PUBLIC ART, PERFORMANCES AND INSTALLATIONS

PUBLIC ART, PERFORMANCES AND INSTALLATIONS

DIAS DO DESASSOSSEGO, for Fernando Pessoa and Josè Saramago

A mural celebrating Fernando Pessoa’s and Josè Saramago’s poetry for the festival DIAS DO DESASSOSSEGO.
Location: Rua Patrocinio 110, Lisbon

 

 

Urban Forms Murals 2017

 

Some images of the workshops made with guys/girls of the schools are displayed in this video at 1:55′ (press “5” after starting the video).
A video by Yoicik Group

Hyuro (Argentina) – No title
Kasia Breska (UK) – Łódzkie totemy/Totems of Lodz
Know Hope (Israel) – No title
Moneyless (Italy) – No title
Nespoon (Poland) – No title
Nomad Clan (UK) – Mokosz/Mokosh
Opiemme (Italy) – Remanufacture/Herring
Tellas (Italy) – W środku zimy/Deep Winter

City of Lodz, Poland, 2017 Lodz 4 Cultures Festival I Urban Forms

Remanufacture A Tribute to Władysław Strzemiński, Łódź “4 Cultures Festival”, Poland

“In lovely memory of my father…”

New murals for Urban Forms in the quarter of Bałuty on occasion of “4 cultures Festival“.
All the works are based on the alphabet created by Władysław Strzemiński, used for creating the logo of the city of Łódź.
The building is an elementary school in Ul. Bojownikow Getta 3 street, Bałuty, Łódź.

Critical essay by Claudio Cravero

‘The constant Learner’
“Remanufacture and Harring. A tribute to Władysław Strzemiński”
Urban Forms Foundation and Lodz 4 Cultures festival, Lodz, Poland , 2017

 

In Opiemme’s recent urban work on the occasion of Lodz 4 Cultures festival, the artist’s signs are extensively covering different surfaces of a school building. From walls to sidewalks, and all around, any viewer or passer-by is thus literally encircled by texts and motifs realized with spray paint and stencils techniques. Everywhere one looks or turns, the geometric patterns connect the soil to sky. And the moment the eye moves onto the next texture, everything begins spinning as if one were surrounded by this new story-telling.
It is Opiemme’s Tribute to Wladyslaw Strzemiński, the Polish vanguard abstract painter and typographer who designed this unique font in the 1930s. Mostly consisting of a curved line, the font Opiemme drew on was actually meant to communicate the spirit of future, dynamism and modernity across Polish society. The artist uses this type of lettering as an insight into the socialist realism architecture, the urban style of many public buildings that still speak about Poland’s heritage, regardless of the cultures that have cast the country throughout the time.

 

The same technique is also employed in Opiemme’s Herring, a mural in the nearby park. There, the informally-named ‘Park of a Herring’ shows a fish-shaped black silhouette to remind through few
signs the fish market taking place in the same location before World War II, but it is also used in reference to the Jewish ghetto Baluty, the second largest of its kind in Europe.

Looking up at Opiemme’s public artwork means somehow losing one’s balance. The hallucinatory effect can be read as a visual illustration of the fact that letters do not necessarily bring words to life. Besides, since Opiemme’s work covers a Primary school façade, the artist seems to shed light on the unseen forces of the power of teaching that permeates our constant need for learning. Over the eight day-painting performance (because to Opiemme art is a more complex action than putting colors to canvas), artist’s father’s recent demise has been recalled. Amongst the thoughts, Opiemme wants to express gratitude for
the apprenticeship taken on at the age of 16. In fact, sent by the father to learn interior decoration, Opiemme is still thankful for the working legacy that was handed down by this inspiring mentor. Ultimately, texts and signs are there to remind how learning is a constant process of self-building rather than a skills-set to adopt and use. Indeed, in Lodz it is even more evident that there are no cultural barriers when it comes to learning. Learning represents the exceeding power to bond one another. It is everywhere and nowhere, because nobody leaves us forever. Claudio Cravero

Here is an article Urban Forms, “Out of the ordinary. Opiemme Dialogue’s with architecture“, and another by Aleksandra Sumorok, translated by Wojciech Szymański and published by Urban Forms, previously posted by “Łódź w Kulturze”: “Opiemme and her dialogues“.
Aleksandra Sumorok is an art historian, assistant professor at “Władysław Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź”.
In her research work she focuses on the architecture and design of the 20th century,
with particular emphasis on the period of socialist realism. She is author of the book, “The architecture and urbanism of Łódź during the period of socialist realism” and numerous papers on complex problems of Polish architecture in the 40s and 50s.

