Tag Archives: ESCIF

Paris: Banksy joins the celebrations of Mai 68 riots

While Paris has been celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the May 68 Riots with multiple exhibitions, elusive artist Banksy has hit the streets of the French capital with a series of new artworks.

May 68 in France – Ten million workers on strike, young people in the streets, public services at a standstill, a paralysed economy: the state faced a major social crisis which threatened to shake its very foundations. The entire country was affected, including all sectors of activity.

Facing the entrance of La Sorbonne University, Banksy put up a dark stencil of a man hiding a saw behind his back while an amputated dog is salivating looking up at a bone. Could be a play on words ‘Saw Bone’ which sounds similar to ‘Sorbonne’, but also is a very cynical symbol of our society, raising questions of sacrifice and perceived rewards from the powers in place.

Placement and context are always very important. This is where the major student demonstrations took place. Interestingly, less than 10 meters away from this ‘Saw & Bone’ stencil, Invader placed a pixelated commemoration plaque on the Place de La Sorbonne earlier this May.

Click on the pics to enlarge

Banksy painted additional little rats characters, with the tag 1968 and the 8 falling apart and being transformed into the bow of the famous Minnie mouse, nod to Disneyland, symbolising with his stencils that the 1968 uprising has lost its luster and morphed into capitalism.

Next to the Centre Pompidou, which hosts Le Musee d’art Moderne, the largest museum of modern art in Europe, Banksy painted a mischief rat, which was later transformed into a bigger one holding a cutter. He posted the caption on his Instagram: ‘Fifty years since the uprising in Paris 1968. The birthplace of modern stencil art.’ 


The entire city is celebrating the 50th Anniversary, from the streets to institutions. For further historical context about the 1968 riots, the Hotel de Ville is presenting historical pictures by photograph Gilles Caron who documented the student revolts while the Archives Nationales are showing the events of May-June 1968 as seen by the authorities of the time. Earlier in May we also shared the intervention of Spanish artist ESCIF on the external walls ‘Open Borders’ of the modern art institution Palais de Tokyo ( see full coverage here).

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Stay tuned as we continue our coverage of Banksy invasion of the French capital…


Paris: ESCIF ‘Open Borders’ at Palais de Tokyo

ESCIF - Open Borders

From May 4th, Palais de Tokyo in Paris will pay tribute to the history and legacy of the May 1968 events with a intervention by Escif, where he reproduced some of the famous writings from that period of student revolts. His creation completes the project, which was started in 2015 by Greek artist Stelios Faitakis, who realized two murals dedicated to the legacy of the situationist movement and civil unrest of May 1968. This intervention is part of the 10th installment of the LASCO Project (covered) curated by Hugo Vitrani, the Urban Art programme of Palais de Tokyo launched in 2012 which features artworks by over sixty international artists throughout its building.

ESCIF - Open Borders

Escif states: “I’m looking for the limit, how to paint a mural that is not a mural (…) The wall is a limit, a tool of power with which we plan, control and manipulate the space of cities. Graffiti abuses of walls by ridiculing them, by transgressing their original function. A painted wall is then no longer a limit but a transversal channel.”

ESCIF - Open Borders

Overlooking the iconic Eiffel Tower, the Spanish artist’s mural features trompe-l’oeil elements like country flags, doors, fire escapes, and wild vegetation throughout the back walls of the Palais de Tokyo, while tags and slogans lacerate the walls.

ESCIF - Open Borders

The written texts are inspired by the graffiti drawn clandestinely in the toilets of the institution which have been archived by the artist, as well as writings that accompanied the student revolts of May 68.

ESCIF - Open Borders

The general composition of the painting is a nod to the board game ‘Snakes and Ladders’ and plunges the player into a journey between vice and virtue. This is a perfect vehicle for Escif to question the part of situationism and politics plays in the art of writing on walls.

ESCIF - Open Borders
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ESCIF - Open Borders

View the full set of pics here 

ESCIF – Open Borders
From 4 May 2018
Lasco Project
Palais de Tokyo


Escif – “Around The Wall” at Pictures on Walls

Featured in Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop,  Escif graffiti and street-art artist from Valencia (ES) is hitting the UK for a solo show “Around the wall” at Pictures On Walls (POW)  from  April 17th.

 See more pictures from the opening by Butterfly