Für ziemlich viel Trouble sorgt gerade ein neues Mural in Tegel: Auf der 42 Meter hohen Fassade eines Hochhauses in der Neheimer Straße prangt jetzt ein Werk des spanischen Streetart-Künstlers Borondo, welches ein Mädchen zeigt, das in seinem rot befleckten Kleid vermeintlich in einer Blutlache steht. Es blickt in einen kargen Wald. An einen der Bäume ist ein nackter Körper gefesselt, der von Pfeilen durchbohrt ist.
Entstanden ist das riesige Fassadengemälde im Rahmen eines Projekts des Streetart-Netzwerkes Urban Nation. (Urban Nation steht übrigens auch hinter dem Muesum of Urban Contemporary Art). „Artpark Tegel“ ist ein Kunstprojekt, das sieben Werke von internationalen Streetart-Künstlern an Tegeler Häuserwänden umfasst, fünf davon sind bereits umgesetzt. Dachorganisation ist die Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Gewobag, der auch das betreffende Haus gehört.
Das schöne, aber doch recht düster anmutende Mural befindet sich direkt neben einem Kindergarten. Was wiederum Anwohner und Eltern nicht besonders erfreut. Die Nachbarschaftsinitiative „I love Tegel“ nennt die Wandmalerei unangemessen und deplatziert, zumal zusätzlich in der Nähe gerade eine Unterkunft für Geflüchtete entsteht. Gemeinsam mit den Anwohnern wollen sie nun per Unterschriftenaktion gegen das Mural vorgehen. Auf der Facebook-Seite von „I love Tegel“ gehen die Meinungen auseinander. Von „abstoßend“ oder „einfach nur hässlich“ über die Kunstfreiheit verteitigend („sich künstlerisch frei zu betätigen und seine Kunstwerke der Öffentlichkeit vorzustellen; ist als Grundrecht in Art. 5 Abs. 3 CG gewährleistet“) bis hin zu „Ich finde es toll! <3“.
Doch natürlich hat sich auch Gonzalo Borondo etwas bei seinem Mural gedacht: der Künstler wolle gerade auf die Flüchtlingsthematik anspielen, sagte ein Sprecher der Gewobag dem „Tagesspiegel“. Es gehe auch um Hoffnung, denn das Kind sehe einen Menschen, der trotz seiner Verwundung aufrecht steht und Stärke zeigt.
Vor wenigen Minuten, veröffentlichte Borondo auf seiner Facebook-Seite folgendes Statement:
I would like to clarify somehow the questions and concerns raised around the artwork I realized in Tegel, Berlin, invited by Urban Nation.
Before approaching a surface it is important for me to try and understand the environment where my artwork will be placed, to feel the energy of the space which is welcoming me, to learn the history, the community and the ongoing problematics.I work with the space and with the specific site I’m in, and in this case I was in an area where the construction for housing complexes for refugees will take place.
To create my works I use a palette which is inspired by the colors of nature, of the surrounding and of the facade itself, theses are not bright because I don’t like to be invasive but to respectfully integrate my work in the landscape. I think that during cloudy days a bright colored palette would looks very sad (imagine a playground in a rainy day), that’s why for this intervention, considering the typical weather conditions in Berlin, I used a sort of “grey” scale. Then I added red, which is a beautiful color very important in my production, which perfectly matches with the rest of the composition.
I work in the public space and there’s always a risk hidden in the process of working outdoors, so in my opinion the artist has the responsibility to never forget that his work is going to be for everyone walking in the streets, if he wants to express himself in the public space. But in any case the artist gives his message, his aesthetic and imagery. If I would ask to the community what they would like to see on a building of the neighborhood I would probably get many requests such as “rainbow”, “cats”, “sunset”, “flowers” but in this way the facades will be almost like a TV screen, entertainment and not culture. The risk hidden in this thinking is that in a couple of years we will loose the difference between advertising and mural art. The main contradiction here is that so many people complain about a mural considered too deep or too reflective but such few people complain about huge billboard positioned in front of their door.
The artist has the responsibility to struggle every time with the facade to offer a message and open a dialogue, but this doesn’t mean that the message has to be universal, immediate or easy to get. Also the process is way more complicated than that and needs to be the result of a real and deep relation build with the community not only by the artist, but prior by the cultural players working in the area.
I want to offer poetic, not politics neither polemic messages. I desire to suggest thoughts and feelings through an image, that’s what I do.
I don’t suggest happiness with bright colors, I make art and not decoration. Unfortunately this mural hasn’t not yet been fully understood by the community which lives there. I truly hope they just need time to reflect on it and to realize that through the message in it they can get other shades of life, not only the bright, and appreciate the piece.
In any case, even if maybe not necessary, I feel that I want to explain the concept for this work – which usually I never explain – because the theme in which it has been approached is important to me.
Usually I don’t impose on anyone with the definition or meaning. The reason for this is :
If I explain the work my meaning seems
to suggest that there is only one interpretation that is right and all others would be wrong. But sometimes the viewer’s interpretations are more interesting and completely different from the ones I had and I don’t want to close this discourse or exchange.
For me it is a poem composed by images and colors instead of words. I believe that in an art piece it is important to get not an immediate reaction but to promote critical thinking, a research of meanings and different levels of communication.
In this case I wanted to flow on the surface using different image and references to create a sort of big collage realized directly on the 14th floors high wall.
The wall is divided in two side with a gap of windows in the centre so I used this gap to represent a wall that creates a double dimension. On the left side there’s a figure looking through a hole, while the right side depicts St. Sebastian inspired by renaissance paintings inserted in a snow forest with a cloud accumulation on top. The “wall” represents a division, a frontier and in this case creates a distance: outside the drama and inside an empty room with a small hole from which one can see the reality. A reality that we may pretend to not see but we need to be curios – as the child depicted here – to know and understand.
The gap is contemporary Europe, which seems to keeps our children safe and far from what’s going on in countries very close to our home. Often this way creating fears and closing doors to problems that are a direct consequence of our economic politics.
It seems superficial that there should be a controversy about a wall that since it contains red as merely a color it is suggested this speaks about blood, while so many people next door are suffering a brutal reality.
Let’s open our minds and stop looking at the drama through our save screens.