 

PISCES, a mural with students of school “Via Giuseppe Messina”, Roma

A video by school “Via Giuseppe Messina”, Cinecittà, Roma

A new collective mural painted with the partecipation of 1000 children from 3 to 13 years old of the school  “I.C. Via Giuseppe Messina” in Roma. The children choose negative words to be deleted by throwing eggs filled with colors in a collective performance.
Than some new positive words were suggested by children to be painted on these colors. The mural represents constellation of Pisces, a symbol of renaissance.

LODZ OF EGGS, VIDEO

A text by Urban Forms Foundation introducing the performance experience of  Taurus in Poland:

Opiemme is one of the most interesting contemporary street artists balancing at the edge of image, text and collective performance. His highly symbolic works consisting of images, geometric patterns, letters, and calligrams remind some historical movement as visual poetry, concrete poetry, and aesthetics of futurism. In 2015-2016 Opiemme completed three projects based on the idea of audience’s participation in the creation of the works. In each of these projects both the social and natural/urban landscape played an important role at the level of the performance, form of the work and its meaning. The first of these performances, „Intralci – Hindrances”, took place in July 2015 during the festival AMBRIAJAZZ. Opiemme with an up-and-coming young jazz trombonists Gianluca Petrella created an unique show in the garden of a private villa in a small village, Castionetto di Chiuro, in northen Italy.
Against the background of a breathtaking mountain landscape Opiemme was pouring stripes of colorful paint down a large board while Petrella was playing the trombone. The public was invited to take part in the show and acted as the witness observing or rather experiencing the process of creation. Opiemme was hidden behind the board so people just saw hands holding bottles with paint and colors flowing down the surface. Music was following colors, colors were following sounds, music and art were dialoging with nature. After the show had ended people described it as a deep, multisensory, and psychedelic experience leading to a kind of trance. Music followed the colors, and colors followed the music.

In the performances of 2016 the audience played much more advanced role of a co-creator. “The stars guide him through the night” was completed with active participation of the students of a highschool in Imperia, Liguria, Italy. The collectively painted mural was a tribute to Felice Cascione – an Italian partisan who came from this town. Cascione is known to have written a famous partisan song titled “Fischia il vento” („The wind whistles”) in 1943.
Along with “Bella ciao” it is one of the most famous songs celebrating the resistance.

Around 30 young students using Opiemme’s stencils and brushes painted the mural on the school wall. They perceived it as a relaxing activity releasing them from stress of the last year exams and choices regarding future education. The mural changed the main entrance of the school. The project was much appreciated by students and teachers as well as by the local media.


The “Taurus” project was more complex. It was realized for the Urban Forms Foundation in September 2016 in one of the most neglected quarters of the city of Lodz, Poland, plagued by numerous socio-economic problems, such as inherited poverty, unemployment, or alcoholism. In the near future the location will be undergoing deep changes associated with the process of revitalization. The „Taurus” started with preparation of nearly 300 blown eggs, which were then filled with paint. Eggs were used for omelets – a treat for the residents during the information campaign at the location and the collective mural painting. Before the performance Opiemme painted a large black circle with the stenciled word WINA (BLAME). It was supposed to be covered by colorful paint cast by the participants.
Different groups of people took part in the action. “Bombs” with paint were thrown by children and adults, students, journalists, residents of neighboring houses, men who often drink beer in the nearby backyard and many others. In the interpretation of this happening a communitas category, introduced to the social sciences by Victor Turner, could be applied.

