Since the beginning of 2000, public space, especially in Munich, has been increasingly defined by “investor architecture”, advertisements and faceless new housing buildings. But what does public space actually mean?
What is its added value and, above all, who does it belong to these days?
The relevance of this topic has been underestimated and misunderstood for far too long – and particularly with regards to the art that is shaping and changing public spaces. “All that matters is that it’s suitable for the masses; whatever you do, don’t stand out, so that Munich stays Munich,” seems to be the motto that is slowly transforming the state capital of Bavaria into a characterless Playmobil city.
That’s why our non-profit art association is so committed to dealing with the subject of “public space and its design”, utilising progressive approaches and avant-gardist visions. We don’t wish to cover these public spaces in a reactionary way with rash, garish graffiti. We are demanding and encouraging more food for thought on the matter.
So, after a good six years of groundwork, Sebastian Pohl, the artistic director of Positive-Propaganda, has succeeded in getting one of the most important contemporary artists on board to design a wall with him, not far from the museum quarter at Königsplatz. And by doing so, Pohl is once again setting an example. One which is highly visible right in the heart of Munich.
BLU has left his mark pretty much everywhere around the world – from Berlin/Kreuzberg to the façade of the TATE Modern to that of the MOCA in Los Angeles. Since then, the Italian activist has received countless requests from all over the globe, asking him to transform façades into artworks or objects of speculation. The consequence that the artist has drawn from all of his success and its associated speculations is that he only takes part in projects that also correspond to his socio-political beliefs. Which means he emphatically turns down 99% of all requests he receives.
This is relatively untypical and perhaps also the only genuine consequence in a time in which more and more hobby illustrators and art students are elbowing their way into public spaces with their hackneyed pictures, all in pursuit of financial gain.
This piece of work of BLU shows a small boy who, already at a young age, is standing with his hand stretched out in front of a holy temple, waiting to get his hands on the “big money”.
LOCATION: Karl- Ecke Luisenstrasse, 80333 Munich/Germany