The Völklingen Ironworks flooded in red light
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte | Oliver Dietze
Genius Generates Gates
Copyright: Philippe Baudelocque
2015, in situ
2,6 x 34 m
Philippe Baudelocque offers an unusual yet compelling response to the dilemma faced by street art now that it is being appropriated by the art establishment. Like any form of property damage, a certain degree of ephemerality – or at least unpredictability – is part and parcel of working in outdoor urban spaces. Artists have reacted to this ephemerality by deploying methods that aim for longevity, such as using automotive paint or engraving subway trains' windows. Nevertheless, artists have to bear in mind that their works may soon be cleaned away or painted over, or even that a wall may be torn down or blocked off from view. Urban-Artists are always aware of the transience of the works they produce. In the protective sphere offered by art collections and institutional exhibitions, however, this element of dynamism disappears. Philippe Baudelocque has developed a simple yet ingenious way of maintaining the tension. He makes site-specific works using one of the least permanent materials imaginable: chalk. The slightest touch or splash of water can destroy parts of his work. But this is what anchors Baudelocque's dreamy, sensitive drawings in the moment, providing receptive viewers with a direct relationship to the here and now.