In the condition of communitas the participants of the event are experiencing unexpected communalism emerging across boundaries and regardless of their status in everyday life. It is a temporary phenomenon of an anti-structural nature that may be invoked by the performative actions similar the Taurus performance.
Filling the black circle with colors and application of the two new words – OPPORTUNITIES (możliwości in Polish) and DESTINY, that replaced the stigmatizing inscription WINA/BLAME had also a symbolic meaning. As Opiemme explained they express symbolically the upcoming revival of the location which should be carried out with a strong participation of the local community.
The nature of this artistic intervention refers to the traditional rite of passage, closely linked to the concept of communitas. The status of a stigmatized space symbolized by the inscription BLAME is waived by collective action similar to a transition phase (so called liminal phase). Then a new, desired order is established through the completed work presenting a minimalist Taurus constellation and the new positive words.

Disconnect to reconnect

A wall and workshop for “Crossing the Borders – Intrecci fra arte e migrazione”
The wall is inside the Ostello of San Desiderio, Genova, and was enterily realized by attendees of the workshop.
A project realized thanks to: PECO – Progetti Europei di Cooperazione Genova, danzacontempoligure.org,
Goethe Institu Genua

 

TAURUS, A COLLECTIVE MURAL

A site specific project for Urban Forms Foundation at 20 Jaracza Street in Lodz, Poland. The local community took an active part in this collective performance. A word “blame” (in Polish “wina”), stenciled on the wall, has been erased by throwing 300 eggs filled with colorful paint. Opiemme painted a minimalist Taurus constellation, and the erased word “wina/blame” was replaced by both “destiny” and the Polish word “możliwości” that means “opportunities”, and fits best the location.The mural is a part of Opiemme’s “Vortex” series, in this case inspired by Taurus constellation as well as the zodiac sign of the most
famous Lodz architect Hilary Majewski (15 May 1838), who lived nearby the area. Majewski, through his architectural designs, largely shaped the historical center of Lodz.
The larger colored circle on the left is the result of the collective performance, and represents Aldebaran, an orange giant star located about 65 light years from the Sun in the zodiac constellation of Taurus. Taurus symbolizes an idea of power, re-birth, and reinassance.

HEART-SHAPED BOX WALL IN FOLLONICA

A tribute to Nirvana’s song “Heart-shaped box”, from “In Utero” (1993).
The wall is at the corner between Via Roma and Via Parri in Follonica, Tuscany.

A text by curator Karin Gavassa:
«Opiemme mural represents the first verse of Nirvana Heart-Shaped Box, the first single taken from In Utero. Opiemme tribute is a cascade of pure black letters shaping an heart of 30 square metres on a 100mq facade deep in the city centre of Follonica.

An intimate and deep message of love, as critic Charles R. Cross pointed out in his Kurt Cobain biography Heavier Than Heaven (2001). With the lyric “I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black”, the frontman “sang in what has to be the most convoluted route any songwriter undertook in pop history to say ‘I love you’”. Opiemme stencils recall the dramatic intensity of Cobain lyrics, dissolving it in a figurative stream of consciousness on the wall of the historical building Casello Idraulico»

 

 

A DRIPPING PERFORMANCE IN ROCCAVIGNALE

A fall of colors performance for L’aperto Festival, Roccavignale (Sv)
Duration: 20′-30′
Background music by Yel Bosco
Ph: Viktorija Gedraityte Riga

MAGMA MUSEUM

A light installation for Magma Museum in Follonica, Tuscany, 2016

BURRIDDA, GENOVA

A wall painting for LSOA BURIDDA, an occupied place in Genova, hosting the FABLAB of the city.
This building is a rationalist architecture from 1937  by Camillo Nardi Greco and Lorenzo Castello.
Born as a female school, projected for Mussolini (Scuola della G.I.L. – Gioventù Italiana del Littorio”, 1937-1938), today it has a new facade.

DIALOGARTI 2016, BOLOGNA

A performance and an street poetry installation of “poetry scrolls” for the festival Dialogarti, directed by Alessandro Dall’Olio and Gruppo 77 (Bologna).

 

WOMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE

The Woman of the Apocalypse (or Woman clothed in the Sun, γυνὴ περιβεβλημένη τὸν ἥλιον; Mulier amicta sole) is a figure from Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation (written ca. AD 95).
The text describes “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (12:1). The woman is pregnant and about to give birth, “travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered” (12:2).

