The Wall: An Open Discussion on Street Art

The Wall Project began in 2009 at Art-Strelka cultural centre (now site of the Media, Design and Architecture Institute - Strelka) as an open exhibition forum for graffiti and street genres.



The wall at the Art Strelka, 2009.

The initial concept by Stepan Krasnov and Andrey Tseluyko of 310 sought to imitate so-called halls of fame (illegal zones street artists work in). Empty and away from crowded streets, these were often visited only by insiders or people in the know. Those unfamiliar with graffiti culture usually do not know of these places and come across them only when roaming along the streets.

After moving to Winzavod, Moscow's Center for Contemporary Art, the project expanded from its original intention. It began stepping away from graffiti museification (the Contemporary Art Center also began a graffiti festival), and became a space to debate the very possibility of the existence of such projects in official institutions.

'The Wall' itself is an outdoor exhibition area—and literally, a wall. But it is more than simply an exhibition space for street art. It acts as an open discussion forum which updates people on the internal and external problems of graffiti culture. In addition to hosting and showing single works / artists / trends, each new exhibition presents a substantive argument or narrative, referring to specific discourses, cultural processes, and practices of street art.

 


Make, December 2010.

Beginning in 2010, artists like Stas Dobry, P 183, and Make created the first five layers of art – a starting point and an incentive for future participants.

In spring of 2011, we launched the first series of lectures, comprised of creative meetings with Basque street artist Igor Rezola Dizebi, Roman Minin from Kharkov, the mysterious graffiti artist XXXXX # # # from Berlin, Moscow's graffiti team MDT and Victor Splash, one of the most famous graffiti artists from St. Petersburg.

Over 7 months, the phenomenon of street art was discussed by 10 trained street artists, activists and theorists from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok.

The Wall: 2011

 


Ilya Malkin, March 2011.

With the onset of warm days in March, the wall opened the 2011 season. The first message of the year was an optimistic text by Ilya Malkin, "Do not be afraid," addressed to everyone, but above all to himself.

 


Jacob, Chairock, When, Stop, 0331c, Stas Dobry, April 2011

In April, visitors from nearby Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod—Jacob Chairock, When, and Stop—along with Moscow street artists Stas Dobry and 0331c, created a mural about post-industrial world order.

 


Andrei Meshkov, May 2011

"Let Them Speak!" by Andrei Meshkov encouraged visitors to actively participate. Empty speech bubbles accompanied traditional outdoor advertising on the wall. On the one hand this invited critical comments on advertising in the city, and on the other encouraged (or almost bullied) the viewer to speak.

 


Chtak, June 2011

Chtak continued the series of creating text on the wall. His statement, "Paint is better than to paint," points to plain colored space, which is often preferable to having a picture on it. However, unable to resist violating the original concept, he complemented empty space with images, because the temptation was too great.

 


Igor Rezola Dizebi, July 2011.

After the opening of his solo exhibition in Protvor St. Petersburg, Basque street artist Igor Rezola Dizebi came to Moscow, and refers to Joseph Kossuth's, "One and Three Chairs," adapting it for graffiti artists.


Roman Minin, August 2011.

In August, Roman Minin made an illustrative commentary, crossing-over with the ideals of the previous participant. Treacherously ruining the previous layer, the work reproached to the administration of Winzavod art center, who are often unable to cope with the problems of car parking even on a small territory.

 


MDT crew, September 2011.

Yubileyno's elegant, colorful graffiti murals, recreated the hall-of-fame of one of the most famous teams MDT, covering it with their nicknames. This demonstration of traditional graffiti writing marked their 11th anniversary celebration.

 


Pavel Shugurov, October 2011.

Paul Shugurov from Vladivostok, like Andrei Meshkov, involved onlookers to create a collective work, but in a more scenic and understandable way. His work resembles the giant posters by French street artist JR, but Paul adapts to the local social context to give it additional meaning.



Natalia Pastukhova, November 2011.

In collaboration with the Ekaterinsburg festival Stenograffia, Natalia Pastukhova became the first woman-participant of the project. Created in an illustrative manner, her drawing was a nice wall decoration for November.

 


Victor Splash, December 2011.

Victor Splash from St. Petersburg has worked for over 10 years using 3D-style graffiti. He presented his own style on the wall, showing mastery of technique and execution. He then talked about his path as a designer and organizer of festivals. This layer closed the 2011 season.

A more detailed description of the Wall Project is available on its website. It also contains information about the discussion and lecture program, and about each artist and art layer.

Web site:
www.thewallproject.ru/eng
 
Address:
4th Syromyatnichesliy lane, 1, building 6