In the drizzling and quiet night from Thursday the 11th to Friday the 12th of December 2014 the Streetart Murals by BLU (our older Posts), located at the „Curvybrache“ at Curvystr. in Berlin Kreuzberg (you could also see it from the Oberbaumbridge), got erased. Covered completly with black paint.
Who painted over BLUs Murals? And why did the Streetart Icon of Berlin, got erased and painted all over in black?
There was long fight about the area in the Curvystr. infront of the BLU artworks. It was the last access point for the Berliners to the Spree (the only riverside in the city of Berlin) and the Streetart Giants together with masses of Graffiti made the location even more popular. This area got bought by an investor, Mr. Artur Suesskind. „Favellas of Berlin“ was the new name for an Occupy Camp made out of tents and little self build houses. By squatting the „Curvybrache“ and organizing concerts, party and so on, the people have been fighting for the preservation of the open space to show: „That is our city. We have to live here, we want to decide about our city. And it can be so much more than another shopping center.“ After a while it became more and more people living there: homeless people, refugees, hobos and so on… in the end almost 150 people lived there „permanently“. „Randomely“ the camp got burned down short before the investor, security and police „cleaned and closed“ the area. The fight on sight was lost.
An petition that already counted over 7000 signatures to save the murals through monument protection came to late, obviously.
In the night from Thursday to Friday a bunch of people started turning up with cherry pickers and black paint. It was dark and drizzling, not a lot of people realized what was going on. You know the rest of the story.
And here the emergence od the Artwork in cooperation with J.R. (J.R. uses Posters, the glasses got added by BLU after the poster where gone through the weather conditions)
– Video and Pictures by BLUBLU.org
BLUs Murals in Curvystr. got painted over by Artists with permission and order by BLU! BLU didn’t wanted to blow up the flat prices because they will be right next to an original artwork by him and an icon of Berlin.
That it hasn’t been the investor was clear pretty soon: Mr. Suesskind (the Investor) is a Buisinis Man, but he isn’t stupid
Instead of painting over the whole Mural instantly the „painters“ transformed the „E“ that the left figure moved with its fingers into an middle finger and the sentence: „Reclaim your City“ became: „Your City“. This is Berlin. This is what we have now. We didn’t fighted and reclaimed hard enough. Berlin was proud on the artworks. But did we deserved them?!
And wasn’t BLU hoping that the 7000 signatures for the monument protection could save his murals, or maybe he didn’t knew at all? And even if the petition for the monument protection would have been a success could it mean that the investor can still build his flats and BLU isn’t (legally) allowed to paint over his own artwork?
BLUs Streetart Mural Global Warming (Hourglass) got erased earlier…
…and almost nobody seemed to care about!
And even now, no one and no Blog mentioned it, so we have to do now because it makes us still fuc**** angry: After his great and brilliant Streetart Mural „Global Warming“, an hourglass with melting ice in the top, and an undergoing city in the bottom part, got painted over for an Hollywood movie advertisment by the advertisment painter collective „Innerfields“ (they claim that it already got painted over for an SEEED advert but that is a lie, Seeed used paint). Berlin changed in the last years and that was an perfect example to what happened here. Unsurprisingly that BLU has the feeling that Berlin is unworthy to have that Icon.
” WHEN THE FINGER POINTS TO THE MOON… “
in 2007 and 2008 i painted two walls at Cuvrystraße in Berlin (with the support of Lutz, ARTITUDE e.V. and its volunteers)
in 2014, after witnessing the changes happening in the surrounding area during the last years,
we felt it was time to erase both walls. – Via: BLUs Website
BLU definitely stayed true too what he claimed allured in the year 2007, with this particular artwork: He reclaimed the city. He did a move against the sell out in Berlin and protected himself to be a cog in the wheel of the Gentrification. And even when it was a bad move as an artist it was an radical and good move as an activist.
(An good example is a letter to Banksy that was printed in his Book „Wall and Piece“:
„Letter received to Banksy Website:
„I don’t know who you are or how many of you there are but i am writing to ask you to stop painting your things where we live. In particular xxx road in Hackney. My brother and me were born here and have lived here all our lives but these days so many yuppies and students are moving here neither of us can afford to buy a house where we grew up anymore. Your graffitis are undoubtably part of what makes these wankers think our area is cool. You’re obviously not from round here and after youve driven up the house prices youll probably just move on. Do us all a favour and go do your stuff somewhere else like Brixton. -Daniel“
Berlin was poor and sexy.
Berlin was badly in debt but one of the most creative epicenters of europe. And really clever politicans, above all our mayor „Klaus Wowereit“ had a great idea: To sell out all places of Berlins citys that are not in use and to get rid of everything that isn’t making any profit. Big companys and people that are earning god money have almost been invited to by the city, with cheap prices, lower taxes and of course a representative city that is poor and sexy, and big yound and creative.
The gentrification became more and more agressive. Nightclubs and Bars closed, art- and cultural- institutions, squads, started to disapear, the prices for flats became so expensive that people with a small income had to move outside the „inner Ring of the Circle-Line (Ringbahn) into the outskirts“ (unfortunatly that people are students, artists, musicans, all the people that made Berlin to the city it used to be, once upon a time).