Light installation is situated in a private church close to Siena, Tuscany
Phrase: A woman dressed in light

A COLLECTIVE MURAL AT SCHOOL FOR PARTISAN MEMORY


Students from “Liceo Vieusseux” of Imperia painted the hall of their highschool. A tribute to Felice Cascione, an important figure in italian partisan resistance. He composed “Fischia il vento”, an Italian popular song whose text was written in September 1943, at the inception of the resistenza.
The phrase of mural is from this song and says: “the stars guide him through the night, strong his heart and his arm when they strike”. This relates the work to the Vortex’s quest.

BRANDALISM PARIS 2015

Paris, 29 November 2015

This year I took part in Brandalism action in Paris with a work on “balance”.
Brandalism is a revolt against corporate control of the visual realm. The Brandalism project sees artists from around the world collaborate to challenge the authority and legitimacy of commercial images within public space and within our culture.
All the artwork is unauthorised and unsigned. This is not a project of self-promotion, and none of the artists names or websites appear on the works: we believe there are already enough private interests taking ownership of our streets.
The first Brandalism Takeover took place in July 2012. Two friends, sick of the visual pollution of their city, spent 5 days reclaiming 36 billboards in five cities around the UK.
BRANDALISM PROJECT

Massive advertising takeover campaign in Paris highlights corporate stranglehold of UN climate talks

Over 600 artworks critiquing the corporate takeover of the COP21 climate talks were installed in advertising spaces across Paris last night – ahead of the United Nations summit beginning this Monday.
Amidst the French state of emergency banning all public gatherings following the terrorist attacks on 13 November in Paris, the Brandalism project has worked with Parisians to insert unauthorised artworks across the city that aim to highlight the links between advertising, consumerism, fossil fuel dependency and climate change.
The artworks were placed in advertising spaces owned by JC Decaux – one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising firms and an official sponsor to the COP21 climate talks.
Other prominent corporate sponsors of the climate talks such as Air France, GDF Suez (Engie) and Dow Chemicals are parodied in the posters – whilst heads of state such as Francois Hollande, David Cameron, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abi also feature. The artworks were created by over 80 renowned artists from 19 countries across the world including Neta Harari, Jimmy Cauty, Banksy-collaborator Paul Insect, Escif and Kennard Phillips – many of whom featured at Banksy’s Dismaland exhibition in England this summer.
Joe Elan from Brandalism said, “By sponsoring the climate talks, major polluters such as Air France and GDF-Suez-Engie can promote themselves as part of the solution – when actually they are part of the problem.”

One of the artists taking part said, “We are taking their spaces back because we want to challenge the role advertising plays in promoting unsustainable consumerism. Because the advertising industry force feeds our desires for products created from fossil fuels, they are intimately connected to causing climate change. As is the case with the Climate talks and their corporate sponsored events, outdoor advertising ensures that those with the most amount of money are able to ensure that their voices get heard above all else.” The art works were installed on ‘Black Friday’ or ‘Vendredi Noir’; the most hectic and competitive shopping day of the year.
Other posters called on people to take to the streets as part of the “Climate Games” – the world’s largest disobedient adventure game [4] as well as protesting the “Solutions 21” conference – a large corporate exposition being held at the Grand Palais during the climate talks.
Bill Posters from Brandalism said “Following the tragic events on 13th November in Paris, the government has chosen to ban the big civil society mobilisations – but big business events can continue. The multinationals responsible for climate change can keep greenwashing their destructive business models, but the communities directly impacted by them are silenced. It’s now more important than ever to call out their lies and speak truth to power. We call on people to take to the streets during the COP21 to confront the fossil fuel industry. We cannot leave the climate talks in the hands of politicians and corporate lobbyists who created this mess in the first place.”

BRANDALISM

PYROS, MIGRAZIONE

Luglio 2015, Gavorrano (Grosseto)

Parco Nazionale delle Colline Metallifere, Teatro delle Rocce
1 Agosto – 11 Settembre

“Pyros, il vuoto del fuoco.” Un progetto a cura di Karin Gavassa.

A PERFORMANCE WITH GIANLUCA PETRELLA, AMBRIAJAZZ 2015

July 2015, Castionetto di Chiuro, Sondrio

INTRALCI is a project by Manuela Colombera and Daniela Bruseghini for Ambriajazz.
A “solo trombone” by Gianluca Petrella on a colorful performance by Opiemme.

