Photo of the official opening ceremonies of the "Negerhosen2000 / Postkarten von meinen Lieben" Quivid Billboards commission, with me, Jean-Ulrick Désert (left) Munich's mayor (Oberbürgermeister) Christian Ude (center) and acclaimed German artist Timm Ulrich (right)
Photograph by Mattias Reichelt, Berlin
This is a short 2,5min video-link of the "Negerhosen2000" Project redeployed into public space. I was commissioned by the Munich Buildings Council (Münchenbaureferat) and QUIVID the Public Artworks Commission.
“Negerhosen2000 / Postkarten von meinen Lieben” is, in part, a homage to two beautiful European squares: Marienplatz in Munich and Piazza San Marco in Venice. These two historic centers of human communication, exchange and transport find their modern counterpart in the Marienplatz U/SBahn station interchange below ground.
This artwork offers a large quick colorful interlude during the public's subterranean trajectories.
Postcards are the image of modern tourism and travel, mediating beautiful or memorable experiences. They are private and yet they share publicly the experience of places or events with others. This social practice persists and remains popular today.
This manifestation of the Negerhosen2000 project consists of five (5) large framed and illuminated billboards in the manner of over-sized postcards each with a selective text from the histories of proverbs most cultures collect.
It is intended that these artworks not be confused with advertisements. They promote nothing other than images of beauty, history, tradition and wisdom in various proverbs. Proverbs that are connected to a fantasy of Heimat (homeland) as is the Lederhosen costume. To this end, each of these texts is written in a style of script known as Sütterlin or Deutscheschrift (German script) not taught on grade-schools since the 1950s. This created the peculiar situation in which only a fraction of the city's population (i.e. the elderly or historian/scholars) could decipher and read the private messages presented to thousands everyday in Munich's ground-zero known as Marienplatz.
Each element used is relatively ordinary, connected to everyday experience and are therefore easily accessible to the large public both from Germany and abroad. The primary effect lies in the visual strength of the pictures. The pictures are bold, colorful, figurative and spatial. They are collected from ordinary people who participated in the Negerhosen2000 art-action. The light-heartedness and joyful spirit elegantly dominate the secondary element of the proverbs.
The old German handwriting style Sütterlin stresses their ‘decorative’ value as opposed to the surrounding publicity messages that depend on legibility.
The five German Proverbs used read as follows:
Die Gerade geht nicht über die Brücke / The direct path is not over the bridge
Jeder Platz hat seinen Schatz, jeder Ort seinen Hort / Every Square has it's treasure and every Place it's refuge
Jeder Vogel singt seinen Gesang / Every bird sings it own song
Die Augen sind der Liebe Tür / The eyes are the doors of love
Fremder Rat ist Gottes Stimme / The stranger's message is god's voice