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Nuart 2017 / “Rise Up!” group show @ TOU scene

As we previously mentioned, this year’s Nuart Festival was focused on artist that stand out with their public work in the way they interact with the observers, rather than create images from their visual language. This curatorial tendency became very clear in this year’s indoor exhibition @ Tou scene that opened on 2nd on September. Featuring works by all the participating artists hailing from 10 countries, this presentation once again showed how unique this event is on the global scale. Giving these artist an opportunity to produce and show the kind of works that can’t be done in their studios or in the street, it pushed their creative force and allowed them to express themselves in the way that is rarely seen. Rise Up! group show was constructed around the theme of “power” which artist tackled in diverse ways both conceptually as well as technically. Carrie Reinchard exhibited her craftivism mosaics that screamed anarchistic and activist paroles, thematically and aesthetically directly opposing ±MaisMenos±‘ clean voting poll installation. The Portuguese artist created a functional voting room, giving visitors an illusion of choice, directly commenting on the election practices worldwide. Ricky Lee Gordon created an installation that comments on the power of nature to overcome any human activity, no matter how cruel or unjust it might be. Next to this was a large sculpture by Ian Strange, created of burnt wood and constructed in shape of a roof of a house. Simple yet haunting this dark installation presents on of the techniques through which Perth-born artists talks about disenfranchisement within the urban environment. Slava Ptrk created a text piece made of sand and glue, continuing his outdoor piece, but also painted a large image of his EU visa, ridiculing the authorities by turning them into a mural. Next to him Spanish artist Ampparito extended his outdoor interventions made with warning tape by blocking almost the entire room and hiding a word “nose”. This was done as a reference to Zechariah Chafee’s quote “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins”. Egyptian artist and activist Bahia Shebab brought more of the 1000 Times No to Stavanger, stenciling them on found objects and exhibiting them along the main corridor. Igor Ponosov extended his absurd-filled outdoor works by creating a large scale eye chart and displaying a starting screen of a projector. These witty pieces were in direct position to bold statement coming from John Fekner‘s installation that read “Their last hope was mother earth”. Tel Aviv-based Addem Yekuiteli aka Know Hope created one of the most elaborate and complex pieces that was displayed in front of Derek Mawudoku‘s enlarged intricate drawing. Yekuiteli’s installation included a pool of dark liquid on which a text of compiled heartbreak testimonials were projected. These texts were collected through interviews conducted with locals and presente this way were symbolizing a global heartbreak that in many cases has to do with the collapse of oil industry. Finally, Berlin-based add buster Vermibus got the chance to “close” the show with 2 defaced and blinking bus stop adds, installed in a large dark room, point-blank facing the observers with the impact and strength of public advertising. Photo credit by Ian Cox/Wallkandy.net http://arrestedmotion.com

Nuart 2017 / Murals (Part I)

Last week marked the 17th edition of world renowned Nuart Festival and AM was there to witness the making and the official reveal of the works created or installed. Matching festival’s ongoing efforts to use the public space as the platform for interaction and play, as well as the channel to speak up, this year’s edition produced some of the most original and thought-provoking pieces to date. Australian-born artist Ian Strange created a series of billboard takeovers, displaying his paintings created on found photos of people’s homes. Through his work he usually explores architecture, space and the home, as well as disenfranchisement, which directly fitted this year’s theme – power. The theme was probably tackled more obvious in the work of Egyptian activist and artist Bahia Shebab. Along with her stencils from the infamous A Thousand Times NO series, this year’s lead artist painted a large mural rephrasing part of Mahmoud Darwish’s poem – “How small is the state, How big is the idea”. The contrast between small and big letters as well as the Arabic alphabet against modern residential surrounding are bound to initiate some interesting conversation and interaction. Ampparito painted a mural that is a result of his research of Playmobil figures’ anatomy, after taking Zechariah Chafee’s quote “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins” as a starting idea. Along with the mural Spanish artist created a series of interventions through the city, occupying the public space in the most obvious, yet absurd way. Carrie Reichardt took the public intervention to a new sphere by creating a tiled mosaic on a stairway in the city center. By quoting American historian, playwright, and social activist, Howard Zinn, while using common household tiles, British craftivist merged the warm, mundane feel of home, with heated, dynamic world of activism. Back in Stavanger after 3 years, John Fekner addressed the collapse of oil industry with his bold mural and smaller interventions around the abandoned pier, directly continuing his powerful text-based work started in New York in the 1970’s. Photo credit: @SashaBogojev http://arrestedmotion.com

Streets: Nuart 2017 (Part I)

