Tag Archives: Dresden

Dresden: ‘Monument’ to Aleppo sparks emotional debate

Monument - Dresden

A Syrian war memorial is currently dividing Dresden, itself a symbol of the ravages of war.
‘Monument’, featuring three buses standing upright, was erected in February 2017 next to the famous baroque Frauenkirche, which was initially devastated by Allied bombs in 1945 and then rebuilt brick by brick after the German unification, becoming a symbol of peace and reconciliation.

Manaf Halbouni, a Syrian-born artist with German roots, was inspired by a powerful image that was seen worldwide in 2015: Residents of Aleppo put bombed-out buses on their sides in the heart of the formerly thriving industrial city to protect themselves from sharpshooters. The buses became a symbol of the resistance movement in the town which, by the end of 2016, had been nearly totally destroyed by war.

In Dresden, the sculpture is comprised of three outdated public buses. The artist said he intentionally used buses that had not been wrecked, as a symbol of the peace that can still be found in Germany – unlike in Syria.

Designed to draw attention to the Syrian war while appealing for peace and humanity, the art installation has sparked an emotional debate in the city. Halbouni’s work was installed to coincide with the 72nd anniversary of the Allied raids that devastated the city. The bombings by British and American warplanes on a militarily insignificant city remain the source of resentment, and far-right groups tried to use the annual memorial to push a revisionist view of history that Dresden was a victim of an Allied war crime.

Curator of Kunsthaus Dresden Mennicke-Schwarz added: “It’s thought-provoking and that’s what we wanted: to connect the terrible suffering of the war in Syria to Dresden, to connect the commemoration of the victims of the past with those of the present. It seemed so appropriate to give us a small insight into how civilians are trying to get by at the moment in Syrian cities.”

On display in the city through April 3, the installation was funded through donations from the local community. The artist said he found it important to show that there is a side to Dresden which stands in contrast to the anti-foreigner movement that has become associated with the city.

Monument - Dresden
Monument - DresdenMonument - DresdenMonument - DresdenMonument - Dresden
Monument - Dresden

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Dresden: Magic City – Art of the streets

Magic City - Dresden

Opened since last October in the German city of Dresden, ‘MAGIC CITY – THE ART OF THE STREET‘ is a touring and evolving exhibition showcasing over 40 international street artists as well as local graffiti writers with their different practices and tools within 2500 square meters. Visitors can learn more about the different art forms, explore the streets of this dream city and interact with the immersive installations.

Curators Carlo McCormic and Ethel Seno declared that their goal was to create a “playground for the imagination”, in a new hybrid form. Starting with an initial ‘ white walls ‘ gallery setting , the streets are getting more and more covered with artworks and installations as the exhibition evolves and continues to tour.

The show starts with a chronological introduction to graffiti with a pictures gallery from legendary photo-journalists Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant, as well as Graffiti writer Daze, who bombed the New York subways in the mid-1970s and writer FINO’91 who grew up in the 1970s in the American sector of divided Berlin

Magic City - Dresden

Rats have a favorite place in the heart of street artists. This week end saw the reveal of additional artworks to the Magic City exhibition from Ericalcaine to Banksy.

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To celebrate the European premiere of the documentary ‘Saving Banksy’ , the special week end was featuring an all-nighter of documentaries and talks with Blek Le Rat, Colin Day, Herakut, Jens Besser, Remi Jaccard, David Chaumet,  René Kæstner, Andreas Schanzenbach, which we were honoured to participate. In parallel kids could improve their graffiti writing skills in the Spike Labs with Akim Walta and graffiti legends.

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Discussion photos by Frank Embacher Photographie

In the first room of the exhibition, the public can play and create their own artworks using laser pens on the multimedia interactive screens by Akrylonumerik  or get immersed within 3D anamorphic installations by Leon Kerr, Truly, Replete, The Yok & Sheryo .

Magic City - Dresden
Magic City - DresdenMagic City - Dresden

Looking up, twin brothers Skewville ‘dogs have invaded the alleys, while shopping trolleys have been transformed into a playful seating duo. Asbestos ‘Lost’ posters  advertise items never to be found.

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Activist artists like Icy & Sot, Biancoshock and Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas present works about the refugee crisis in Europe while SpY and Shepard Fairey highlight the surveillance society.

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The city also contains a square with a colourful carrousel by crochet queen OLEK, a phone booth installation by Ernest Zacharevic as well as a red light district decorated by AIKO.

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Walking along the streets, visitors can play with the wooden panels by ROA and enjoy the murals by HERAKUT, Tristan Eaton, MadC, Ron English,  discover an urban installation by Brad Downey made of found material andet immersed within the miniature city of Isaac Cordal.

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Magic City also features a cinema with a selection of movies curated by our friends Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington at Brooklyn Street Art.

Full list of participating artists includes Akrylonumerik, Andy K, Asbestos, Ben Heine, Benuz, Biancoshock, Bordalo II, Brad, Downey, Dan Witz, Daze, Ernest Zacharevic, Ganzeer, Henry Chalfant, HERAKUT, Icy & Sot, Isaac Cordal, Jaime Rojo, Jens Besser, Juandres Vera, Lady Aiko, Leon Keer, Loomit, MAD C, Mark Bode, Martha Cooper, Oakoak, Odeith, Olek, Ori Carin / Benjamin Armas, Qi Xinghua, Replete, ROA, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Skewville, SpY, Tristan Eaton, Truly, WENU Crew, Yok & Sheryo.

Magic City - Dresden

Photos by Butterfly Art News unless otherwise stated.

View the full set of pics here

Big Thanks to the SC Exhibition Team, Christoph Scholz, Oliver, Thobias, Britta, Colin Day, Hera, Blek Le Rat, Remi Jaccard, Akim Walta, Dizy, Astrid, René Kæstner, Andreas Schanzenbach, Frank Embacher and the participating artists.

Magic City – The art of the streets
Dresden – until 12 March 2017
Kultur-Quartier Zeitenströmung
Königsbrücker Straße 96
01099 Dresden