Graffiti, 2013
Acrylic spray on wall
Dimension variable

Installation view: Tercerunquinto "Graffiti", Kunsthalle Basel, 2013
Photo: Kunsthalle Basel

With "Graffiti", the Mexican artist collective Tercerunquinto delivers a conceptual message at the interface of institution and public space. Contrary to the expectations generated by the title, we see no political slogans or sophisticated pieces of graffiti art. The original white wall shimmers sporadically through the monochrome black surface, and only a few areas that did not receive several coats still contain clues that Graffiti was created by spray­painting.
Tercerunquinto invited young people with no experience of graffiti or art­making to spray the wall, although not as part of a collaborative project but with the stipulation that each person worked on the wall alone, documented by the artists. Within the parameters set by Tercerunquinto, which included the colour (black) and the form (a blanket covering of the wall, with no signs or symbols), those taking part were free to decide how long they painted for and how much of the wall they covered. Their contributions gradually accumulated into an overall picture, in which individual gesture and authorship are neutralized in a mono­ chrome plane. Tercerunquinto thus radicalizes a theme of art — monochrome painting — that has been a regular topic of the artistic discourse since Suprematism and Constructivism.

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