How Biancoshock Showed Us that WE CAN
Yes, we can of Pantelimon, 24. August 2017
Biancoshock helped us to discover that “Nu Pot” (“I Can’t”) is just in our head – a kind of reminiscent self-flagellation from the times when the one party told us what we were allowed and what we were not allowed to do.
It was an evening surrounded with friends and neighbours, animated by the playful idea of Fra, an Italian native of Milano who for more than 10 years creates public art by the name of Biancoshock. The name itself does not mean anything, but says a lot: bianco (white/pure) and shock is an association of opposite terms. In the same line was the exercise Fra brought to us, bringing together in the same game the Art Tower of Pantelimon and the roof of a building next to it on which we illustrated the first painting in reminiscence of the nighborhood’s past – the old sewing lady.
For Biancoshock’s intervention we covered the painting with fabric. So on Thursday evening the roof could serve us as a target and a few dozen of people were happily throwing thousands of coloured balls from the tower straight into the buckets placed on the roof by Biancoshock to form the words “Nu Pot” (“I Can’t”). The Italian read the stories of the neighborhood which anthropologist Andrea Dragan collected for the Giants of Pantelimon project and he understood that many of them are uncovered from the communist past when we were not allowed to do this or say that, prohibitive rules ahich are continuing to hold us back on our path into the future. Biancoschock gave us the opportunity to leave behind our difficult and grey past by playing with thousands balls, light like a zephyr and coloured like the rainbow.
By hitting the target which was telling you “Nu Pot” (“I Can’t”), you could actually prove to yourself that YOU CAN! That’s what I told Biancoshock when I finally understood the reason behind his project. And since it made him smile at me, I guess that I got his idea, making the intervention succeeded in speaking for itself, which is how he likes his art to be. It’s all because people don’t read anymore, Fra says. Which is also the reason why he decided to quit university, where he was studying communication, and to start speaking to people using a different form or communication, the ephemeral street art. The kind of art that is washed out in a day or two by the city cleaners, yet continues to live through emotions and sensations triggered in the people’s minds once they get the to see it. And a few revelations we did have that evening.
First of all, many people have fear of heights and also they are not comfortable to climb the see-through stairs that are wrapped around the tower, all the way up to the top. If you are afraid you can close your eyes, but once up on top you should open them again as it is a pity to go to the top and not admire the view. Some were climbing close to the wall, but because they really wanted to succeed, to throw the coloured balls in the buckets that Fra placed on the roof, they were then holding tight the balustrade with one hand, with the other trying to hit at least one of the buckets placed on the roof. But no matter if they succeeded or not, everyone proved to have great courage. Forgetting about the fear of heights, many were immersing their hands in the bags full of balls and, loaded with munition, rushing to hit their target. A girl that until then had kept away of the tower for her fear of heights exclaimed: It’s addictive!
There was nobody who didn’t try and succeed to place at least one ball in a bucket of the “Nu Pot” (“I Can’t”) installation. Mrs Nela, whose lifetime job was in the department of creation of Postavaria Romana, was happy like a child. For 40 years she created textile patterns inspired from Burda magazines that the factory was importing with approval of the communist party. 40 years in which she saw the neighborhood growing and transforming, just like the water tower. Throwing ball after ball into the buckets, she was telling us how the frogs had been croaking next to the factory walls, next thing she was aiming at a bucket and gladly explaining to the beginners how to succeed in hitting the target. Then she went on to tell me with great enthusiasm:
But do you know what interesting works this guy creates?
Yes, last night my nephews weren’t home and I had a bit of time, so I checked his website. I loved his work! He is very creative, you know?
That’s how it is, right?
Yes, just look how much fun we have here!
When evening came and we ran out of balls, we moved inside in the Make a Point space where Biancoshock had prepared a presentation of his artworks. There were many smiles but as well a healthy portion of uneasiness. The creative mind of Biancoshock knows how to bring to surface all the vanity, greed, and ego and all the old and new sins in the world. And then he knows how to punish them with irony. Wioth this mirror held in front of us, we decided together that we’ll meet Biancoshock again between 13th and 15th of October at the Giants of Pantelimon Street Art Days, where also many other artists come to reveal their ideas and creations.
Come join us for the Giants of Pantelimon Street Art Days, 13th to 15th of October 2017 at Make a Point and discover the urban art by Romanian and international artists on the roofs of Pantelimon, or register for our free workshops and take part in the public art events! Find out more on our Facebook page.
About Make a Point
Make a Point looks back on 10 years of experience in reconverting and reinventing industrial spaces, cultural intervention, as well as starting art projects in a place where the access to culture is limited by the lack of public infrastructure. At the begginings of Make a Point association stand the rehabilitation and transformation of a former industrial space into a cultural center. A former section of a textile factory became a modern exhibition space as well as projection space, and community library. In one of our last big projects, we transformed the old water tower of the factory into an unique art installation, at the same time keeping its utility and functionality.
About Giants of Pantelimon
Giants of Pantelimon is a community art project by Madalina Rosca and Paul Arne Wagner, starting in 2016 with a pilot featuring the first painting on a factory roof in Bucharest. In the spring of 2017, the project continued with Andreea Dragan’s neighborhood story hunt followed by the international call for artists. Giants of Pantelimon Street Art Days will be the climax of the first (2017) edition of the project.
Giants of Pantelimon is a Make a Point project
The project is financed within the cultural program “Bucharest, participative city” by the Bucharest City Hall, through the Cultural Center of Bucharest ARCUB and co-financed by the Administration of the National Fund for Culture (AFCN).
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