For their 17th edition Nuart festival took a significant and brave step away from producing an ordinary street art festival that results in series of beautifully colored facades. This year they’ve invited a carefully selected group of international artists and activists working in the public domain, more focused on using the public space to speak out, rather than “exhibit”. After 17 years of building a platform for network of artists, academics, journalists and other professionals surrounding the street art practice, as well as creating one of the biggest collections of public urban art, Nuart festival is this year further questioning the right to public space and the ways it can be used for communication and interaction. This shift in curatorial practice affected all the festival elements which include producing artworks both inside and outside, but also, speeches, presentations, debates and workshops. Being in Stavanger for the last couple of days, AM team noticed the difference in the way festival is taking over the city – instead of series of big walls being painted daily, there are many small interventions and installations appearing through the city. From Vermibus or Ian Strange‘s add takeovers in the city center, Ampparito‘s temporary reality glitches, Carrie Reichardt‘s craftivism interventions, to Igor Ponosov‘s eye chart boat sailing in front of the city. The festival is also hosting some strong and thought provoking talks and presentations, including the one by Egyptian artist, activist and art historian, Bahia Shehab, or Finish human right defender and the voice of Amnesty International’s Brave campaign, Sakris Kupila. Along with all these activities, the festival is working hard on producing their indoor exhibition which will open for public @ Tou Scene on 2nd of September @ 7pm. We’re bringing you a selection of exclusive photos of some of the activities and works that have been installed in and around Stavanger in the last couple of days. Photo credit: @SashaBogojev http://arrestedmotion.com

Previews: “Hand Luggage Only” @ Nuart Gallery

As one of the official opening events of this year’s Nuart Festival in Stavanger, Norway, Nuart gallery will be opening Hand Luggage Only! group show by festival artists and guests. The preview of the show is set for 31st of August and the show will last until the end of September. With the main theme of this year’s event being “power,” the artists were challenged to create work that can be brought to the gallery in their hand luggage. With airports and travelling by plane being one instance in which individuals have least sense of having control, these works can be questioned, scanned, justified, quarantined, stripped, bullied, finger­ printed, etc. As the artists are arriving to town and revealing what they’ve created for the event, we’re sharing with you several examples of what will be exhibited in Stavanger. With most of the artists being engaged with social, environmental and political issues, the works reflect their firm beliefs and stands about such topics. The full lineup of participating artists includes Add Fuel (PT), Ampparito (ES), Bahia Shehab (EG), Carrie Reichardt (UK), Ian Strange (AU), John Fekner (US), Know Hope (IL), ±maismenos± (PT), Igor Ponosov (RU), Nina Ghafari (IR/NO), Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA), Slava Ptrk (RU), Vermibus (DE), Wan Ho (CH/NO) and more. http://arrestedmotion.com

Upcoming: Nuart Stavanger 2017

It was only few months ago we were reporting from the inaugural Nuart Aberdeen (covered) and now it’s time for the main event in Norway. The people behind the longest lasting and respected urban/street art festival have just released info about the 17th edition of Nuart will be taking place in Stavanger from the 31st of August until the 3rd of September, with their indoor exhibition at Tou Scene staying on view through 15th of October. An initiative that placed the Norwegian oil capital permanently on the world street art map, got it listed in the recently published Lonely Planet’s Street Art guide, that collaborated with many creative festivals and projects inside the country and abroad, earned multiple awards and triggered countless conversations and debates about the rights to artistic use of the public space, is once again bringing a group of creatives to their quaint hometown. Their visionary actions will be followed by the unique Nuart Plus satellite program of academic and industry debates, artist presentations, film screenings, workshops, guided tours and more. The organizers carefully selected a group of 12 artists from 10 countries spanning 4 continents that fit this year’s theme – “power.” Questioning who has it, who doesn’t and how sanctioned and unsanctioned street and public art can challenge prevailing mechanisms of control, the participating artists will be creating site-specific murals, installations, interventions, and a temporary indoor exhibition. The full lineup includes Ampparito (ES), Bahia Shehab (EG), Carrie Reichardt (UK), flyingleaps presents Derek Mawudoku (UK), Ian Strange (AU) – seen above, John Fekner (US), Know Hope (IS), ±maismenos± (PT), Igor Ponosov (RU), Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA), Slava Ptrk (RU) and Vermibus (DE). “Nuart’s programs are designed specifically to explore and silently challenge the mechanisms of power and politics in public space. The real power of “street art” is being played out daily on walls, buildings, ad shelters and city squares the world over. This year’s Nuart Festival will bring together a diverse combination of of artists, activists and academics to reflect upon the fluidity of this transgressive new movement.” – Nuart founder and director, Martyn Reed In the coming weeks AM will be further introducing the participants of Nuart 2017, as well as follow the festival in person and reporting directly from Stavanger.   http://arrestedmotion.com