The Völklingen Ironworks flooded in red light
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte | Oliver Dietze
Jeanette & Hendrik
2019, in situ
Height 10 m
The Berlin-based street art trio Mentalgassi explores the use of "trompe l'oeil" photography – whereby you see what your mind tells you to, not what is actually there – in public areas, inviting passers-by to let their thoughts run free. Indeed, the concept of letting your mind wander is what gave rise to the trio's name (Mentalgassi translates as mental walkies). Mentalgassi's friendship goes back to when they were all graffiti writers. When a brush with the law cut short their spraypainting careers, they began to rethink their approach and pursue new ways of living out their creativity. The products of this change of course can today be found stuck to all types of street furniture, including bottle banks, lampposts and railings. Mentalgassi regularly incorporate elements of political activism into their works, most recently in pictorial shows of solidarity with Fatima Hussein Badi, victim of the Yemeni justice system, and with well-known Russian dissenters Pussy Riot. They showed their humorous side in 2019 when they pasted grimacing faces of members of the World Heritage team on the industrial architecture of the Völklingen Ironworks.