7.4.09

“Facebook WALL” MUJAM, Mexico City




To define the wall space we have to understand it is not a piece of art. It’s a piece of acupuncture that happens to exist in an art exhibition. As the exhibition is modified it refers to the urban situation of graffiti: the OWNERSHIP of the space and the APROPIATION of such “no-one spaces”, being by force or permitted by the owner, by the bystander, the visitor, the user who then becomes the artist, the owner, the modifier. “the object itself has no power to exercise until it is encountered by the audience and what they bring to it”. The piece meant to create a sense of recording a kind of “guestbook” or “Facebook WALL” where people were encouraged, not by the artists (us), but by the environment to interact. What we meant for the installation to do was to record a urban and sociological phenomena that is known as the “broken Windows syndrome” but instead of devaluating the object this almost “forbidden actions” for the gallery space (the touching, the modification of the piece, the interactions) Only increased the economical and symbolical value of the object.

We intended to lay the piece there and leave it alone with all the modifications already in place, the bubble wrap was a divider of sorts, a way of protection from onlookers for the “vandalize” to feel secure and anonymous. It becomes an experiment in social behavior as well as an experiment on art (who is the artist, who is the spectator). The social part was analizyng the time it took the first person to interact and then measuring the second and third and so on. The really interesting part was that after a third of the time intended for the duration of the experiment there was actually NO intervention, neither from the spectators nor the fellow artists in the show. You can then see the rigidity of the rules of the contemporary art scene and the social paradigms that lie in them. Many even ludacris and ridiculous. How come a blank canvas laid unchecked in the middle of an art exibit has NO intervention? We subsecuentally had to take the first step (which in itself is a huge lesson) and place a sort of “instruction manual” in the wall itself at exactly the middle of the time intended for the duration of the experiment. After that the respose was almost immediate and by the 2/3 of the desired time the entire canvas was covered. That’s when we received the proposition from a fellow artist in the exibit to pait over with white paint, which brought the second lesson: set rules and follow them. We denied the proposition on the basis of the wall and subsidiary structures being a recording of the exhibit, and painting it over meant denying the previous interaction. The useen part of this decision was seing people watching the filled canvas and finding new and different ways to interact with it which supleied us with a condensed history on art (2d-3d-insallation). After the exhibit was over we left the object there by mere lack of means of tansporting it.

The museum curator stored it and then reused it for an expo on graffiti and it worked as a secondary canvas for graffiti and sticker artists to place their art, “there isn’t a simple corner, there is a multiplicity of views. And it implied a kind of organic organization that is not a closed system. The most important thing is that these systems are no longer about completeness; they are incomplete compositions and also not closed systems of organization” (Zaha Hadid). This is only an example of the unforseen activities and programs users generated for a simple and empty 8 by 4 sheetrock wall.

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