Sunday, May 20, 2007

Foward Thinking, Urban Roots Salon & Gallery May 19 - June 30, 2007

Rightly touted as an exhibition of progressive Canadian graffiti, curator and artist John Drager has put together an impressive selection and representation of contemporary graffiti graphics. Part-inspired by the burgeoning South American graphic/design scene, the group transformed the every-day hair salon from floor to ceiling, wall to wall concept of graffiti from outside in.
A cascading wall of estranged stereos, possibly the invention of the bottle demon, 2D pieces, decks, and wall and floor paintings established the presence of an exhibition, and in doing so, challenges further the general reception of what graffiti does and looks like. An original form and response to urbanity, institutional graffiti exhibitions walk a fine line. They are simultaneously bold and highly aestheticized spaces that tailor the social constructions and implications of street cultures such as skate boarding into a regulated space. Although those concepts were not apparent, perhaps not needed in this alternative gallery space, group graffiti shows still stand as some of the most visually arresting group shows out there.


1 comment:

Carina Cojeen said...

Hi... a propos of this, I'm wondering if we can get some discussion going regarding the city's increasing hostility to graffiti (e.g., SafeEdmonton program equating graffiti with crime and encouraging citizens to report it). Do people on this forum think all graffiti should be allowed, or is there a difference between "good" and "bad" graffiti? Is there a way to encourage and educate about creative graffiti or will we throw out the baby with the bathwater?

My own thoughts are that I think there is "good" graffiti (art) vs. "bad" (kids jsut lashing out with profanity and trying to be cool). To encourage it being thought of this way, maybe we could host exhibits/programs about cutting edge, graffiti art in the schools, and encourage kids to do the good kind, and lots of it, and maybe they would disccourage the "bad" kind.

I would also love all local artists to protest the crackdown by the city and narrow view of the medium by putting up lots of beautiful graffiti art and stencils around town to show that there is "good" and "bad".

What do people think?