Everyone’s invited to „try on” a street artist’s uniform

Everyone’s invited to „try on” a street artist’s uniform
Kaspars Garda, Rīga 2014 . Edgars Zvirgzdiņš
07-09-2013 A+ A-
One of the most exciting „White Night” events will be the project „ŠONAKT ES RĪT. Urbam games at Esplanade” organized at „Esplanāde 2014”. Therefore, it will be the pilot project for next spring’s street art festival „Blank Canvas”. Edgars Zvirgzdiņš, the project manager, tells „Rīga 2014” web portal what exactly will go on.

Art on the wall is not a world’s end!

„It will be an interactive installation where visitors might try to be street artists in order to make their own meeting point, therefore, you as a guest might change your attitude towards street art and how it functions. Everyone will be able to watch how it goes also by taking part themselves. So, everyone will be able to „try on” street artist’s uniform,” explains Zvirgzdiņš about the upcoming event on Saturday.


He emphasizes that street art has many shapes, but the event organizers chose the easiest way so there is no previous knowledge required. Some posters will be glued and several writings on the wall made while using cut letters. In addition to that, Latvian street artists will offer several surprises for „Esplanāde” visitors. Exactly what that’s gonne be, Zvirgzdiņš is not ready to reveal. Let the intrigue grow! „Everyone will have a spot to fulfill their creative ideas. There will be a 2*3 m wall that will be available from both sides,” promises Zvirgzdiņš who also tells that activities might go on from 22.30 until 01.30.

There will be plenty of activities for everyone, though only three people can work on wall decorations simultaneously. „Maybe someone will have to stand in a row for a time, htough there will be a selection of letters to choose while waiting for for some glue and paintbrushes. I think, the most interesting is that during the great „White Night” attendance, our project can expect a big flow of visitors, and it is quite common for street arts.

You cannot get too attached to your work, because it comes and goes. Either it is a city wall cleaner, a property owner with a tin of color, or the next street artist. It’s not an end of the world if works made by other artists appear on your wall or somebody just „goes” over.

This is the most interesting that people will see this Saturday.”

Educational project about street arts

When asked if people who learn about street arts might not start decorating walls on their own, Zvirgzdiņš answers that it is not necessarily a bad thing. „Considering the fact that internet is full of any kind of information, we are not doing any harm to Riga.

 „On the contrary, I think. We want to evolve a discussion about street arts during this festival. I this a criminal case and therefore should be avoided by police and local authorities?

Zvirgzdinš names an example of street art in the context of so called elite art, for instance, Banksy’s exhibitions at the art galleries considering the fact that his works are a part of the world art landscape. „Maybe this guy has the possibility to get to know his city from a different perspective, to live through game, because street art is a game in some way. You make city a playground, because a city belongs to everyone. Of course, Latvians still have this desire to live in farmsteads, so maybe this discussion will imporve the idea of us as a whole union.”


Zvirgzdiņš agrees that Latvians are conservative and sometimes don’t want to see new things, but, if we don’t discuss and speak about them, there won’t be a chance to take changes. „It’s not even a brand new thing, because street art in Latvia was practised from the end of Soviet times when first grafitti artists started to show up. Still, there was not a chance to discuss as it is possible now, within The European Capital of Culture context,” judges Zvirgzdiņš.

When asked about the next year’ „Blank canvas” festival, Zvirgzdiņš tells that several foreign artists might come, also Latvian artists will join, there is an idea to find out what street art is through lectures and discussions. What is the role of street art in a city and culture history, as well.

During our conversation, he also reads its definition related to street arts: „Art that is being made in public places or streets.

The term is usually related to unauthorized art, for instance, painted walls is authorised street art including the traditional grafitti works, sculptures, stencil, labels, posters, video projections and installations.”

This is why next year’s festivall will be richer with various artists in order to find out more what street art is in a broader perspective not by using just one technique.

„Actually, it might be an educational project, as well. We will try to invite representatives from local authorities and police so that they would understand that street art is not a crime,” emphasizes Zvirgzdiņš noting that a house in Bristol painted by Banksy gained much more value than before. In the end, the building was sold with Banksy’s work on it with the additional value, not just a house itself.



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