Thanks for the pics: Andrea Magri, Dimitri Nube, Luca Durand, Marina Magri, Giulia FOcardi, Michele Bordoni

Ambriajazz Festival

Don’t steal my freedom, Como

October 2014, Como, Italy

Don’t steal my freedom, 2014
A monument to Bicycle’s freedom
Located in Piazza Volta, Como

A public installation for Comon and Streetscape3
Photo by: Emanuele Scilleri

May, 2015 Nowhere

The installation was supposed to be removed on November 2014.
At the end of May 2015 it was still in Piazza Volta, beloved of the people.
You can see several photos on Instagram by checking out #dontstealmyfreedom

BARBARISM KILLS PERFORMANCE

December 2010, Turin

Originally entitled: “The pig and the young lady”
Soundtrack by Signal Electrique (Fr)
Footage by Jacopo Montaldo

After shooting the female actor didn’t want to appear in the video, scared of being called “Miss shit”.
In order not to waste this footage, Opiemme decided to patiently cover her face in each frame with letters to express her feelings.

In January 2011 this action took place again in Turin as a group performance by citizens and schoolchildren.
An article by L. Indemini on La Stampa

 

A RIVER OF WORDS ON ARTRIBUNE

A journey through painting and poetry
July 2013, Turin

A record mural. A river of words on the pavements of Turin: seven kilometers signed by Opiemme.
Water has no shape, it’s docile and malleable because it adapts to whatever it encounters. And it is exactly water the theme that has united two neighborhoods, Barca and Bertolla on the northern outskirts of Turin. Once known as the district of washerwomen and boaters. An area however, in which small shops are being smouthered by large supermarket chains. In order to try to change, at least in part, this situation, a project was created one year ago to support local trade called Relive Barca Bertolla. The idea is to capitalize on public space which, based on a proposal by the Public Baths of Via Agliè, will be an urban installation of street art and poetry by the artist Opiemme, who will decorate 7km of pavements with a river of
words, connecting in this way the two areas with writing on the theme of water – an element which has marked the history of both neighbourhoods. […]

An article by Claudia Giraud on Artribune
Photos by Thuy Duong Nguyen and Claudia Giraud

A POLITE DISPLAY OF POWER, VIDEO PERFORMANCE, 2008

[A collective performance in Turin city centre. The stress of living in a city packed by cars, where traffic and noise rule, suggested my this.
A way to protest, to underline an huge unbeareble problem,
with a collective performance where people simply crossed a pedestrian crossing. “What kind of traffic can stop traffic?”

[A collective performance in Turin city centre. The stress of living in a city packed by cars, where traffic and noise rule, suggested my this.
A way to protest, to underline an huge unbeareble problem,
with a collective performance where people simply crossed a pedestrian crossing. “What kind of traffic can stop traffic?”

A POLITE DISPLAY OF POWER, GROUP PERFORMANCE, 2008

Inspired by Pantera’s album “A vulgar display of power”, this performance is entitled “A polite display of power” .
A non-authorised protest against traffic. Pedestrians and bikers simply take over Piazza Statuto in Turin.
A “Traffic Kills” performance.

Photos by Oleg Besoulovs

FUXIA BUS STOP

November 2007, Turin

“During the exhibitions night even bus stops change colour” (La Repubblica 12.11.2007)
Texts and poems by famous writers who lived and passed through Turin, formed a fluorescent bus stop.
An installation made for “Nuovi Arrivi” group show at “Accademia di Belle Arti”, during Artissima Art Fair.
Lasted 1 month.

DYSTOPIA’s INSTALLATION

After a 20 years of media dictatur, Italy find itself fall in a cultural disgrace, socially disconected, virtually lost, unable to react, chaosly administrated.
Future is not there anymore, a new kind of state is coming up. Here as well as anywhereelse.
Welcome to a Dystopia Age.

The project is from 2005, first exhibited in “Nuovi Arrivi” in Turin.
WE LIVE A LIMITED FREEDOM LIMITED BY LIBERTIES.

This work reflect on this situation throught NO SIGN
NO DREAMING NO BREATHING NO THINKING NO REMEMBERING
NO CHANGING NO HOPING NO HOPES