181010: expositur ESCAPE 2010 - Escape the Golden Cage - Urban art

expositur ESCAPE 2010 - Escape the Golden Cage - Urban art 02.10.10 - 24.10.10 street art vs. urban art Inspired by her participation in the exhibition "Street and Studio" in Vienna's Art Hall (25.06. – 10.10.2010), Sarah Musser has initiated and curates her own show to the theme of street art and urban art, "ESCAPE 2010 – Escape the Golden Cage". In contrast to the retrospectively-oriented function in the Art Hall, she focuses on what is really taking place in urban art. In the course of her research, the 25-year old art historian dipped into the Berlin scene, thereby experiencing and learning about the different forms of street art, graffiti culture and other interventions in public exhibition places. On account of her direct contact to artists from home and abroad, Sarah Musser chose the works according to their pure, qualitative criteria in order to present the variety within the spectrum of urban art independent of the nationality or degree of fame of the artist. The artistic direction should definitely be conceptually different from street art: in street art the ‘placing’ on the street is essential - thereby it has an active and effective interaction with society. For the street art artist, the urban public space constitutes a democratic environment which is dominated and profit-oriented by the figure of Corporate Culture, and which should be won back by artistic intervention. The artist is frequently “creative” in nightly actions, which are sometimes dangerous and sometimes not law-abiding. Whereas street art could not be presented in the framework of a gallery or in a museum, urban art has made the connection to such institutions. Urban art is contextually bound to the suburban and demonstrates distinctive bonds to street art, whether it be through the materials used, the content or the motives. Instantaneous and spontaneous, politically correct and, at the same time, provoking, it allows the delinquent aroma of the sub-cultural street art to resonate - and in its transfer to the "White Cube", generates a source of friction that the conventional gallery arts are unable to display. Sarah Musser has certainly succeeded in transporting this excitement in "ESCAPE 2010". In significant pictures and different positions, essential phenomena of urban art are made clear: Stefan Strumbel works on popular motives from the sub-cultural scene in smooth, trendy objects and installations which he has borrowed from the bourgeois milieu and in so doing, perverts - or rather satirizes – the term "home". Paul Busk refers to graffiti writings with ideograms and graphic characters. Christian Eisenberger uses everyday materials such as cardboard and adhesive tape in order to bring them into public view again and to confront the public with enigmatic references to politics and society. The anonymously active street artist XOOOOX paints his leitmotiv of stereotyped photo models on house walls, thus making a feature of all sorts of materials and demonstrating how effective and aesthetic they can be. In his photo films, Markus Oberndorfer succeeds in documenting the evolution of graffiti in its dynamic and mystic atmosphere. "ESCAPE 2010" is, amongst other things, a selling exhibition. From this aspect, Sarah Musser has also completed the show in the Art Hall with a contemporary component. However, exactly this moment strengthens the discrepancy that is also conveyed by "Escape the Golden Cage": the discrepancy which lies in the fact that the art market -under the title of urban art – has cashed in on street art's special flair, thereby bringing some street artists out of their buried darkness into the limelight. Because even if street art and urban art succeed in becoming truly accepted and appreciated, which are undeniably their good right, the question still remains whether this development can manifest itself as truly progressive. Hasn't street art been robbed of an essential part of its own enigmatic being as soon as it found an acknowledged place as a worthwhile artistic contribution to the urban network? Or: urban art has become disposable street art – is that what it wants? By Margareta Sandhofer expositur 1030 Vienna, Vordere Zollamtsstr. 3 email: press@escape2010.at http://www.escape2010.at

1030 Wien, Vordere Zollamtstraße 3
Email: press@escape2010.at

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