To resist the hegemonic set of values and/or symbolic meaning, as well as social oppression, is a unique power of the street art phenomenon (read an inspiring story on the Egyptian revolution and graffiti in Walls of Freedom). One of the influences on the graffiti and street art culture in Europe, has been a deep divide between Eastern and Western block (check out 10 Eastern European Artists You Should Know). But what is more important, the artists themselves had been a part of the activities pointed toward the goal of destroying the barrier which divided Berlin, Germany and Europe. During the marking of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, there is something quite interesting going on in London…
Built in 1961, the Berlin Wall had been a materialization of the ideological clash between military and political blocks of the East and West, an ongoing epilogue of crisis which had emerged after World War II. To come near the Wall was absolutely forbidden. However, as the years passed by, street artists took up a role of those who wanted to fight the cultural divide which was imposed by the notions of global politics. One of those people who participated in the significant aesthetic transformation of the Berlin Wall was Thierry Noir. He painted a portion of the Wall in 1984 and the iconic imagery covered a total of five miles of the surface. This act has been conceived as a step toward destroying the Wall. Noir has said that his painting “are a symbol of a freedom that does not come from the sky, a freedom that is not given to you, but a freedom that you have to fight for.” (to find out more about context of the fall, read our article The Forgotten Pioneers)
Through the collaboration with the German Embassy in London, Thierry Noir will paint the surface on both sides of the Wall surrounding German Embassy in Belgravia Square. This unique commission will mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. There will be an exclusive preview event on November 6th 2014, and the public view will be available during the entire day of November 12th 2014. Apart from the commission by Thierry Noir, the event will be accompanied by an exhibition of photographs, taken in East Berlin shortly before the fall of the Wall. The photographs were taken by Gerald Zörner, during the events which directly preceded the fall.
In order to follow Thierry Noir, as well as exciting events such as the artist’s collaboration with the German Embassy, but also topics similar to those mentioned in the article, be sure to sign up for My Widewalls!
All images © Thierry Noir / Howard Griffin Gallery
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