presence at all, but would simply dance over me, leaving a white trail of paint, if I stood in the way.