Lene Trunjer Petersen
Supercrawl was busy on Saturday night. Everywhere you could see art displays and food wagons, while music was coming from almost every corner. Here I was walking down James St. N., when I saw something different. Well, it was really just a black painted fence, but the unusual part of it was that everywhere people were writing quotes or their names with chalk, and taking pictures of the fence and themselves.
My curiosity won, and I went over to see.
What was going on? Was this actually an intended work of art? Who was the artist behind this? Was there one? Somehow there must be one, or else who started the writing? So I asked around me. Nobody really seemed to know, until this sort of shy guy came up to me, confronting me, asking if I really wanted to know? Yes, of course, I replied.
It all started with an Andy Warhol quote
The artist who stood before me was very reluctant to be a part of my article, but he gave me permission to paraphrase him and his thoughts about art. So what is art really? He elaborated that every one of us has a godly spark of creation. But whether or not it might come from a divine inspiration or a feeling of ‘need’ to create, the most important thing is to follow this tone of creation through. He felt that too many people were wondering about the right way to express their artistic thoughts instead of just doing it. That was why he wrote part of the Andy Warhol quote on the fence:
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done.”
Besides the Andy Warhol quote, he had also hung a few pictures on the fence. While he was writing, someone had asked for the chalk to write some of his own, and that was how the engaging fence writing came to be and transformed itself into a work of unified art.
But what were the participants’ thoughts about the writings? I said thanks to the artist and went over to the fence and talked to people. Why were they writing on the fence, and what were they thinking when they did so?
The first person I asked was a younger guy, who answered that he wanted to be part of what he described as a feeling of togetherness. This feeling of being part of something bigger was a very unanimous reply. An older guy pointed out that it was everybody’s ideas, which made it a very inclusive art display. He also liked the idea that it was temporary and, with a good solid rain, the words of chalk would disappear, while the feeling and pictures would remain. Two other women I asked worked in home design. They wanted a picture of themselves in front of the fence for their webpage, to illustrate the varieties of art. Another person shouted graffiti and memory wall, before he turned around to help his kid to draw his own little creation.
What is art?
A lot of different ideas seemed to flow around that evening by the black fence, and it made a lot of the participants reflect on the concept of creation. But what seemed really important was the opportunity to be involved. Art is no longer the right of geniuses or the protected paintings behind the windows of an art gallery. Art is what speaks to your heart; it gets you involved, leaves a feeling of being part of more then just yourself and makes you reflect on art, life, creation and beyond. Finishing up my interviews, I found a piece of chalk and drew my own little cartoon, my statement, among the others who found that the memory wall was a truly significant art piece at the fifth annual Supercrawl.