‘Painting Reality’: a brushstroke by societyWednesday, September 8, 2010 12:23
Painting Reality is the work of Dutch performance artist IEPE and an anonymous crew who on April 25 2010 ‘dumped’ 500 cans of waterbased environmentally-friendly paint onto the asphalt of the busy junction, Rosenthaler Platz, in Berlin and let passing cars do the rest. The result a giant Pollock-esque painting of coloured – red, yellow, purple and blue – brushstrokes propagated by the incessant flow of Berlin’s mobile urbanites. The work was documented in a video (below), directed by AKIZ and was presented at the Premiére edition of the Kreuzburg Biennale in Berlin.
Painting Reality, artwork IEPE and anonymous crew © IEPE
Puzzled citizens thought the mysterious performance was a guerrilla advertising campaign but, in actual fact what IEPE and his crew had bestowed upon the city was an artless urban intervention painted by society. IEPE, renowned for ‘thinking outside the box’, is most famous as the inventor of the hybrid sport Chess Boxing, but it is not the first time that he uses the city to stage his actions: in 2002 he graced Berlin, Singapore, and Arnsberg with his raining ‘Miracle Trees’ and he also blocked off traffic at busy intersections in both Berlin and Tokyo.
When asked what it was that inspired ‘Painting Reality’ IEPE replied: “it all started in front of a hardware store. In front of almost every store a bucket of paint is spilled and cars drive over it. It’s that simple”
Uncanny how such a simple and gesture can achieve in a city what planning so often struggles to: civic participation. In which case we need more artists working on our cities, and the reality is that the German capital continues to attract and inspire them.
Painting Reality movie, a documentation and co-production by the director AKIZ (Achim Bornhak i.a. ‚8 Miles High’) and IEPE © IEPE
(thanks to Stefano Mirti for the link!)