- KUNSTLABOR in Munich, creative temporary use
Urban Art as a 21st-century art form is a globally celebrated phenomenon, and rightly so; but, apart from a few rare exceptions, such as the famous, elusive Banksy, it still hasn’t found its place in the field of art. To overcome this limit, the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA), founded in Munich in December 2016, seeks to create spaces for this young and at the same time, transient art form. Places where street art and urban art connect with other genres of contemporary art, enriching and complementing each other as well as building bridges between artists and the public. Because the founders of MUCA, the first urban art museum in Germany, believe, as we often point out to readers, that art has the potential to change the way we see the world.
This commitment both to supporting Urban Art and to disseminating it to a wider public by concentrating these artworks drove MUCA to organise the project called KUNSTLABOR, one of the largest art interventions in the Bavarian capital. It all starts in a building slated for the wrecking ball in the Laim district in Munich, on Landsberger Straße 350 to be exact. These are the former headquarters of the Germany supermarket chain, Tengelmann, an office building that has seen better days but that will go out with a bang because it is hosting KUNSTLABOR, or art laboratory before it is demolished.
For a few months, this building is the location for the work of 50 local and international artists who have artistically reinterpreted the 5000 square metres of interior and exterior space Landsberger Straße with individual spatial experiments. The many relics of the former office building have provided the inspiration and backdrop for their works. So, mouse-grey walls have become canvases, files have been turned into sculptures and office cabinets into installations.
In fact, in addition to the large murals by famous street artists such as Stohead and Fintan Magee, which are visible on the facade even before entering, visitors will also encounter works by Ella & Pitr, a room created by Loomit, one by the young sprayer Yasin, a labyrinth of files by Philip Junk, just to name a few. The Italian artist Biancoshock has even created a sort of memorial for the closed-down branches of the Tengelmann chain in Munich.
From 13 October KUNSTLABOR and its artists are there on show and ready to take visitors on a discovery tour of this one-of-a-kind artistic project that will run until 31 December when the old structure will be replaced by a new building.
As quirky as it may seem, Germany is not new to this temporary and creative use of old, obsolete constructions. In Berlin, in Spring, 2017, The Haus caused a real stir when an old bank, also earmarked for demolition, was temporarily transformed into a Mecca for street artists and sprayers.
So, the KUNSTLABOR is, of course, a temporary experience, but the photographic documentation will keep it forever tied to the eternal present of the web, when the images travel across our screens, reminiscent, at least in part, of those moments of an art that by its very nature is as transient as its urban context.
from 13 October to 31 December 2018
from 2 pm to 10 pm, Thursday to Sunday
Landsberger Straße 350, Munich, Germany
Images: Silvie Tillard
Find out more: https://www.kunstlabor.org/
List of artists: https://www.kunstlabor.org/artists/