Painting the Town Red to Bring Pride and Peace to a Favela?

November 19, 2010 · Print This Article

home-paint-town-red-favelaDutch Artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn who meet when they started working together in 2005 while filming a documentary about hip hop in the favelas of Rio and São Paolo for MTV were inspired by the visit. They decided to bring outrageous works of art to unexpected places, starting with painting enormous murals in the slums of Brazil together with the local youth.

What began as a single mural here or a most impressive redesign of a concrete stairway into a illustrative koi pond has grown into a plan to paint the entire favela into a colorful explosion on the side of a hill. The idea being that ownership, pride and hope will spur the locals into viewing the slum as something to build on and protect as opposed to exploit and escape from. I am always interested to see solid case studies on if this works or not since I have seen first had it both change a community and also fail miserably in a separate instance and get trampled à la pearls before swine. Akin to that would be ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition where you wonder how many of the new homes mansions are in forclosure or complete disarray.

Regardless though the work is amazing and quite interesting, I only hope the artists do get to complete the project it will be interesting to see it as a whole.

Chicago Land Use, Interpreted

May 9, 2009 · Print This Article

Ever wonder where your “shit, condoms, and dead pet gerbils” wind up after you’ve flushed them down the toilet?

Well, wonder no more. The folks at Pruned have mapped it all out for you in a project titled “A Fantasy Itinerary for a CLUImidwest Tour of Peripheral Chicago” on their website. The project is inspired by L.A.’s Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI).

I’m so glad Modern Art NotesTyler Green linked this; I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise. CLUI is one of Los Angeles’ most interesting exhibition spaces/think tanks/collectives/hybrid projects involving land use and urban theory (there is so much fascinating work being done in this area in Los Angeles, but that’s for another post).  Pruned has taken up some of CLUI’s ideas and applied them to their home base and ours, the city of Chicago. Here’s what Pruned has to say about the project:

“Inspired by a Dwell article published last summer, wherein Geoff Manaugh, in his temporary guise as the magazine’s Senior Editor, asked Matthew Coolidge, of The Center for Landscape Use Interpretation (CLUI), what makes his favorite city work, we set out to concoct a similar infrastructural tour of Pruned HQ a.k.a. Chicago, a fantasy itinerary to better understand what makes it function. Because we, too, wanted to know from where does Chicago get its water and electricity. What happens to our shit? What about our trash? Where is the nerve center overseeing all that traffic?”

Check out the links above for answers. The blog is also asking readers to contribute their own infrastructural insight on the subject in their comments section. (via Modern Art Notes).