Literally “Street Art” by Lang-Baumann
Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann (Lang-Baumann) are a Swiss-American artist duo who have worked together since 1990 under the name Lang-Baumann. Lang-Baumann are known for creating works of ambitious scale that all but take over the public sphere.
Attracted to unexploited public spaces, they compellingly intervene with them, and in doing so, have gone on to create a range of situ artworks such as furnishing, mural paintings, sculptures and installations that play with elements of architecture and design.
With six paintings already completed in various locations since 2003, Lang & Baumann have gone on to create their seventh instalment in the series in Rennes, France. Laid out along Jules Simon Street, right in the heart of Rennes, this is the first of their paintings in France and it will grace the city with its presence until May 25, 2014.
‘Street Painting #7’ (2013) was produced by contemporary art exhibition space 40mcube and The PHAKT – Colombier Cultural Center, in partnership with Signature and Identic with the support of the city of Rennes and the Swiss Art Council Pro Helvetia.
Traditionally a medium meant to create permanent codified road signage, road marking paint is now alternatively used to blow up the codes and create a temporary environment that asks for the participation of the spectator, making him/her one of the protagonists of the artwork.
Lang-Baumann tempt and invite us to interact with it, as we place ourselves into the most unlikely of environments. What may appear ambiguous at first soon becomes readable and familiar, lending another dimension to our notion of urban space. As a result, their striking artworks make us rediscover public spaces, encounter new landscapes and witness original perspectives within our very own cities. In all their absurdity and whimsy, Lang-Baumann’s artworks transform the mundane urban landscape into a colourful, poetical and utopic realm.
In the small swiss town of Vercorin, Lang/Baumann‘s “Street Painting #5″ encompasses the full width of the village, shooting outwards from the central town square down multiple side streets and alleys. Brightly colored diverging lines thread their way through the town and overlap at several points, creating intertwining forms which contrast with the neat, tidy urban edges.
Standing in the middle of the square, the lines seemingly extend out into infinity, while from above–an impossible viewpoint afforded only to birds and passing aircraft–they seemingly form a map for some fictional subway system, albeit one realized on a micro-level where every address, cafe, and town landmark has its own train stop.
According to the artists, construction of the work was opened up to the community, with villagers helping to lay down and paint the lines on the village streets.
Lang/Baumann‘s creations have included inaccessible staircases and parasitic inflatable structures that literally grow out of buildings and unusual expanding artworks that have occupied roofs and the underside of bridges. The streets of the city are treated and turned into a massive urban canvas as their pieces explore the overlooked dimensions within them. Always surprising and invasive, their artworks manage, however, to blend in perfectly with the urban and rural spaces that host their interventions.
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