AAKASH NIHALANI (US), DOLK (NO), EINE (UK), JORDAN SEILER (US), HOWNOSM (US), MOBSTR (UK), NIELS SHOE MEULMAN (NL), RON ENGLISH (US), SABER (US), SICKBOY (UK), THE WA (FR)
The streets of Stavanger
The surprises at this year’s Nuart were the public interventions. Each year there has been public murals painted in addition to the exhibition spaces. This year also saw actions on or over the border of what is strictly legal, but at the same time questioning why this is so. Unlike the murals, the interventions existed for just a short while, visible only for those who were there just for that period of time.
Jordan Seiler - ad-takeoverJordan Seiler brought the ad-takeover campaign to Stavanger. He removed more than 30 bus shelter commercials and two billboards, and replaced the movie and clothes posters with his own abstract geometrical patterns. For one evening and a night the bus stops were free of the commercial strain. You could actually wait for the bus without being told which movies to watch or clothes to wear. The next day he explained the idea behind the work, on the conference Nuart Plus.
Ad takeover by Jordan Seiler
We are bombarded with advertisements all the time, and it does have an impact on us whether we like it or not. (Otherwise they would not pay such large sums for ad space, would they?) Some ads we are able to switch off, by turning off the TV, by not buying newspapers or by refusing to recieve mail ads. But in public space we are forced to see the ads, especially while waiting for the bus. Is JCDecaux offering free bus shelters just to be nice, or is there a profit on the ad space they offer? And who is paying for it in the end, if not the consumers, that is us?
Seiler’s intervention had several impacts, even if the ads were replaced the next morning. It replaced ads with art. It drew our attention to how many ads there are around. And it showed us that we can actually do something with our environment.
What is left to say is that he also went out the next night, this time to just turn a vast number of posters upside down. A simple but very effective intervention, adding inconvenience to the bus shelter company, and giving humour to the bus travellers. The posters were turned back the next morning. But we may wonder what is normal and what is upside-down about one commercial company deciding what we all shall see every day instead of letting us have a choice.
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The Wa and his assistants worked hard all week on a large gift for Stavanger. For a short time there was a flow of black spots resembling oil drops leaking from an ATM, across the main square, to the sea. A large van-load of spots, more than 200 of them, in unique shapes and sizes, were quickly placed out on the actual path. As the gift was given, it was up to the inhabitants, the weather, the cars and the birds to decide what to do with it. The items were not signed, few knew about the action on beforehand, and little was published afterwards. Those who have seen it are privileged, even if they do not know it themselves.
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Street art walksStavanger is turning into a gallery of murals, with additions every year. There are still walls to paint, and some disappear during the years, but the exhibition/collection is increasing every year. Some works are highly visible, others are more hidden. Even inhabitants that walk daily in the streets may not have seen all. Thus it was just reasonable of Nuart to present art walks for both visitors and inhabitants to get a closer look on what there is to see. One day with streetartblogger RJ Rushmore of Vandalog and urban interventionist Jordan Seiler, and one day with the mr.Knowitall-of-streetart Tristan Manco. Not even pouring rain stopped the crowd of participants from walking from mural to mural, learning to know the town in a different way.
Streetart walk with Tristan Manco